Don Gilbert will retire from the top post at the state’s natural gas utility on Jan. 1, 2015, a time when Vermont Gas Systems will ask regulators for permission to build the second phase of its pipeline extension through Addison County.
The 59-year-old resident of Hinesburg will be succeeded by Donald J. Rendall, vice president of strategic planning for Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest electric utility.
“I am proud of my tenure leading Vermont Gas,” Gilbert said in a statement. “Vermont Gas is in a strong position to continue to offer Vermonters clean, low-cost fuel and help transition the state to a renewable energy future. I am looking forward to working with Don Rendall over the coming weeks to achieve a successful leadership transition.”
Gilbert became president and chief executive officer of Vermont Gas in 2001, following 14 years with the company in various roles. Prior to joining Vermont Gas, he worked as a utilities analyst with the Vermont Public Service Board, which regulates the state’s utilities.
Gilbert has said the company’s goal is to expand natural gas service down Vermont, and eventually to a pipeline network across state lines. Regulators approved the project last December, and successfully defended it again this summer following a projected cost increase. Pipeline opponents rallied against the project this summer, and even staged a protest on his lawn.
Rendall said in a statement he is “delighted to join Vermont Gas at this important time to bring innovative ideas to Vermonters to help lower energy costs and provide a cleaner energy future.”
“I am looking forward to working closely with our communities, customers, and the Vermont Gas team to bring the benefits of natural gas service to Vermonters in Addison and Rutland counties,” he said.
Since 2002, Rendall has worked for the Green Mountain Power as both an executive and legal council. From 1987 to 2002, he practiced law with the Burlington-based firm Sheehey Furlong & Behm. He has a law degree from Duke University and is a member of the Vermont Bar Association.