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Avista Names Jason Thackston VP Finance, Diane Thoren Treasurer

SPOKANE, Wash., May 18 // -- Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA) has named Jason Thackston as vice president, finance for the company. He will retain his responsibilities in the areas of corporate development and investor relations. Thackston has been with Avista for 13 years and has held leadership positions in energy resources, resource accounting and financial planning. Thackston holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitworth University with a major in international studies and business management. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Gonzaga University. Thackston serves on the boards of the YMCA of the Inland Northwest, the Northwest Business Development Association and the Business Development Corporation of Eastern Washington.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040128/SFW031LOGO)

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to move Jason into this position within our company. His experiences in strategic planning, financial management and corporate development are great assets for us," said Avista Corp. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Thies in announcing the appointment. "Jason has demonstrated great strength as a leader and will be a valuable addition to our executive team."

The move comes as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer Ann Wilson announced her intention to leave Avista in the next few weeks to spend more time with her family.

"We want to thank Ann for her 12 years of service to Avista. Her leadership in finance and treasury played an important role in building the financial strength of our company," Thies said. "We wish her the very best as she takes this opportunity to spend more time with her young sons and her husband."

Thies also announced that Diane Thoren has been named treasurer for Avista Corp. Previously Thoren served as assistant treasurer for the company. Thoren joined Avista in 1975 as an accounting analyst. During her tenure with the company, she has held a number of positions in finance in the areas of budgeting, subsidiary accounting and treasury. Thoren holds a Bachelor's degree in accounting from Washington State University and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance from Eastern Washington University. She serves on the board of directors for the Women Helping Women Fund and is a member of the investment committee for the Inland Northwest Community Foundation.

"Diane has extensive experience working with the capital markets and our credit rating agencies, among others," said Thies. "She is well-respected in the financial community. Her depth of knowledge and breadth of experience will bring additional value to our company's financial stability."

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 355,000 electric and 315,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.

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SOURCE: Avista Corp.

Web site: http://www.avistacorp.com/

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