After a nationwide search, the state's largest business lobbying group has found a new president in its own backyard – in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that Doug Loon, a leader with serious credentials on the national political and business stages, will step into the role left vacant when President David Olson died of cancer last July.
Handing over the reins is Interim President Bill Blazer, who the organization says did not apply for the full-time role.
Blazer will "guide Loon through the transition" as he returns to his previous position as the chamber's senior vice president of public affairs and business development.
Loon, the husband of Republican State Rep. Jenifer Loon, currently serves as a vice president to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce overseeing its Midwestern region, including Minnesota, the announcement says. He joined the national group in 1995.
“Through his work at the U.S. Chamber, Doug knows our mission intimately,” said Jan Kruchoski, chair of the Minnesota Chamber Board of Directors. “His pro-business advocacy experience at the regional public policy level is immediately transferable to the state level.”
Previously, Loon was a staff member to U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler of South Dakota, and later, the legislative director for U.S. Sen. Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania, according to the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.
The Minnesota Chamber says it hired an independent firm to conduct a nationwide search for Olson's replacement.
The group represents more than 2,300 companies across Minnesota.