Duane L. Gardner, a certified life underwriter, will assume duties as president of Continental Western

Life, a subsidiary of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., based in Des Moines, Iowa.Gardner will assume his duties Jan. 1, 1991, succeeding Vinton S. Nutt, who will retire after 24 years of service to Continental Western, according to Jay B. Horrocks, Beneficial Life president and chairman of the board of Continental Western Life.

A vice president and senior marketing officer for Beneficial since 1981, Gardner has been a career agent, an assistant agency manager, an agency manager and has filled other positions.

Gardner has served on the Brigham Young University Alumni Association board of directors, and in 1987 was appointed a member of the BYU Marriott School of Management Alumni board of directors. He has been a member of the board of directors of the National BYU Cougar Club and once served as president.