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Learn More About Regional Directors Dana Kelly and Pam King

May 22, 2014

Regional Directors are financial aid experts who live all across the United States and focus on helping schools in their region. They can serve as an invaluable resource to your school. What can Regional Directors provide for you and your colleagues?

  • Expert advice from the #1 default prevention servicer
  • A familiar, approachable face at area conferences
  • Information about any of Nelnet’s loan servicing solutions, both for schools and for borrowers
  • Help with financial aid-related issues
  • Training solutions for your financial aid office

Dana Kelly is Regional Director for the state of North Carolina, as well as a Learning Engineer. Pam King is one of our Midwest Regional Directors, covering Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Here are some fun facts about Dana and Pam:

Dana Kelly, Trainer and Southern Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dana Kelly, Trainer and Southern Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

1. How long have you been with Nelnet?

Dana: Six years.

Pam: Since August 2003.

2. How long have you been in the financial aid industry?

Dana: Forever! 22 years (26 if you count time as a work-study student).

Pam: Since 1992. I started as the one-person switchboard operator for a public 4-year university with over 20,000 students. I had four incoming lines and would juggle callers around those four lines as best I could!  Thankfully, I was promoted into the loan department after a year, and I spent the remainder of my time there processing student loans and counseling students and families. In 1997, I took a client representative position with the Missouri Department of Higher Education/Missouri Student Loan Program, where I spent six years working with colleges, high schools, students and parents in a portion of the state.

3. What do you like most about working for Nelnet?

Dana: The people!  From the Chairman of the Board down, it’s a family.

Pam: Nelnet is the best company I have ever worked for. Their leadership, the mission and core values, the people I work with, the corporate culture, the supportive environment for employee wellness – all of it makes Nelnet a great place to work.

Dana and her daughter, Sloane.

Dana and her daughter, Sloane.

4. What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Regional Director?

Dana: Coming from a school background, my job allows me to remain connected to the school in so many ways. From training to customer service, I am allowed to feel a part of what the school needs are and can be an asset in helping to address those needs.

Pam: I love helping my schools help their students. It’s very rewarding on a personal level to be able to contribute to someone’s future, even if I am helping only indirectly.

Pam King, Midwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Pam King, Midwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

5. What trends are you seeing in financial aid offices?

Dana: The trend in financial aid offices has been and always will be CHANGE! I am amazed at the adaptability of this profession, to roll with punches and celebrate successes. Aid offices are truly responsive to whatever comes their way.

Pam: It saddens me to see the level of burn out and turnover in aid offices today. The aid offices have such a heavy administrative burden now compared to when I worked at a school 22 years ago. The industry has lost a lot of really good knowledgeable people the last three years, and that knowledge and leadership is now lost to us. I’m hopeful that newcomers will make this their career.

6. What are three words that describe you?

Dana: Knowledgeable, responsive, and happy.

Pam: Dependable, detail-oriented, and loyal.

7. What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Dana: I am a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and volunteered for years on a rescue squad. I actually wanted to be a doctor until I had to take Organic Chemistry.

Pam: I was born and raised in the small town I currently live in. I am a lifetime resident here, which is pretty rare these days.

8. What do you like to do in your free time?

Dana: My free time is spent with family and friends. It may be a family gathering or going to the movies…any time spent with those you love is precious and tops  my list of things to do!

Pam: I devote my free time to the cause of animal advocacy and animal rescue. I am involved with numerous animal rescue groups, and most recently, I’m working behind the scenes to change the city ordinance where I live to make the city a no-kill municipal pound. I also enjoy anything outdoors, nature photography, and traveling to states I have never been to.


Pam and one of her favorite foster dogs, Hercules.

9. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?

Dana: I guess Wonder Woman is too obvious, so let’s go with Marge Simpson. Like me she is a mom. She is very well meaning, is often the voice of reason, stays grounded in her principles, and loves those around her.

Pam: Winnie the Pooh. I have loved Winnie the Pooh since I was a child. He’s such a kind and loving bear who could teach the world valuable life lessons. I love Winnie so much, I named one of my dogs Winnie Pooh.


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