Dan Buckenmeyer
"Aim high, land high." - C. F. Todd

Dan Buckenmeyer

Director | Economic Development

Meet Dan

What I Do at Southwest Michigan First

I have an insatiable desire to help companies launch, succeed, and grow, and I don’t believe there’s a better place for entrepreneurs and businesses to do all of those things than Southwest Michigan. In my role as an economic development director at Southwest Michigan First, I work to assist in the retention and growth of firms across the region and contribute to business attraction and other economic development opportunities and objectives.

Why I Love Working at Southwest Michigan First

Southwest Michigan First serves my home region, and having refined my economic development skills in a neighboring state for the past several years, it was time for me to garden where I live. When it came to selecting an organization and team to work with, there was no question. Southwest Michigan First’s leadership and team are highly respected across the region, the nation, and the entire economic development landscape. It’s my honor to work among these superstars.

My Favorite Thing(s) About Living Here Are…

West-coast sunsets over Lake Michigan, amazing outdoor activities, fantastic breweries and restaurants, camping and beaching in the summer, hunting in the fall, skiing in the winter. There’s fun in every season — except for the lawn mowing, leaf blowing, and snow shoveling:)

When I’m Not at Work, You’ll Find Me…

Following my kid’s sporting events, spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, and enjoying all of the amazing creations from the makers, craftspeople, brewers, vintners, distillers, and chefs across Southwest Michigan.

My Alma Mater and Certifications

  • International Economic Development Council, Certified Economic Developer (CEcD)
  • International Economic Development Council, Certified Entrepreneurship Development Professional (EDP)
  • Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute, Certificate in Economic Development
  • Michigan Economic Developer’s Association/IEDC, Economic Development Basic Course
  • University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, MBA
  • KU Leuven, Belgium, Master International Business Economics (MIBE)
  • DePaul University, B.A.
  • Lilly School of Philanthropy, Indiana University, Certificate in Fundraising Management
  • University of Notre Dame, Certificate in Nonprofit Management

A Few Things About Me

As a Child, I Wanted to be: Radio DJ
Favorite Condiment: Garlic Tabasco
Favorite Holiday: Festivus
Favorite TV Binge Watch: Band of Brothers
Dream Car: 1996-1998 Porsche 911 (993) Carrera 4S