Meet Dave Dillard, our newest Engagement Specialist

The weather is changing around Presence’s St. Petersburg, Florida headquarters.

Today, the temperature is all the way down to 60 degrees. (Hold for pained gasps from everyone not living in Florida) Yet, despite this frigid cold that we must bravely suffer through, our office environment is feeling warm and vibrant today.

And that’s not only because we’re nice and full from Thanksgiving; we’re also pumped to be welcoming a brand-new sales teammate: Dave Dillard.

Dave is no stranger to the world of higher education, having worked at Washington University in St. Louis, American University, The University of Dayton, and most recently, the University of California Berkeley. He adores technology and like the rest of us, understands its power to enhance both the student experience and student affairs professionals’ everyday lives.

So, without further adieu, let’s get to know Dave in his own words. (Spoiler alert: His hiring means we’re also gaining two new office dogs!)

David Dillard smiling next to his wife

Dave and his wife, Morgan

1. What lead you to Presence?

Simply put — the people, product, and culture. After spending time with the team, it is clear that they are motivated to drive results for their clients, passionate about the work they are doing, and prioritize quality over quantity. Those are the people I want to surround myself with. The actual product is phenomenal and proving to be a true game-changer for universities. Having the opportunity to stay in the education realm and collaborate with a top-tier group is something I wasn’t willing to pass up. 

2. How do you see this position fitting into your future career? 

This role will allow me to build on an existing foundation, helping universities reach their longterm goals and better steward the educational experience for their students. I am greatly looking forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with a diverse group of university partners and continuing on my path of elevating student outcomes.

3. Where did you attend school? What was your major(s)? Were you involved with any co-curricular or extracurricular activities?

My undergraduate degree in wellness studies was earned from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There, I was elected to be a student senator, president of my fraternity, as well as chairman of other committees. 

My graduate degree in public health (MPH) was earned from The George Washington University. During my time there, I was able to assist in data mining and analytics to help a regional water department foresee and prevent future water quality issues. 

4. Why are you excited to be a part of the Presence team?

I’ve spent the majority of my career in student- and university-facing roles to help drive outcomes. Presence is on the cutting edge of a fairly limited environment right now; this will not be the case in 3 years. It is an amazing company with an amazing team and a clear vision. I’m very excited to contribute to an organization with such a strong foundation and outlook for the future. 

5. What do you like to do outside of work? 

My wife and I can’t get enough of our two dogs, Penny and Kaia. When we aren’t spending on the beach or at community events, you can find us playing with the pups! 

David holding a certificate of achievement form PetSmart next to his smiling dog

Dave (left) is officially a good boy!

6. What is something you’ve always wanted to try? What are some goals you have in the future you’d like to accomplish? Why?

I am very enthusiastic about non-profit work. My wife and I recently moved to the area and we’ve gone to more fundraising events than anything else. We love to give back and help causes that resonate with us. For some time now, I’ve wanted to create my own non-profit to help underserved populations. In the coming year, I would like to launch my non-profit.

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Jodi Tandet

About the author: Jodi Tandet loves writing about the magic of campus life as the Lead Storyteller at Presence. She's also passionate about baking, mental health advocacy, her Presence teammates' dogs, and her ever-growing podcast collection. Learn how we can help get your students involved.

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