Title and Organization:
Dan Varner is the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. The organization serves over 10,000 Detroit-area residents every year who are looking for work, including people with significant employment challenges like criminal histories and developmental disabilities. It also runs three business enterprises in which some of its job-seekers are trained and ultimately employed, as a tier one auto supplier, an industrial recycling/asset recovery business, and like most Goodwill's, a retail thrift store business. He is the former Chief Executive Officer at Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of philanthropists, educators, civic organizations, and community-based organizations working to ensure that every Detroit student, cradle to career, receives an excellent education by 2020. Prior to joining Excellent Schools Detroit, Dan worked as a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on both the Michigan and Education & Learning teams. He is also the Co-Founder and former CEO of a Detroit-area nonprofit organization called Think Detroit, which he led through a merger with Detroit PAL, where he continued to serve as CEO until 2010. Detroit PAL is currently the largest provider of award-winning after-school sports programs in Detroit, serving over 13,000 participants annually. Dan serves on numerous boards of directors, including the ACLU of Michigan, Capital Impact Partners, Connect Ed, Detroit PAL, and Develop Detroit. He is also a former member of the Michigan State Board of Education, to which he was appointed by Governor Granholm in 2010. He is an attorney by training, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. Dan is a Fellow of the 9th class of the Pahara-Aspen Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.