The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) has elected a top Chesapeake Energy Corp. executive to lead the industry coalition into 2012.

Dave Spigelmyer, vice president of Chesapeake, was elected chairman to succeed Ray Walker, senior vice president of Range Resources Corp. He is to assume office Jan. 1 with the rest of the new board members.

“It has been a great honor and pleasure to serve as chairman of the MSC these past two years,” said Walker. “I have no doubt that the MSC will continue to serve as the leading natural gas trade association in this region. Looking forward, we have elected a dedicated and talented team of officers to lead us into the next phase of this exciting development and I look forward to remaining active to ensure our industry remains at the forefront of science and technology to develop this resource in a responsible manner.”

Members of the coalition work with partners across the region to address issues with local, state and federal regulators, government officials and communities about all aspects of producing gas from the Marcellus Shale.

“Our organization has been extremely fortunate to have such capable and determined leadership since forming just two short years ago,” said Kathryn Klaber, MSC’s executive director. “Under Ray’s leadership and the guidance of our outgoing executive committee, the MSC has grown from a small committee into a 250-plus member organization with one overarching goal: responsible shale gas development. It’s because of their tireless efforts that accomplishing this common goal has been and continues to be possible.”

Rob Broen, president of Talisman Energy USA, is to serve as vice chairman of the MSC. Scott Roy, vice president of Range Resources Corp., was elected treasurer, while MarkWest Energy Partners LP COO John Mollenkoph is secretary.

Spigelmyer, a life-long Pennsylvanian, said there was “much work to be done in the coming months and years, but with 250-plus companies and their thousands of employees, who are the Marcellus Shale Coalition, I know our best days are ahead. While we may have elected new officers, the one goal that will never change is our ongoing commitment to getting this historic opportunity right. Right for Pennsylvania, right by the community, and right for the environment.”

Also serving on the 11-member MSC executive board will be Consol Energy’s Randy Albert; Frank Billings of Williams; Terry Bossert, Chief Oil & Gas; Heather Lamparter, Exco Resources; Tom Lopus, J-W Energy; Craig Mayer, Pennsylvania General Energy; and Jack Williams, XTO Energy Inc.