Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson dies


The longtime president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce died Wednesday night.

David Olson, 57, who served as president of the Chamber since 1991, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in March 2013, according to a statement from the Chamber.

Olson appeared to be in full remission after receiving a successful stem cell transplant this spring, but was hospitalized over the weekend because his lymphoma had returned, his family wrote on his CaringBridge page. He had also developed infections, mono and kidney failure, his family said.

He died "peacefully surrounded by family members and very close friends" shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, his family wrote.

Funeral arrangements haven't been announced.

While serving as president of the chamber, which is a lobbying force for business at the state Capitol, Olson accomplished many things for businesses in Minnesota, including: reforming workers' compensation, campaigning to increase transportation funding and successfully repealing the sales tax on business-to-business transactions in Minnesota, chamber officials said.

"David's deep commitment to improving the state's economy and the lives of Minnesotans carried throughout his career," Bill Blazar, the senior vice president of public affairs and business development at the Minnesota Chamber, said in a news release. "He loved our state. He worked every day to make it better and loved being engaged in anything and everything that would make our economy stronger."

Gov. Mark Dayton called Olson a gentleman and an excellent advocate for the 2,300-plus businesses the chamber represents, the Associated Press reports.

Lawmakers and people who knew Olson took to Twitter to share their condolences.

Olson graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis. He earned a bachelor's degree in urban/political science from St. Olaf College in Northfield and a Master of Science in public administration from Mankato State University, according to his biography on the chamber's website.

Olson has held leadership positions with the TwinWest Chamber, as well as chambers in Minneapolis and Burnsville. He's also been on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers, is a former member of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association Board of Directors and served on Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, according to the chamber and the Star Tribune.

Next Up

Eddie Rosario

Report: Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The outfielder's time with the team appears to be coming to an end.

radio station, microphone

Christian music broadcaster revealed as buyers of Go Radio

Educational Media Foundation. operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.


Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.