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Nicor Gas building
Nicor Gas building


Melvin D. Williams

President, Nicor Gas

Melvin Williams is president of Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distributor in Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that natural gas – a clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy source – reaches more than 2.2 million homes and businesses in 656 northern Illinois communities. Williams also serves as senior vice president of Southern Company Gas, a national leader in the energy sector and parent company of Nicor Gas.

Melvin Williams headshot
Pat Whiteside headshot

Pat Whiteside

Vice President, Business Support

Whiteside is responsible for all top-line growth initiatives, workforce development projects and other company strategic plans. In his 20 years at the company, he held varied roles of increasing responsibility in operations, business systems and scheduling.

Christa Markgraff headshot

Christa Markgraff

Vice President, Operations

Markgraff is responsible for day-to-day operations of the utility, and meets the energy needs of more than 1,000,000 customers, including ensuring safety, compliance, operational excellence and financial performance. Christa joined the Company in 1992, and has held previous roles in Operations, Construction, Engineering, Technical Compliance and Customer Development. 

Jim Griffin headshot

Jim Griffin

Vice President, Operations

Griffin is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction for Nicor Gas' core operations management and execution of field service, distribution and meter reading functions, as well as directing the production, operation and maintenance activities association with natural gas delivery. He began his career at Nicor Gas 29 years ago as a meter reader. 

Shannon Pierce headshot

Shannon Pierce

Vice President, Operations

Pierce is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction for the company's Illinois natural gas operations, which include field service and distribution. Since joining Southern Company Gas in 2004 as regulatory counsel for the company's legal activities with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Pierce has held additional leadership roles with increasing responsibility.

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Louie Binswanger

Vice President, External Affairs

Binswanger directs the company's regulatory policy, strategy and planning and is responsible for regulatory activities with the Illinois Commerce Commission. In addition, he leads the company's legislative and governmental affairs activities, external lobbyist engagement and development of company policy to align with state legislation. Binswanger brings more than 30 years of natural gas industry experience to his role.