The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Marathon leader keeps cool

The Daily Iowan
The total amount of money raised is reveled during the final hour of the Big Event in the Iowa Memorial Union on Feb. 7, 2015. The goal for Dance Marathon this year was two million dollars.This is Dance Marathon’s 21st Big Event at UI.

Dan Kolb drinks three cups of coffee a day to keep energized.

As the Dance Marathon Big Event approaches, Kolb, Dance Marathon’s executive director, has to find some way to stay alert and lead the largest student organization at the University of Iowa.

A four-year veteran of Dance Marathon, Kolb said his dedication for the cause has been amplified because of the effect the kids have made on his life.

“It’s not the impact I’ve made on the kiddos, it’s the impact these kids have made on me,” he said. “They make me want to be a better person; they make me want to give more.”

Emily Miller, the Dance Marathon executive business director, said Kolb is an invigorating motivator at meetings and encourages the staff to always remember the ultimate goal.

“He constantly reminds us to ask ourselves if the decisions we’re making are best for our families and organization,” she said. “I think he’s really good at seeing things big picture and being able to bring a kind of different perspective to everything that we do.”

His care for people isn’t reserved for just the families and kids which money is being raised for but also his fellow staff members, said Sara Petersen, the Dance Marathon hospital director.

“He comes to all of our individual things,” she said. “Dan, who has the most going on, always is at whatever event we hold.”

Kolb is a strong and organized leader, but he also knows how to have fun, Family Relations Director Morgan Kennedy said.

“He knows how to get work done and lead a meeting, but he likes to have fun at the same time,” she said. “He’s always saying something funny or doing something funny.”

One example Kennedy gave of Kolb’s lighthearted style of leadership was during an event called $100 Day. Challenging the Dance Marathon Executive Council to raise $4,000 in 24 hours, Kolb promised to paint his nails lime green for their lunch with UI President Bruce Harreld as an incentive.

They ended up raising $4,213 and had an interesting lunch the next day, Kennedy said.

“He wasn’t supposed to say anything about it to the president, but he awkwardly did anyway,” she said.

Kolb said though time in Dance Marathon has brought many memories, one he will never forget happened at last year’s Big Event, when a fire alarm went off.

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