During the monotony and boredom of a long return trip from Springfield, Missouri on a college visit for my middle daughter Sophie, this exit sign caught my eye. Exit 72 on Interstate 29.
It made me think of someone who I have a great deal of admiration for; a man who has been an integral part of the success of POET.
You see, exit 72, just north of Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the exit ramp for a small hamlet that shares the same name as POET CFO, Dan Loveland.
A couple of months ago, Dan, the only CFO in POET’s history, announced that he was going to retire this spring. Like most people at POET who have had the opportunity to work with Dan, we’re happy and excited for Dan and his wife Kathy as they start this new stage in their lives. But we’re also very sad to see Dan leave. As POET Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Broin was quoted in an earlier VITAL issue, “it’s people like Dan Loveland who have gotten this company where it is today.”
Everyone who knows Dan would wholeheartedly agree!
I haven’t ever taken exit 72 and checked out Loveland, Iowa, but I have had the blessing of working with Dan for the past 8 years. During this time, I’ve been able to get a glimpse of all that Dan does for the organization. Now, keep in mind I’m in Communications, so most of what Dan does goes way, way over my head. But I do know that managing all the financial affairs for a multi-billion dollar organization made up of over forty companies is a big, big job.
Dan is a tireless worker who handles every challenge thrown his way. On most days, Dan is one of the first at the office in the morning and one of the last to leave each night. And Dan breaks the stereotypes held for “bean counters” as he is an inspirational leader and loves to make things fun. And most importantly, Dan’s integrity is beyond reproach.
A few weeks ago, I made the comment to a colleague that “Dan’s shoes would be difficult to fill.” The response I got was, “Dan’s shoes will be IMPOSSIBLE to fill.” My colleague was right.
Dan, if you’re still reading VITAL in your retirement, I want to express my gratitude for all you’ve done. So many people, including myself, wouldn’t have the opportunities we have without you. I wish you and Kathy the best in this new journey.
And now, on your next road trip, I hope you’ll take the time to check out your namesake at exit #72.