- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 15, 2009

Donald A. “Dan” Danner, the executive vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business, will become the next president and CEO of the lobbying group, the nation’s leading small business trade association, the organization’s board chairman announced Thursday.

He will replace Todd A. Stottlemyer, who will return to private business Feb. 1, Chairman Tim Clayton said in a statement.

“It feels fantastic,” Mr. Danner told The Washington Times of his appointment. “I am truly honored and humbled. I’m passionate about the organization, so I’m really looking forward to this.”

As the group’s chief lobbyist, Mr. Danner supervises NFIB’s public policy and political activities.

The job changes were a surprise. Mr. Stottlemyer has barely been on the job for three years, a very short tenure for the head of a major trade association. Mr. Danner was the primary inside candidate to become CEO when Mr. Stottlemyer, a local Virginia business executive, was chosen.

Mr. Stottlemyer had been pushing the organization, long a Republican bastion, in a more bipartisan direction. Other trade association leaders in town report that much of the NFIB staff was not happy that Mr. Stottlemyer was moving in such a nontraditional direction.

Whatever the cause of the job change, NFIB’s leaders say they are thrilled to have the well-regarded Mr. Danner, a Republican, at the helm.

“We are very fortunate to have someone within the organization who can immediately step in and continue to leverage the hard-earned reputation of NFIB as the voice of small business,” Mr. Clayton said.

Mr. Danner started in 1993 as vice president of the NFIB Education Foundation and was appointed vice president of federal public policy — the group’s chief lobbyist — in 1995.

He previously served as chief of staff to Commerce Secretary William C. Verity during the second term of President Reagan and before that worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison, where he was special assistant to Mr. Reagan and deputy director of the department.

The NFIB, founded in 1943, represents small businesses and has offices in the capitals of all 50 states as well as in Washington.

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