MENTOR, Ohio, Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Gas Natural Inc. (NYSE MKT: EGAS) ("Gas Natural" or the "Company"), a holding company operating local natural gas utility companies serving approximately 70,000 customers in seven states, today announced that Thomas J. Smith, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has announced his plans to retire after a distinguished career of over 50 years, including ten years of service with Gas Natural and its predecessor companies. Mr. Smith has served in his current role since November 2007. The Company will conduct an in-depth, national search for a replacement. Mr. Smith will continue in his role until a replacement is found and a seamless transition is completed. He will also continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. "It has been my privilege and honor to know and work with Tom for more than 25 years. He has been instrumental in the growth of Gas Natural and gave endlessly of his time and talent to build the Company in both favorable and challenging times. On behalf of the Board, I thank him for his distinguished tenure and leadership, and wish him all the best in retirement," said Richard M. Osborne, Chairman and CEO of Gas Natural Inc. Mr. Smith noted, "I am very appreciative of my time with Gas Natural. It is a great company full of great people and has the opportunity to continue to build upon its successes." He added, "I look forward to seeing the Company continue to expand and develop while successfully executing on its growth strategy. While I look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with my family and on other personal interests, I will work with Rick and the Board to ensure a smooth and effective transition."