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ILBA Executive Director Announces Retirement

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July 9, 2024

Cathy Sagle

“Illinois Licensed Beverage Association Announces the Retirement of Executive Director Dr. Daniel D. Clausner”

Dr. Daniel D. Clausner, Executive Director of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association, will retire September 30, 2024 after 40 plus years in the Adult Beverage Industry.  Dan was initially recruited by the E & J Gallo Winery’s Management Development Program in Los Angeles, CA. after completing his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University.  A few of his career positions include: Gallo Division Sales Manager at Romano Brothers Beverage Company, Midwest Division Manager at the E & J Gallo Winery, and General Manager of Mueller Distributing Company.  Dan has advocated for the adult beverage industry as the ILBA’s Executive Director for over seventeen years.  Dr. Clausner played a key role in passing Public Act 0046 in 2015 which brought back “Happy Hour” in Illinois.  Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R) –Savanna stated “As the Executive Director of the ILBA, Dan has been an outstanding advocate for the industry.  His dedication and hard work have made a lasting impact and his presence will surely be missed. He’s been a great friend and I wish him all the best!”  Illinois State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D) – Chicago commented “Dr. Clausner’s illustrious forty-year career in the beverage industry boasts not only a long list of transformational accomplishments, but also was performed with integrity and professionalism. Working with Dan on legislation was a pleasure. I know him as a great mentor and learned a great deal from him. I wish him godspeed on his next adventure!”

Eric Meyer, current ILBA Government Affairs Director and past ILBA President, observed that “Dan has been a tremendous leader and visionary for the ILBA. Dr. Clausner has worked tirelessly to improve the business landscape for our members and the hospitality industry.” John Bodnovich, American Beverage Licensees (ABL), Executive Director, stated: “Dan has distinguished himself as a leader at ABL by always being involved and seeking solutions to challenges faced by bar and tavern owners, as well as the broader retail tier.  Dan has been a reliable and valuable contributor to the ABL Board and the association for 17 years, showing others the welcoming hospitality that our industry is known for. A long-serving member of ABL’s meeting planning and fundraising committee, Dan has also been a staunch advocate for beverage licensees on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., taking numerous meetings with members of the Illinois delegation over the years, and urging them to support policies that will help beverage licensees. But above all, Dan has been a strong voice for ILBA members, always thinking with their interests at heart, while understanding the big picture of our industry.  His friends and colleagues are going to miss his insights and contributions, but are grateful for his hard work, and I am excited for Dan, Renee and their family as he looks forward to his next adventure.”

Since completing his Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) in 2022, Dr. Clausner has been an adjunct instructor at the UIS College of Business and Management.  Upon retiring from the ILBA, Dr. Clausner intends to continue teaching at UIS.  Additionally, Dan plans to relax and spend time with his wife, Renee, while traveling to see their four adult children and their families. An executive search is in place to find a successor for Dr. Clausner.