MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) today announced that Jim L. Stanley will join the company on Oct. 1 as executive vice president and group CEO for Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), a NiSource-owned utility serving more than 786,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120829/DE64517 ) " Jim Stanley brings extensive Indiana utility leadership experience to NIPSCO's ongoing efforts to strengthen customer service, enhance reliability, and execute on major new environmental and infrastructure investment programs," NiSource President and CEO Robert C. Skaggs Jr. said. "Jim's expertise, combined with his collaborative leadership style and unwavering commitment to integrity and transparency make him a great fit for this role. I am confident he will engage our entire Indiana employee team, our customers and key stakeholders in continuing to move NIPSCO forward." Stanley succeeds Jimmy D. Staton, who has led both NIPSCO and NiSource's gas transmission and storage (NGT&S) operations. With Stanley's appointment, Staton will serve exclusively as executive vice president and group CEO for NGT&S, focusing on a broad array of customer service, growth and infrastructure initiatives at the company. "Jimmy's compelling vision, tireless leadership and straightforward approach have put our NIPSCO team on the path to success," Skaggs said. "As a continued strong member of our corporate senior leadership team, I know Jimmy will stay in close contact with many friends and coworkers in Indiana, even as he now focuses his energies on leading our important business strategies at NGT&S." Stanley comes to NiSource after serving in a variety of senior executive positions in the utility industry, most recently as senior vice president and chief distribution officer for Duke Energy's U.S. electric business. In this role, he had oversight of the electric distribution system for the company's five-state service area. Previously, he served as president of Duke Energy Indiana, the state's largest electric service provider. His 35-year career with PSI Energy, Cinergy and Duke Energy includes assignments in a variety of departments from accounting to human resources to operations management.