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Faces of Nelnet: Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions (TX, SD, NE, KS, UT, MT, NH, VT, ME, MA)

December 6, 2011


Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dawn Knight:  What is your main focus right now?  I know you’re on some projects for Nelnet; can you give me some insight on those?

Don Buehrer:  I have been developing the structure for the Regional Advisory Councils that Nelnet is in the process of rolling out. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the services we offer borrowers and financial aid professionals; these councils will provide us additional feedback on where our focus should be.

Dawn:  Have you had any memorable moments over the past year work-wise that you’d like to share? 

Don:  I meet some amazing people who work countless hours to make it possible for people to obtain a higher education. I always have memorable moments during my air travels, and most of them were caused by me. And, perhaps the pigeon said it best when I visited the Texas Christian University campus and he deposited his lunch on my suit and head.

Dawn:  What is your favorite work-related iPad app that you can’t live without?

Don:  Considering that I just became proficient using a computer after using one for a zillion years, my iPad experiences do not merit any further discussion.

Dawn:  What do you see as the biggest challenge schools are facing right now?

Don:  Unfortunately, in the financial aid profession, one challenge is always replaced with another one. Whether it be default aversion efforts, cutback on staff and budget, or Gainful Employment regulations, financial aid professionals tackle these challenges head on as they strive to fulfill the dream of individuals to achieve a higher education.

Dawn:  What is your best recent read or CD you’ve purchased?

Don:  Just finished reading The Space Shuttle: Celebrating Thirty Years of NASA’s  First Space Plane. The book discusses the entire fleet of orbiters and their successes and failures. I found the “behind the scene discussion” by astronauts and flight commanders very interesting. And of course, the pictures are beyond works.

Who has been your Work / Life mentor throughout the years and why?

Don:  Most would not want to admit that they were/are my mentors. Clarence Shoemaker, University of South Dakota, certainly inspired my early years in financial aid and taught me to focus on the end result, the student, instead of headaches that are associated with the process. My wife Melissa has “calmed me down over the years” and continues to love me, even when the Yankees and Cowboys lose. And, my 95 year old mother continues to amaze me with her outlook on life, her devotion to her church, family and friends. You would think that her memory would start to forget all of the “bad” things I did when I was younger. That hasn’t happened yet. 

Dawn:  What was the most recent meal you cooked that turned out awful?

Don:  I recently made Mostaccioli with tomato pesto and used three tablespoons of cayenne instead of a third of a teaspoon. I was not wearing my glasses…was way too hot/spicy to eat…we all had to drink wine to cool our mouths…we ran out of wine…a terrible evening.

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

One Comment leave one →
  1. Melet Leafgreen permalink
    December 9, 2011 10:37 am

    I paid that bird to poop on you.

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