Dana Nelson has a background in marketing and sales and for the past 20 years has focused on independent work in the banking industry, as well as volunteer work in various capacities. She has volunteered with several arts groups and served as co-chair of the Kansas City CowParade in 2001. It was during that time that she came to realize how art in a public space can inspire and uplift people.
Dana's interest in K-State Olathe also comes through family connections to the university. Her husband, Doug Nelson, is a K-State graduate and daughter Allison is a first year student in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine. Allison's plans for a career in global health helped spark Dana's interest in the animal health and food safety focus at K-State Olathe. Dana's parents, Joyce and H.D. (Joe) Hale, helped fund renovations to Hale Library on K-State's main campus in Manhattan.
Dana grew up in Salina, Kan., and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's in business administration both from the University of Kansas. She and Doug have two other daughters: Hayley, who is a senior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and Kristen, who is a sophomore at Emory University in Atlanta.