The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) wasted little time inpicking successors to fill positions that were left vacant by thesudden departures of two staff members.

The producer group’s new president, R. Skip Horvath, announcedyesterday that Patricia Wilson Jagtiani, who has been FERC ChairmanJames Hoecker’s gas policy advisor since January 1997, will joinNGSA as its new director of regulatory affairs effective Sept. 17,succeeding Philip Budzik. Budzik departed NGSA last week after 15years.

“I think a lot of my duties [at NGSA] will be very similar” tothose at FERC – “a lot of consensus building, a lot of policyissues,” Jagtiani said. She noted she was “very sad” to leave theCommission, where she has been since 1990, but that she was”looking forward” to working with Horvath. Her successor at FERChasn’t been chosen yet.

Laurie Mauldin Cramer joined NGSA yesterday as the new directorof communications, replacing Linda Schoumacher Rozett. Previously,she had been senior vice president at The Hawthorn Group L.C., apublic affairs firm in Alexandria, VA.

“Both of these additions represent changes made as a result ofthe association’s internal review to ensure we are best serving ourmembers and their needs,” said Horvath, who took over as NGSApresident last week.

The staff members being replaced were in no way connected to theembezzlement scandal involving NGSA’s former president, Nicholas J.Bush, according to a press release. Bush pleaded guilty in federalcourt last month to defrauding the trade group out of $2.8 millionover a 16-year period. He is scheduled to be sentenced in lateOctober.

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