Michael R. Winter, 61, was appointed a director of Gas Natural in September 2014. Mr. Winter is a former partner in the Buffalo, New York office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) serving in that role from 1987 until his retirement in June 2014. During his tenure, Mr. Winter was responsible for leading the delivery of assurance and consulting services to public entities with experience principally in the utility and energy industry sectors. He worked with entities involved in all aspects of the natural gas industry, including E&P, gathering, pipeline, distribution, storage and marketing. During his more than thirty years of experience with PwC, Mr. Winter assisted clients with complex accounting and reporting issues, including regulatory accounting and SOX reporting. Mr. Winter also brings transactional experience including capital formation transactions, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, debt and equity offerings and litigation support. Mr. Winter is currently on the board of directors and a member of the audit committee of Allied Motion Technologies Inc..
Mr. Winter received his BS from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his MBA from Canisius College. He is a licensed certified public accountant in New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. His business and accounting expertise, including an in depth understanding of the natural gas industry and financial matters, make him highly qualified to serve as a director.
Michael B. Bender, age 37, was appointed to our board of directors in February 2015. Mr. Bender brings more than ten years of experience in finance, acquisition and divestiture, and legal and governance matters. Mr. Bender currently serves as director, corporate secretary and corporate counsel of The InterTech Group, Inc., a large, privately-held, diversified holding company. An affiliate of The InterTech Group is the largest shareholder of Gas Natural and currently owns approximately 9% of our issued and outstanding common stock. Prior to his current role, Mr. Bender was an attorney at Moore and Van Allen, PLLC where he was the lead attorney for clients in various business, finance, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial property matters. He began his career at Powell Goldstein, LLP as a corporate securities law attorney. Mr. Bender earned his J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. Mr. Bender’s legal expertise and extensive knowledge of corporate governance matters are highly beneficial to our board.
James P. Carney, 63, was appointed to our board of directors in June 2015. Mr. Carney has nearly 35 years of experience serving in various financial positions in the utility industry. Mr. Carney has served as an expert financial witness in regulatory proceedings, had primary oversight responsibility for nearly $800 million of taxable nuclear decommissioning funds, and has over 22 years direct responsibility for the planning, structuring, and execution of over $75 billion of debt, equity securities and associated derivatives in the public, private and bank markets. Mr. Carney is currently serving as Executive in Residence in the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate at Virginia Commonwealth University, in which capacity he also serves as chair of the executive committee of the Finance Advisory Council. In addition, Mr. Carney is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.
Prior to his current roles, Mr. Carney served as the assistant treasurer and assistant corporate secretary of Virginia Electric and Power Company, before joining Dominion Resources, Inc., where he retired in December, 2013 as vice president — corporate finance and assistant treasurer. His extensive background and experience in corporate matters as they relate to capital markets, economic and financial analysis and regulatory proceedings brings valuable expertise to our board of directors.
Richard K. Greaves, 43, has served as a director since July 2013. He is a certified public accountant who works in private practice providing accounting, tax preparation, tax planning and business consulting to individuals and corporations. Mr. Greaves is the president and chief financial officer of RGP, LLC, a firm specializing in acquiring, rehabilitating and leasing residential real estate in Lake and Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Prior to serving in these roles, Mr. Greaves was a partner at Ernst & Young, LLP in Cleveland, Ohio where he spent eighteen years providing accounting and financial reporting services for both private and public companies in the manufacturing, petrochemicals, consumer products and distribution industries.
Mr. Greaves is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of CPA’s. Prior to beginning his career in accounting, Mr. Greaves obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Kent State University. In 2011, Mr. Greaves paid a fine and served a brief jail term after he pled guilty to a charge of simple assault, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Mr. Greaves’ substantial experience in finance, accounting, internal controls, and SEC rules and regulations are highly beneficial to Gas Natural.
Robert B. Johnston, 50, was appointed to the board in June 2015 and serves as the executive vice president and chief strategy officer for The InterTech Group, Inc., a large, privately-held, diversified holding company. An affiliate of The InterTech Group is the largest shareholder of Gas Natural and currently owns approximately 9% of our issued and outstanding common stock. Mr. Johnston is responsible for merger and acquisition activities, investments and communications as well as oversight of a number of the InterTech Group’s operating companies. He currently serves on several public company boards including Supremex Inc. where he is the chairman of the board of directors, Fyffes PLC, Circa Enterprises, Span America Medical Products and Corning Natural Gas Holding Company. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of the South Carolina Community Loan Fund, The Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada, and is a member of the advisory board of the McGill University Executive Institute. He previously served as the president, chief executive officer and deputy governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Mr. Johnston has also served on the boards of Pacific Northern Gas, Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, Galvanic Applied Sciences, The Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada’s National History Society and Carolina Youth Development Center. Mr. Johnston received an MBA from the John Molson School of Business, a MA in Public Policy & Public Administration and a BA in Political Science from Concordia University. Additionally, he holds the ICD.D Designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (Canada). Mr. Johnston’s extensive financial and operational experience coupled with his corporate governance and regulated utility experience led the board to conclude that he has the requisite and desired skills for board service.
Gregory J. Osborne, 37, has served as a director since September 2009. In May 2014, he became our chief executive officer. Mr. Osborne served as our president and chief operating officer from November 2013 until May 2014. Mr. Osborne served as our vice president from June 2013 until November 2013. In February 2012, Mr. Osborne was appointed president and chief operating officer of Energy West Resources, Inc., our marketing and production subsidiary. He previously served as president, chief operating officer and a director of John D. Oil and Gas Company (JDOG), a publicly-held oil and gas exploration company, from 2006 until January 2012. From 2003 until joining JDOG, he was president of Great Plains Exploration LLC, an oil and gas exploration company based in Mentor, Ohio that owns and operates oil and gas wells. From 2001 until joining Great Plains, he served as executive vice president of Orwell Natural Gas Company, a natural gas distribution company acquired by us in January 2010. From April 2009 to September 2010, he was a director of Corning Natural Gas Corporation, a publicly-held public utility company in Corning, New York, and a trustee of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. Mr. Osborne graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Business. Mr. Osborne’s managerial experience and service on the board of various energy related companies provides our board of directors with a wide range of industry specific knowledge.
Gas Natural Inc. (NYSE MKT: EGAS), a holding company, distributes and sells natural gas to end-use residential, commercial and industrial customers. It distributes approximately 26 billion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 68,000 customers through regulated utilities operating in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, North Carolina and Kentucky. The Company’s other operations include natural gas production and natural gas marketing. The Company's Montana public utility was originally incorporated in 1909.
Gas Natural‘s strategy for growth is to expand throughput, particularly in the Maine and North Carolina markets, while looking for acquisitions that are either adjacent to its existing utilities or in under saturated markets. The company’s common stock currently trades on the NYSE MKT under the ticker symbol “EGAS.”