WAYZATA, Minn., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dakota Plains Holdings, Inc. ("Dakota Plains" and "DAKP"), (OTC: DAKP) today announced that Craig M. McKenzie, a veteran of the oil and gas industry, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the company. Mr. McKenzie will also serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. McKenzie replaces Gabriel G. Claypool, who will continue as President and has been appointed by the Board to serve as Chief Operating Officer. With this transition, Mr. Claypool will provide direct oversight of the company's rapidly expanding operations in the Williston Basin in North Dakota. Dakota Plains is in its fourth year of midstream operations with three active business segments each respectively focused on the marketing, transloading and trucking of crude oil and related products originating within the Williston Basin of North Dakota. Dakota Plains plans to expand its operations in New Town, North Dakota, and pursue additional growth opportunities in the Williston Basin to provide shareholders with exposure to a rapidly evolving industry segment and commodity oil prices. Mr. Gary Alvord, Lead Independent Director of Dakota Plains' Board of Directors, said: "The Board is thrilled to have someone of Craig's experience and caliber assuming the leadership of Dakota Plains. Throughout his career, Craig has demonstrated a solid track record of performance delivery through project execution and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Gabe has demonstrated excellent operational performance and efficient development of the company's assets and this new arrangement will allow him to continue in that capacity. The Board views this new executive leadership team as an exceptional outcome that will best position Dakota Plains to achieve its growth objectives and create value for shareholders." Commenting on his selection as the new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. McKenzie said: "I am excited and honored to have been asked to lead Dakota Plains. Under Gabe's leadership, the company has grown significantly, with the ramp-up of the transloading operations to 30,000 barrels of oil per day and marketing volumes from 2011 to 2012 growing by over 500%. My priorities are to build on the company's strong fundamentals by ensuring our operations deliver under Gabe's leadership, while also securing new growth projects and accelerating strategic transactions to position Dakota Plains for the future as a leader in this segment."