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Steve Mister New President of CRN
Steve Mister New President of CRN

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), one of the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade associations, is now under the leadership of a new president and chief executive officer. Steven M. Mister, Esq, officially stepped into that role on April 11, 2005.1

“It is definitely a challenge, but I thrive on challenges,” Mister said about his new position (e-mail, July 8, 2005). “I’m particularly excited about the opportunities ahead for CRN to shape the way consumers view our industry. With the rising cost of healthcare in this country, and the desire of Americans to play an active role in maintaining good health, a growing number of consumers will look to supplements as part of their own self-directed, preventative healthcare regimen. That’s good for everyone—consumers, the healthcare system generally, and dietary supplement manufacturers. I plan for CRN to actively pursue that opportunity.”

Prior to joining CRN, Mister served as director of government affairs at the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations. His previous career experiences include over 10 years at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (the trade association for the nonprescription drug industry). He also spent time as a Washington DC attorney and as a media relations assistant for Charles McCurdy Mathias, Jr., former senator from Maryland (R).1

CRN chairman Chuck Brice, senior vice president of sales and development for Kemin Consumer Care, said the association’s search committee chose Mister because of his “high energy, integrity, and ability to grasp the issues facing our industry and expertly articulate a direction for moving forward the association’s goals.”1

Mister has laid out a four-pronged agenda for CRN, according to Judy Blatman, CRN’s vice president of communications (oral communication, June 2005). “He has made it clear that CRN will continue to have science as a cornerstone of the association,” Blatman said. Mister also plans to focus on what he calls a “consumer-driven culture of wellness,” to strengthen efforts in monitoring and addressing state government issues, and working to strengthen membership, according to Blatman.

“One of my goals is to build our membership base, reaching out to potential new members who might not already have a trade association affiliation,” Mister said (e-mail, July 8, 2005). “I’m a big believer that companies successful in the long term are taking the initiative to drive the direction of the industry—not just their own businesses—and there’s no better way to do that than joining a trade association like CRN, which is developing and executing the industry agenda on so many fronts.”

CRN’s former president, Annette Dickinson, PhD, will continue to work with CRN as a consultant. She is currently serving as the Chair of an advisory panel for the University of Minnesota’s new Center for Dietary Supplement Safety (A. Dickinson, e-mail, June 21, 2005). Dickinson served as CRN president for approximately 2.5 years, out of a 31-year career with CRN.1 She expressed confidence in Mister’s abilities as her replacement at CRN. “I believe Steve Mister is and will be a dynamic and solid leader for CRN and the industry,” Dickinson said. “He is familiar with our issues because of his previous experience at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and he is highly respected by all who have had the opportunity to work with him. He is also experienced in legislative affairs and will strengthen CRN’s capabilities in that area, working hand-in-hand with current staff and the outside legislative counsel. Steve is articulate and decisive, and I have no doubt he will be a strong and successful president of CRN.”

Blatman noted that, immediately after taking office, Mister was called upon to address pressing legislative issues, including the Utah District Court’s April 13 ruling qualifying the ban on ephedra (Ephedra sinica Stapf, Ephedraceae) and ephedrine alkaloid-containing dietary supplements as well as attempts to put DHEA on a controlled substances list (oral communication, June 2005). (Note: DHEA [dehydroepiandrosterone] is a natural hormone precursor produced by the adrenal glands and derived from the roots of the wild yam [Dioscorea spp., Dioscoreaceae].) “It’s been a very busy couple of months for him, and he’s come up to speed very quickly,” Blatman said.


1. CRN Names Steven Mister to Lead Association [press release]. Washington, DC: Council for Responsible Nutrition; March 8, 2005.