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ClearWay Minnesota(SM) Board Approves New Officers

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Today ClearWay Minnesota's Board of Directors approved new officers, introduced new Board Members and thanked outgoing members for their service to the organization. David Fisher, Principal of law firm The General Counsel, Ltd., was elected as the new Board Chair. The full roster of Board Officers elected today includes:

  • David Fisher, Board Chair - An attorney and businessman specializing in board/management governance, business transactions, risk management and government relations, Fisher previously served as Minnesota Commissioner of Administration and Technology. He will serve a two-year term as Board Chair.
  • Vernae Hasbargen, Vice Chair - Hasbargen is the former Director of Legislative Action for the Minnesota Rural Education Association. She will serve a one-year term as Vice Chair.
  • Dr. Ivan Dusek, Secretary - Dusek, a former college educator, actor and director, has served on numerous committees, task forces and the Board of Trustees for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. He will serve his second one-year term as Secretary.
  • Jim Deal, Treasurer - Deal is the Chairman of NAU Country Insurance Company, Lightyear NAU Acquisition Company and NAU Holding Company. He will serve a one-year term as Treasurer.

Fisher replaces M. Patricia Hoven, who served as Chair for the past year. Under her leadership, ClearWay Minnesota marked its 10th anniversary and embarked on an ambitious planning process to create a vision for the organization's future.

"During Pat Hoven's tenure as ClearWay Minnesota Board Chair, Minnesota saw its adult smoking rate reach a historic low of 17 percent," said Fisher. "I look forward to building upon that momentum as we strive to further reduce the devastating human and financial impact of tobacco on the lives of both smoking and nonsmoking Minnesotans."

Departing Board Members include Hoven, Gary Eckenberg, Senator Nancy Brataas and Colleen Aho. "I would like to extend our deepest thanks to Pat, Gary, Nancy and Colleen for their collective years of service on the Board and to Minnesota," Fisher said. "Each contributed their time and significant talents toward making Minnesota a healthier place to live and work."

The September 16 Board Meeting also saw the introduction of two new Board Members that were approved by the Board on July 15:

  • Jenny Peterson - Peterson is the Program Development Director for Generations Health Care Initiatives, a foundation located in Duluth. Peterson was elected as an at-large Board Member, and her three-year term begins on September 29, 2009.
  • Cynthia Bemis Abrams - Abrams is a public relations and marketing professional. Abrams was elected as an at-large member of the Board; her three-year term will also begin on September 29, 2009.

About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN(R) stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.

For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
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