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9 Things You Should Know About Regional Directors Raina Chezem and Dan Dreves

June 18, 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


Raina Chezem, Midwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Raina Chezem, Midwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Raina Chezem is a Regional Director in the MASFAA region. She helps schools in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio. Regional Director Dan Dreves serves schools in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. We asked Raina and Dan a few questions so you can get to know them better:

1. How long have you been with Nelnet?

Raina: 18 1/2 years (counting the EFS acquisition).

Dan: 2 ½ years.

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

Raina: 22 1/2 years.

Dan: I have worked in higher education for over 30 years. I spent over 20 years working in student services on college and university campuses, including financial aid, residential life and housing, recruitment, etc.

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dan Dreves, Northeast Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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

Raina: The people who work here are fantastic. They care about what they are doing and want to help borrowers and schools.

Dan: The opportunity to interface with campuses and provide them with some excellent resources.

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

Raina: Meeting and getting to know so many people who have the same goal of helping students succeed…it takes a village!

Dan: Serving as a resource for campuses and like anyone, receiving positive feedback/appreciation from a school with whom you have worked.

photo5. What trends are you seeing in financial aid offices?

Raina: Aside from the constant changes in financial aid, schools have become more engaged in financial literacy and default prevention than they have been in the past.

Dan: As more and more regulations and changes are implemented, campuses are faced with the challenge of meeting expectations with limited staffing and resources. In addition, social media and technology are now pretty common words in a financial aid office. Paper will probably be a thing of the past soon in financial aid offices, if it isn’t already.

6. What are three words that describe you?

Raina: Dedicated, easy-going, and caring.

Dan: Life is good.

raina7. What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Raina: I was adopted to the US when I was 5 years old. I didn’t become an official US citizen until I was 12 years old.

Dan: That I spent over 25 years exploring remote deserts, mountains, wildernesses, including old ghost towns and mining camps. At one time, I even had a mining claim.

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

Raina: Sleep, workout, and spend time with my husband and three “growing-up-too-fast” children.

Dan: Boating, laughing, exploring, traveling, and archaeology.

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

Raina: I loved watching Casper the Friendly Ghost when I was young, I think because it taught me not to be afraid of different things/people.

Dan: Are you kidding me…

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