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Faces of Nelnet: Dan Dreves, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions (MA, NH, VT, RI, ME)

February 15, 2012

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dawn: Welcome to our team!  So, tell me, what states will you be covering and when did you start exactly? 

Dan:  I am so happy to have joined the Nelnet team. I started on December 27, 2011 and cover the Northeast region, specifically Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine. This is exciting, as I am very familiar with the region and the schools we support.

Dawn: The coolest thing about your work experience is____________.

Dan:  I’ve actually walked in the shoes of student services professionals.  Well, not literally, but I do have over 20 years experience working directly in student affairs on college and university campuses.   In addition, I have had the opportunity to work in New England for a guarantor who supported financial aid offices throughout the country.  I love higher education and enjoy being a part of helping students realize their educational dreams.

Dawn: The nerdiest thing about your work experience is_____________.

Dan: My wife’s father calls me a computer geek.  I’m not sure if this is a compliment or not. I embrace new technology.  If it is out there, I probably have it.  While working in student services in financial aid and residential life & housing, I implemented electronic processes and enhanced our commitment to effectively utilize the latest technology. I don’t think I have ever actually been called a nerd though.

Dawn: Dan = Nerd!  Now you can say that someone called you a nerd, Dan!  J

Dawn: If a school client asked you why you wanted to be on the Partner Solutions team, what would you say? 

Dan:   I have worked very closely with Nelnet in the past and have always had a high respect for Nelnet’s products, services, and their team. Joining Partner Solutions is a great opportunity to utilize my higher ed campus background and my experience supporting campus partners.  I understand many of the issues that campus professionals experience. The added bonus was the opportunity to work closely again with Anne Del Plato and Kimber Decker!

Dawn: Please don’t compliment Anne or Kimber – it goes right to their heads!  You can compliment me though, I am humble like that.

Dawn: What super fun thing are you looking forward to in 2012 – other than working with our team, of course!?

Dan: Attending the Kentucky Derby in May.  It is an incredible experience and should be added to everyone’s “Bucket List”. The Derby holds a special significance for me, as my grandfather, Charles Hatton, a former writer for the NY Racing Form, coined the phrase “Triple Crown” for the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, & Preakness horse race winner.

Dawn: What is something most people don’t know about you?

Dan: Well, I love archeology and the outdoors.  I have traveled to 50 countries and have had some incredible experiences.  Most of my travels weren’t the ordinary vacations, but rather serious adventures – including hiking the rainforests of Northern Queensland Australia, exploring remote regions of Mexico, boating up the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, and exploring the Newgrange Tomb in Ireland.  I opt to take the road less traveled.

Dawn: What has been your favorite place you’ve visited?

Dan: This is difficult to answer but maybe Whitianga, New Zealand. It is absolutely beautiful there and the people are wonderful. It is on the Coromandel Peninsula of NZ. I explored caves looking for glow worms, fished the long line out on Mercury Bay, and formed some incredible friendships with the locals. I love that place!

Dawn: What was your very first job?

Dan:  While in college, I worked at Colorado State University’s Pingree Park Mountain Campus.   It was a conference center, as well as a field site for the university’s natural resources department.  What an incredible experience this was! I worked there for five years and loved it.   Located at 9000 feet in elevation, it is surrounded by beautiful mountains, streams, and abundant wildlife. The campus is managed by CSU’s housing department and was the impetus that led me to work in higher education, setting the foundation for my entire career.

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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