Dan & Keylee Brown, '09
Dan and Keylee Brown first met each other on the drill field during an intramural football game in the fall of 2005. Dan was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and sophomore in Delta Company. Keylee was a Dahlonega local and a freshman in the first year of the Women’s Leadership Community in Donavan Dormitory. During their time at North Georgia both served 4 years in the Student Government Association (SGA). Keylee served as the Vice President of the SGA for a year and Dan served 2 years as Treasurer of the SGA where he helped develop the financial plan for the Recreation Center bringing its proposal for funding to a vote before SGA. The rock wall in the gym was an idea he mentioned in one of those meetings! They were both active in Greek life; Dan is a Pi Kappa Alpha and Keylee a Kappa Delta. Dan served as the Vice President and President of the Inter Fraternal Council. They were married at Dahlonega United Methodist Church in the spring of 2008. In 2009 Dan was selected to be one of the business school’s first interns to work with the Lumpkin County Development Authority and Civitium to write the financials for a business plan/ grant that would eventually become the North Georgia Network (NGN). They both Graduated in 2009, Dan with a BBA in finance and a minor in leadership, commissioning military intelligence and Keylee a BS in biology. In 2010 Dan was deployed in support of Task Force Falcon, Kosovo Forces 13, Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2012 Keylee was accepted to Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry and Dan hired as an Assistant Vice President at Citibank North America, a role that would let him work remotely and move to Puerto Rico with Keylee. They spent 3 1/2 years in Puerto Rico. In 2015 Keylee’s medical rotations found them back in Dahlonega. While in optometry school Keylee was a Student Representative and Elected Executive of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) where she traveled the country advocating for optometry students and lobbied for optometric causes before members of Congress. In the summer of 2015 Keylee was awarded the degree Doctor of Optometry. That same time Dan was deployed in support of Combined Special Operations Task Force Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve. Dan returned home from his deployment in the Spring of 2016 and Keylee began a residency with Woolfson Eye Institute. In 2017 she was awarded a specialty in refractive and ocular surgery/ocular disease from the Southern College of Optometry. Over the same period Dan extended his military leave of absence from Citibank to support the Georgia National Guard in J2/G2 Ops while working on a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia Southern. Keylee currently works for Mountain Eye Care in Blairsville, GA. Keylee is an active member of the Georgia Optometric Association and has made many trips to the state Capitol advocating on behalf of optometrists and played a very small part in helping to get an injections bill passed. In August of 2017 Keylee gave birth to Porter, their first child.
How did UNG benefit each of you in your careers?
UNG was vital to both of our success. It was at North Georgia that we learned the leadership skills and a foundation of discipline that enabled us to succeed in so many aspects of life. The experiences Dan had in The Corps of Cadets and his internship, Keylee in the leadership community and both in SGA and Greek life were vital to our learning. This type of hands-on learning and leading is invaluable. Lessons learned in these experiences correlate directly with lessons in the business and medical fields we found ourselves in and the prior experience gained set us well above our peers.
How do you stay involved as Alumni?
Dan has continued his service to North Georgia though volunteering for multiple guest speaking opportunities at the Mike Cottrell School of Business and supporting the Corps through involvement in the North Georgia Corps of Cadets Association (NGCCA) being recently elected to its Board of Directors. Additionally, we are members of the UNG Alumni Association and attend events as regularly as we can since we live right down the street.