Natural gas provider Black Hills Energy recently named Jerry Watkins to the position of general manager for the company’s Kansas operations.

Watkins holds the top leadership position in Kansas at the company’s natural gas utility level and is responsible for all aspects of managing the company’s Kansas operations. Black Hills Energy serves 113,000 natural gas customers in 65 Kansas communities, including Lawrence, Dodge City, Garden City, Goodland, Hutchinson, Liberal and Wichita.

Watkins joined Black Hills in 1981 as a service technician and progressed to director of operations, which he has held since April 2016.

Watkins replaces Nick Gardner, who has taken on the role of vice president for the company’s electric operations in South Dakota, northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. Watkins will be located in Lawrence, Black Hills Energy’s Kansas headquarters.