As a teenager in Tampa, Dan managed a family-owned barbeque restaurant where he learned how to deal with customers, employees, and vendors. He also learned that with any independent business, customers believe prices are too high, employees believe they are underpaid, vendors don’t give large discounts, the community constantly asks for donations, and taxes and fees are part of the budget.
He studied languages at Wittenberg, a small Lutheran college in Ohio, where he met his wife in Russian class. They lived in Cleveland during its economic renaissance in the 1990s where he worked as editor of reference books at a publications development company. He produced the Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, an anthropological reference profiling 500 different ethnic groups, directed two revisions of the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States and the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, and wrote Statistics on Alcohol, Drug & Tobacco Use (1995), Statistics on Weapons & Violence (1996), and Statistics on Crime & Punishment (1996). Shoveling snow off the rooftop once too often, he decided to move his growing family back to Florida. Memories of the Sunshine State’s warmth and its rapid development in the 1980s enticed him to finish a M.S. in Urban Studies at Cleveland State University, focusing on urban economic development. An offhand remark from an outgoing grad motivated him to take extra classes and now he has over 25 years in GIS and data management experience. Dan also has AICP certification in urban planning.
While working for the State of Florida’s land planning agency in Tallahassee, he reviewed comprehensive plan amendments from dozens of local governments for compliance with Florida law, and served as expert witness on comprehensive planning in a difficult administrative hearing. He conducted Comprehensive Plan amendment reviews for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department for several years, presenting proposals to commissions and citizens. Fondness for data, statistics, and GIS transformed his role into one of assembling and preparing research on economic, demographic, and social topics affecting land planning.
Today, instead of meat and vegetables, sauce and seasoning, Dan uses statistics and GIS to prepare and combine various data ingredients into purposeful and consequential understanding for our clients and local government. Dan’s favorite part of living in Tallahassee is that it has the urban fabric of the city while preserving the community spirit of the small town.