Dan Wyant named to SMC boardPublished 8:39am Wednesday, September 9, 2009
At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Board of Trustees of Southwestern Michigan College appointed Dan Wyant, president and chief operating officer of the Edward Lowe Foundation, to the college board.
Wyant will fill the unexpired term of Carole Tate, who recently resigned from the board.
Dr. Fred L. Mathews, chairman of the SMC Board of Trustees, said, “The Board of Trustees of Southwestern Michigan College is very excited and pleased that Dan Wyant has agreed to serve as a member of the board.
“One of the major reasons Southwestern Michigan College has developed into one of the nation’s premier community colleges has been the college’s ability to attract and keep dedicated, talented and capable people on its Board of Trustees.
“Dan Wyant has an exceptional resume. As a native of Cass County who left for a career in business and government following his college education, Dan has a perspective which is local, statewide and national in scope.
“I know of no one who would be a greater asset to the Board of Trustees and Southwestern Michigan College than Dan Wyant.”
As president and COO, Wyant oversees strategic direction for the Edward Lowe Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship and helps second-stage business owners accelerate growth for their companies.
Wyant joined the foundation in a full-time capacity in 2005 and has served on the foundation’s board of trustees since 1998.
Wyant has a diverse background in both the public and private sectors.
Previously, he directed the Michigan Department of Agriculture, a position he held for nine years under the administrations of two governors.
Under Wyant’s leadership, MDA pioneered many nationally-recognized economic development and environmental stewardship programs, which diversified and added value to Michigan’s agricultural economy.
Prior to directing MDA, Wyant provided policy expertise for the Senate Majority Office and was associate director of Gov. John Engler’s Office of Legislative Affairs.
Wyant began his career in the private sector as a marketing manager for the Ralston Purina Co., then served as an export trade consultant for Lowe’s International.
During his tenure at MDA, Wyant was appointed to the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council, a bipartisan task force that developed innovative programs for land use and farmland preservation.
Wyant continues to leverage his conservation background at the Edward Lowe Foundation, which has a secondary mission of land stewardship.
In fact, Big Rock Valley, the organization’s 2,600-acre campus in Penn Township, not only serves as a site for leadership retreats but also functions as a living laboratory for researchers and a model for best practices of land use.
Dan is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy Michigan Chapter and serves as its chairman of the Policy Committee.
Within the philanthropic community, Wyant has served as a board member of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) since 2004.
An association of foundations, CMF is one of the strongest organizations of its kind in the country with members including the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge foundations.
Wyant has made it a priority to be involved in the local community upon returning to his hometown of Cassopolis.
Dan currently serves on a number of boards within Cass County. Wyant serves on the SMC Foundation Board and has been on the Southwestern Michigan College Business Department Advisory Board.
Wyant is a member of the Cass County Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors. He is on the board of the Cass County Farm Bureau. Dan is also a member of the Gateway Community Foundation Board of Directors.
Wyant’s roots run deep in Cass County. Dan graduated from Cassopolis High School. Wyant was a member of both the 4-H and FFA and he exhibited annually at the Cass County Fair as a youth.
Wyant holds a bachelor’s degree in food systems management from Michigan State University and a master’s in business administration from American University in Washington, D.C.
He and his wife Kathy have two children, Monica and Jordan.