Dan Davenport bikes through midtown Manhattan to get to work. A crush of creativity, passion and desperation, that ride rewards and tests Davenport every day. Not surprisingly, that’s an apt description of Davenport’s life.
Davenport graduated from Greenlee in 1984, and worked at newspapers and the ISU alumni magazine VISIONS before landing a job at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, in 1996. Acting as an in-house agency, MXM produces media for other business and corporation brands nationwide.
Davenport, who now serves as MXM’s executive content director, acts as an editor in chief for such projects as a magazine for Lowe’s or recipe books for Kraft Foods.
Davenport understood the growing presence of the digital realm and hired writers and designers to fill that need, including Greenlee grads. He also added team depth, hiring financial editors for business clients. This has amounted to multiple awards for MXM, including Best Content Agency twice in 2014. Davenport says the roots of his success can be traced back to Greenlee.
When Davenport walked the halls of Hamilton Hall, professors like Bill Kunerth encouraged him to move beyond the superficial and better understand the story’s subject. In a job where you have to write content that ranges from baby formula to macaroni recipes, Davenport says digging is part of the job.
“You have to be able to understand the subject matter as good as your clients or readers, if not better.”
Davenport enjoys memories of working at the Iowa State Daily. A lab to test his skills and knowledge, it showed him the power of cooperation, the same power he harnesses as director. Typing away on his manual typewriter to meet the next deadline, Davenport learned that he could marry his passion for writing and the hard work that comes with it to become the professional he is today.