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President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce dies

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ST. PAUL -- David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, died Wednesday night from a form of cancer.

An email from Bill Blazar, senior vice president of public affairs and business development for the chamber, said Olson was diagnosed in March 2013 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In June, Olson had been told his cancer had gone into remission, Blazar said. 

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A Caringbridge website page said Olson was admitted to the University of Minnesota Hospital on Friday.

Olson served as president of the Minnesota chamber since 1991.

“David’s deep commitment to improving the state’s economy and the lives of Minnesotans  carried throughout his career,” Blazar said in a news release.

The chamber was recognized in 2012 by the Association of State Chamber Professionals with the President’s Award and for having five consecutive years with the highest member retention percentage among state chambers.

The Minnesota chamber represents more than 2,300 Minnesota companies, 130 local chambers and 65 business trade associations.

During his career, Olson worked for several Minnesota chambers, including TwinWest, Burnsville and Greater Minneapolis.

“David was a gentleman in the best sense of the word. He was an excellent leader for, and advocate on behalf of, his members” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.

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