Nov 10, 2023 Dan Hervey presented with 2023 President’s Award
The President’s Award winner is selected by the past presidents of the McPherson Chamber to recognize an individual for their valuable contribution and long-term impact on the McPherson business community. Dan Hervey was presented with the 2023 President’s Award during the McPherson Chamber annual meeting on November 8.
Dan Hervey and his identical twin brother Don were the youngest of 7 children growing up in Topeka. He comes from a family rich in military history where the men have always served, and Dan became a Navy Corpsman with special training in eye, ear, nose, and throat working in clinics and the operating rooms. Classmates were being drafted for the Vietnam War, but Don got a deferment until he graduated from Washburn University then he followed Dan in the Navy and trained South Vietnamese sailors “river patrol boat operations” in Saigon. Dan earned his BS Degree from Kansas State University following his return from the service.
Dan was recruited to teach in Hutchinson and became the youngest member of the first teacher negotiation team. During this time, he was taking graduate courses at Wichita State University and had joined the Big Brother organization. By this time Dan was married to his high school sweetheart, Sue and their daughter Sheila had been born.
In 1977 Dan became the President and General Manager of McPherson Iron and Metal on the site of 2 other well-known Chamber members, John Casebeer and Gene Copeland. Bob Harder was President that year and welcomed Dan to the Chamber with his 1st Dollar Profit plaque. For the next 40 plus years Dan would take an active part in the Chamber.
During the next ten years several long-term events began. In 1978 he helped Mark Trent establish a Big Brother/Big Sister program through the YMCA. Dan and his Little Brother, Michael became the first “official match.” About 1980 he was asked to serve on the board of Young People for Christ which operated a Christian Book Store and during his tenure purchased the building at 118 S. Main and opened a “teen center.”
In 1992 Dan had been an independent life and health insurance agent for several years and was asked by Peoples Bank and Trust to get his securities licenses and take over the independent office of Investment Centers of America, Inc. He continued his education while working and earned the professional designation of “Certified Financial Planner”. During his 26 years with the Investment Center, he managed his client’s investment assets.
As you can tell, several activities overlap here, or Dan would be over 200 years old. He spent 18 years in the Noon Kiwanis Club known for their annual “pancake feed” and “Christmas Food Baskets”. He served as Scholarship Chairman many years, Club Secretary and Club President.
In 2000 a group of veterans decided to bring a replica of the Vietnam Wall to McPherson and Dan was tasked with raising over $20,000 for the project. As a wrap up of that group endeavor, Dan was selected as Chairman of the new McPherson Area Veterans Committee with the mission of planning Memorial Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies. During the next 20 plus years he brought in speakers such as Channel 12 personality, Larry Hattiburg; Colonel Roger Locher, a K-State graduate shot down over North Vietnam who spent 22 days in the jungle before being extracted; and Colonel Bill Talley, shot down over North Vietnam, captured and was a “Prisoner of War” at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”.
Dan has been an active member of the McPherson American Legion Post for over 39 years. During that time, he served a lot of hamburgers at Family Night raising money for local non-profit organizations, helps with Toys for Kids, a Christmas project coordinated with the Resource Council, a Charter member of the Legion Riders, serves as Legion Advisor to the Sons of the American Legion, Treasure of the Riders, Sons, and McPherson Area Veterans. For the past 12 years he was Adjutant handling membership, serves on the Board of Directors and is the current Post Commander.
There are three other things about Dan that most people don’t know yet says a lot about the man. He has taught adult Sunday School classes part time over the past 20 years. Second, he joined the Legion “Honor Guard” team in 2002 and has participated in providing “Military Honors” for over 400 veterans. The third thing is he has helped veterans with their VA benefits, taking them to appointments in Hutchinson, Salina, and Wichita and in one case was the primary contact person when children lived out of state.
Dan Hervey has been a Chamber member since 1977 and still chairs the Civic Awareness Committee. He reflected on his journey through the years which has included his getting Big Brothers started in our community and his involvement with the McPherson American Legion. He said, “If I had to pick a couple of things and I asked myself – ‘Did I make a difference?’ I’d have to pick the Big Brothers and Veterans.’” Dan has certainly had a big impact on the community of McPherson. He closed by saying, “I’m going to leave you with these parting words – If you’re going to be a member of something then take an active part.” Congratulations Dan!