NW Natural exec honored with OSU award


CORVALLIS - Ronald T. Miller, retired chief executive officer and chairman of the board of NW Natural (formerly Northwest Natural Gas), has been named the 1998 recipient of the E.B. Lemon Award at Oregon State University.

The annual award, given by the OSU Alumni Association, is one of the highest honors awarded by OSU and will be presented on Friday, April 24, in a special ceremony at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center. The award is named in honor of E.B. Lemon, a prominent OSU alumnus, faculty member and administrator, who died in 1979.

Miller, a 1941 graduate of Oregon State, played a significant role in the development of liquefied natural gas and spearheaded the drilling for gas deposits in the Mist area near Vernonia, resulting in the only commercial quantities of natural gas discovered so far in the Pacific Northwest. To date, the Mist site has yielded more than 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and the company honored Miller by naming the operating headquarters at Mist "Miller's Station."

He also directed the construction of a 13-story office building in downtown Portland - One Pacific Square - which has been corporate headquarters for NW Natural since 1982. Miller was a founding member of the board of the Oregon Business Council and a founding member and vice president of the Association for Portland Progress. He also has been director, president and chairman of the Portland Chamber of Commerce.

He has served on the boards of United States National Bank of Oregon, US Bancorp, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Oregon and Willamette Industries. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Fisher Broadcasting and is active in a number of civic organizations.

Miller also has been a leader in a number of professional organizations, serving as a director of the both the American Gas Association and the Gas Research Institute; director, president and chairman of the Pacific Coast Gas Association; and trustee and chairman of the Association of Washington Gas Utilities.

Miller is on the board of trustees for the OSU Foundation.