Posted: July 22, 2009

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees on Wednesday re-elected David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, as board chair; Ruth Grendahl as vice chair; and Scott Thiss as treasurer. Their one-year terms begin Aug. 1.

“I am pleased and honored to have been elected chair of the system's Board of Trustees for a third year,” Olson said. “We have made substantial progress in the last two years in advancing the system’s goals. I look forward to even more progress in the next year.” Olson, who lives in Minnetonka, has been president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce since 1991.

In addition to his other positions, Olson serves as co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council. Before joining the Minnesota Chamber, Olson was president of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce and served as executive director of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce and held staff positions in economic development, transportation and energy at the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.

Grendahl of Apple Valley, is an owner of RnD Products, a business that markets electrical construction products nationally. From 1991 to 1999, she served as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Service. She has been a member of the Apple Valley City Council since 1997. In 2004, she was appointed chair of the Minnesota Livable Communities Advisory Committee by the Metropolitan Council, and she has served as commissioner, treasurer and finance committee chair of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. Previously, she served on the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Industrial Advisory Board at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Thiss of Edina, is president and chief executive officer for Sailforth, Inc., an Edina holding company, and previously served as president and chief executive officer for S&W Plastics, LLC, in Eden Prairie. Thiss serves on several boards, including Anderson Iron Works and Minnesota Business for Early Learning. In addition, he is a member of the board of Innovance, Inc. and past chair of the boards of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Normandale Community College Foundation.

The Board of Trustees governs the largest system of higher education in the state.