Minnesota Chamber of Commerce picks Loon as new president

Published 9:40 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s new president comes from the group’s national arm but has extensive ties to the state’s business and political scenes.



Doug Loon, currently an executive with the U.S. Chamber, will take over the top job at the state business lobby in September. The Star Tribune reported Loon’s selection on Monday to fill the vacancy left by David Olson, who died last year.

The selection was welcomed by many business leaders including Joe Swedberg, a former Minnesota Chamber Board chair, and Sandy Forstner, executive director of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.

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“The Minnesota Chamber understands the need for a vibrant, statewide economy,” Forstner and Swedberg wrote in a statement. “They are a valuable partner in ensuring that our concerns are heard and addressed at the Capitol. Doug brings a similar perspective and record of success from his work with the U.S. Chamber. Our partnership will grow under his leadership.”

Loon has been based in Minnesota since 1998 and is married to Republican state Rep. Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie.

He told the newspaper he plans to tour the state upon taking over to assemble a 2016 legislative agenda.



The chamber represents more than 2,300 companies across the state.

Loon will resign his post as the U.S. Chamber’s vice president for regional affairs and advocacy for the Midwest Region and assume his new role on Sept. 8.

Bill Blazar, who served as interim president and did not apply for the president position, will guide Loon through the transition while returning to his previous role as senior vice president of public affairs and business development.

At the U.S. Chamber, Loon manages the national chamber’s seven regional offices that provide political and grassroots outreach across the nation.  In addition, he manages the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest Region that includes Minnesota. Previously, he served as the U.S. Chamber’s director of Congressional and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., legislative director in the U.S. Senate, and as acting director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is married to Minnesota State Rep. Jenifer Loon, a Republican, and lives in Eden Prairie.

Associated Press and Austin Daily Herald