Most remember him as a broadcast pioneer from 1971 when he joined Elwood Matthews and the Church of God of Prophecy’s “Voice of Salvation,” which at the time was the longest running religious radio show in the U.S.
Most have heard stories of his early days as an entertainer in the 1960s when he signed a contract with Warner Brothers to produce an album titled “Introducing Stan and Dan,” and who went on to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.
Most recognize him as a key voice in Bradley County government who serves as executive assistant to Mayor D. Gary Davis, and who helped to anchor a vital network of communication between local government, the community and local news media outlets during, and after, the storm crises of April 27, 2011, and March 2, 2012.
And now, all view him as the 11th recipient of the coveted Excellence in Communications Award presented recently by the Cleveland Media Association.
Oh yes, he also has served a stint in the mortgage industry, in a TV repair shop, as a radio DJ, in a music studio, as a local TV morning show host, as an adjunct professor at Lee University and perhaps even a few more trades that have molded a diverse life and shaped an award-winning career.
And of course, but as few realize, he was a part-time clerk in the dairy department at a local Hinky Dinky grocery store in Nebraska as a 16-year-old in the 1950s. This didn’t lead to his latest accolade — the CMA’s top communicator award for 2012 — and then again, maybe it did. As a new high school graduate, he turned down the grocery manager’s offer to lead the dairy department, and he moved to Kansas City, Mo. where he enrolled in broadcasting.
It is here the roots began their growth in his life as a communicator.
We refer, naturally, to Dan Howell whose CMA prize places him in a distinguished group of previous award winners. They include Tom Rowland, 2002; Beecher Hunter, 2003; Corky Whitlock, 2004; Dr. Michael Laney, 2005; Cameron Fisher, 2006; Barry Melton, 2007; Nancy Neal, 2008; George Starr, 2009; Allen Mincey, 2010; and Bob Gault, 2011.
Communications, and mankind’s unique ability to harness its potential, is that which defines humans from all other species on this earth. Its power is mindboggling. Its boundary is limitless. Its outreach is a Godsend that connects all corners of this world and this life, and its merits stretch far beyond the outer perimeters of anyone’s imagination.
Communications is the miracle.
Those who practice it, those who understand its value and those who do it well are the messengers.
Those who devalue the importance of an accomplished communicator are those who are doomed to a future of miscues, mishaps and misfortunes.
Government entities that strive to reach out to their constituents understand.
Corporations worldwide that thrive on connectivity know it as well.
And peace-loving nations whose people rely on timely, accurate and consistent messaging realize it too.
No less is true at the community level and among individuals who put the home in hometown.
Dan Howell has represented himself professionally in all realms of the communications industry for a lifetime and now he stands among the finest in our Cleveland and Bradley County community.
We congratulate this native son on his esteemed honor.
We applaud the Cleveland Media Assocation for another choice well made.