PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - NW Natural (NYSE: NWN), the largest independent gas utility in the Northwest, this week announced the promotions of two executive staff members, Lea Anne Doolittle and Richelle Luther.

Lea Anne Doolittle, formerly Vice President of Human Resources since joining the company in 2000, has been elevated to Senior Vice President. Her responsibilities include Human Resources, Payroll, Security, Facilities and Occupational Safety. Doolittle will continue reporting to CEO Mark Dodson.

Prior to joining NW Natural, Doolittle worked in Human Resources Management for PacifiCorp and other Portland area companies. Doolittle served on the board and executive committee for the STARS Foundation from 2002-2006. She is an advisory board member for the MBA program at Willamette University where she received her MBA.

Richelle Luther has been appointed Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary, replacing C.J. Rue who retired in December. Luther served as Assistant Corporate Secretary since joining the company in 2002 where she primarily focused on corporate governance and financial reporting issues. In her new role, Luther will assume sole responsibility for board and corporate governance matters. Luther will report to Margaret Kirkpatrick, Vice President and General Counsel.

Prior to joining NW Natural, Luther worked as a corporate attorney at the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP. She served on the Board of the March of Dimes from 2003 - 2007 and is a mentor to law students from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. Richelle was recognized in 2006 as one of the Business Journal's "Forty under 40."

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE: NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and serves about 650,000 residential and business customers in Oregon and southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest and is one of the fastest-growing local distribution companies in the nation. NW Natural has approximately $2 billion in total assets, which includes more than 16 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of underground gas storage capacity within its service territory at Mist, Ore. For more information about NW Natural, please visit www.nwnatural.com.

Contact Information: Contact: Jenna Cooper-Gross 503-721-2440