I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1965. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966.

In 1989, Dan founded a company to build and operate a 16-bed group home for developmentally disabled adults in Sullivan, Illinois. That effort became Patterson House and opened in 1991. For the next 2 years, Dan oversaw the day-to-day operations and continued to seek other opportunities for growth. In 1993, Patterson House successfully negotiated the purchase of 3 additional 16-bed homes.

Starting in 1994 as Chief Operating Officer, Dan was responsible for the day-to-day operations which included the welfare and the oversight of 64 residents, direct supervision of the nursing home administrator, and oversight of 60 plus employees.

In addition to serving on several boards and committees, Dan served on the Decatur City Council from 2005 to 2009 and as a Trustee at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois which ended in December 2018.