Daniel Schwab described his role at MCCC as a puzzle solver with a dedicated mindset.
“Putting things together and figuring out issues as they come up,” is how Schwab explained it.
Suzanne Wetzel agrees with Schwab’s assessment.
“It’s a tremendous skill to have those analytical skills and to be able to look at something and kind of dissect it, and put it back together, so you can then explain it to someone,” Wetzel said.
After working at MCCC for 27 years, Schwab decided to retire July 1 from his position as the college’s top financial officer.
College President Dr. David Nixon said Schwab’s retirement leaves a vacancy in a position that is crucial to the college’s administration; the search for a replacement will begin immediately.
“The role of Controller and Business Manager is critical to any large organization with a multi-million dollar budget,” Nixon said.
“Fortunately, Dan has agreed to help train his replacement,” he said.
Last year, Schwab was promoted to Business Manager and Treasurer, after spending 26 years as College Controller.
“I enjoyed the challenge. I worked with the board more closely than I did before,” Schwab said.
Wetzel and Schwab split the duties of retired Vice President of Business Affairs, Tim Bennett.
Wetzel was okay with sharing the role. She has worked with Schwab for 24 years. In fact, he was one of the first people she came in contact with at MCCC.
“He’s a tremendous colleague and I think we’ve had a very productive and successful working relationship,” Wetzel said.
Schwab’s 26 years as college controller entailed payroll reporting, student accounting, auditing, and budgeting.
Ten years ago, developing the college’s Datatel system and teaching colleagues how to use it was another role that Schwab accepted.
Datatel is MCCC’s financial software package. There are a number of different modules in Data Tel that apply to the general ledger, finances, payroll, billing students and class information.
MCCC payroll clerk Tammy Foster said she though he took on all the roles well.
“I can’t say enough about his patience, his kindness, his leadership, I mean he’s a great supervisor,” Foster said.
Schwab’s has a bachelors degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Toledo. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Right out of school, he accepted a job at a Monroe CPA Firm. While at the firm, he did audits for MCCC, so it was an easy transition to controller.
“I definitely had an understanding of the college’s finances when I first started working here,” Schwab said.
At 55 years old, Schwab has witnessed many changes at MCCC.
“The look of the campus has changed quite a bit,” Schwab said.
Schwab takes pleasure in working for an organization that provides something beneficial to the area.
“I enjoy working in a college environment, providing that service for the community,” Schwab said.
Wetzel described Schwab as “low-key,” and that is as good a word as any.
He is a man of few words, who has a quick wit and humbleness about him.
In May, Schwab decided to retire in July and open a new chapter in his life.
“I enjoyed working here, but looking forward to the options retirement provides,” Schwab said.
Wetzel pointed out that Schwab is smiling more, but his effort has not subsided.
“You couldn’t work any harder than Dan does,” Wetzel said. “Dan is a 24/7 employee of the college, always has been and will be till the last day.”
Nixon agreed with Wetzel’s thoughts on Schwab.
“Dan has a reputation for being a hard worker. He’s never missed a deadline and always performs at the highest level,” Nixon said via e-mail.
Schwab’s first plan after he retires is going on a nature tour in northern California.
Every year he makes it a point to take at least one trip.
He first grew fond of it in college, when he went backpacking with friends.
“I love seeing different parts of the country and I like learning about the natural world,” Schwab said.
He also enjoys seeing animals at their finest, such as witnessing a hawk and falcon fight over a mouse in Churchill, which is located on Hudson Bay in Canada.
With his retirement looming, he has mixed emotions.
“Looking forward to the options that retirement brings,” Schwab said. “Sadness with leaving the colleagues here, (after) working with them on a daily basis.”