Class of 1988
Dan Simrell has something in common with Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs—besides, that is, amazing creativity and a fascination with the possibilities of technology. Jobs once offered this succinct advice for success: “Find what you love and do it.” Dan Simrell epitomizes the wisdom of that. Early on he discovered exactly what he loved; he has pursued it with great success. “At the time I graduated,” Dan said, “new technology was emerging in the radio and TV industry. Marywood was on the cutting edge and gave me access to the tools and equipment to learn. He had begun his career in broadcasting (after a short stint doing singing telegrams)—before he graduated. While still a student, he took on his first job as a writer/reporter for WEJL in Scranton. He also experimented with programming at Marywood’s TV studio, and his was voted the best radio shift. “At the time,” he says, “Marywood was one of the few places with a real signal that went out to the city. Most other schools only ‘broadcast’ to their campus.”
In 1989, with the ink barely dry on his diploma, Dan started VideoLab, a video production company, serving businesses and advertising agencies in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. In 1998, he expanded his marketing and advertising resume by accepting a position as marketing director for CCI, a national healthcare consulting company based in Pittsburgh, handling the firm’s public relations, print and web design, video production, and training.
But Dan loved running his own show. With experience gained, he formed Dan Simrell Advertising—a full-service agency, offering design, print, outdoor, web, social media, television, and radio broadcast production and placement services—specializing incidentally, in development of dynamic materials for political campaigns. His creative unconventional approach to marketing has earned him a reputation for fresh, innovative, and highly successful campaigns. His credits include award-winning local, regional, and national commercials, documentaries, children’s videos, national public service campaigns, print and outdoor media, and new media development, including websites and interactive DVDs. He has been the creative mind behind successful campaigns for some of the area’s biggest clients—including Marywood University. Most recently, he spearheaded a video project for the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) in conjunction with Marywood. ASEC was founded with a goal of increasing access to education in Africa by helping women religious acquire credentials in teaching, healthcare, spiritual, and social service ministries in six Sub-Saharan countries. In 2013, he received the Golden Bridle Award from Marley’s Mission, a non-profit organization that provides equine-based therapy free of charge to children and their families who have experienced trauma.
Dan, it seems, never stops chalking up successes, doing what he loves. He is an accomplished musician who has written, arranged, and recorded dozens of awardwinning songs, music beds, jingles, and soundtracks. His children’s video, Creepy Crawly Critters, is a two-time winner of the Dove Award for excellence in family programming. He is a devoted husband and father of three sons, who is active in multiple community and professional organizations. “I’ve been told by our interns that we have the most fun agency to work for. I can’t believe how fortunate I am,” he adds, “to wake up and do what I love every day...close to my parents and family.” Marywood, too, is fortunate, to claim Dan as one of our own and to recognize him with the 2013 Award of Excellence for Creative and Performing Arts.
2013 Award of Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts