Welcome to the latest installment in the CBUSA “Meet & Greet” series. This month, we’re turning our spotlight on Dan Higgins, Division Manager for our Southeast region. Dan started his position with CBUSA at the end of October, and so far, he’s enjoying his new role — and the mild weather in his new hometown of Fort Mill, South Carolina!
“When I decided to take the position with CBUSA, my family was pretty excited to find out we’d be relocating to the Charlotte area and leaving the cold, snowy Iowa winters behind,” Dan said happily. “So far, so good!”
The move marks a return to the South for Dan, who was born 200 miles south in the beautiful city of Beaufort on Port Royal Island. His family moved to Iowa during his childhood, where he grew up in the city of Independence. After graduating from high school, Dan was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a BS in civil engineering. After graduation, he began his military career, which includes three deployments to the Middle East for Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, where he was stationed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also trained in Germany and South Korea during his service.
Since leaving active duty in the mid-90’s, Dan has served in the Army Reserve and is currently a Colonel and Commander of the 378th Forward Engineer Support Team - Main (FEST-M), a direct reporting unit of the 416th Theater Engineer Command.
The Army Reserve takes a lot of my free time,” Dan explained. “When I’m not working or with my family, there’s a good chance that I am working on something related to the readiness of my Reserve units. I see that as my “community service” for the past 28+ years.”
Dan continued his education after returning from an active duty deployment, earning an MBA from Rockhurst University and a Masters in Military Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He has enjoyed a successful civilian career working for companies including Dayton Superior, Pella Windows & Doors and Monarch Materials Group. His time at Dayton Superior expanded his world travels to far-away locales including Hong Kong and Jordan.
I’ve gained a strong manufacturing and supplier perspective in my previous roles,” Dan reflected. “Building material manufacturers and suppliers are an integral part of the CBUSA network, so understanding how to leverage their strengths, processes and programs to the benefit of our builder members should benefit the CBUSA team.”
But despite his significant military service and business success, Dan says “raising two awesome kids” — Mackenzie, 21 and Maddie, 8 — with his wife Jen is by far his greatest accomplishment. Rounding out the family are their two dogs Lexi, a Siberian Husky and Ellee, an English Springer Spaniel. When asked if he minded being the only male in the house, Dan joked, “It’s just fine — I get my ‘guy fix’ at CBUSA and in my Army Reserve unit.”
So what drew Dan to CBUSA?
“The mission,” he said. “CBUSA facilitates a unique builder-supplier-manufacturer relationship that benefits all parties while making our builder members more competitive with much larger builders in the same market.”
And what has been the biggest challenge of his new position so far?
“Meeting all of the builder and supplier members in the markets I serve. We have a huge network and it will take time to get to know everyone as well as I would like. Relationships are key in this industry.”
Between his position at CBUSA and his Reserve duties, it’s hard to believe Dan has any free time! But when he does, enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, playing board and card games, doing jigsaw puzzles and trying new restaurants.”
“That and about anything else that an eight-year-old girl likes to do,” Dan quipped.
When he manages to sneak in some time for himself, Dan enjoys snowboarding, hunting game birds, attending college and pro football games and the occasional round of golf. If you ever get the chance to meet him in person, you may want to try stumping him with a trivia question — but don’t be too surprised if you fail!
“It’s my hidden talent,” Dan said slyly. “I have a lot of useless knowledge rolling around in my head.”
You can learn more about Dan by checking out his LinkedIn profile and following him on Twitter. We’ll have another member profile in our Meet & Greet series on the way soon. Until then, see you out in the field!