PORTLAND, July 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NW Natural's (NYSE:NWN) board of directors acknowledged Lea Anne Doolittle’s intent to retire as an officer at the end of December, following 18 years of service with the company.

Doolittle began her career at NW Natural as vice president of Human Resources, and then was promoted to senior vice president and Chief Administrative Officer where she oversees Human Resources, Information Technology, Safety, Facilities, Emergency Management/Business Continuity, Project Management, Labor Relations, and Security.

Prior to joining NW Natural in 2000, Doolittle held human resource leadership positions at PacifiCorp and NERCO. In the community, she is on the board of trustees for the College of Oriental Medicine and the Western States Office & Professional Pension (Multi Employer) Fund. She has also served on the I Have a Dream Linda Wah Scholarship Committee, the STARS board and the YMCA board of directors.

“I greatly appreciate all that Lea Anne has contributed to the culture and business operations of NW Natural. She is an outstanding leader at our company and in the community, and we couldn’t be more grateful to her,” said David Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO.

The board appointed Melinda Rogers to vice president and Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer effective August 1. She will continue to report to Doolittle through the end of the year and then to Anderson.

“As part of our long-term commitment to succession planning, Melinda has been preparing to take on this pivotal position. I’m confident she has the talent and passion to join our officer team,” added Anderson.

Rogers has 20 years’ experience in a variety of HR roles with Fortune 500 companies such as Qualcomm and Hewlett-Packard, as well as with other organizations like Willamette University, Knowledge University and Point B. She has extensive experience with cultural change leadership, transition management, organizational development, succession planning, and linking HR strategy to business results. Previously, she spent 10 years in management positions in sales, engineering and supply chain.

Rogers has a bachelor of science in Business Administration from Bryant University, as well as professional certificates such as Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Human Resources People & Strategy (HRPS). She has served on the boards of the Portland Children's Museum and Companies that Care.

About NW Natural
NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 740,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.