Share this article

print logo

Dan Klocke: His passion to make a difference led him far away

Dan Klocke and his team are trying to persuade a Chicago investor to buy into a downtown Phoenix project. They want the investor to fund the construction of multiple buildings to the tune of about $20 million.

The team -- which includes two brokers and a developer -- is assembled on the top floor of one of Phoenix's oldest buildings on a recent afternoon. Covering a large table is a model of downtown, complete with streets and dozens of scaled buildings that represent different stages of development.

Light gray is for buildings in the planning and construction stage. The maroon ones represent Arizona State University buildings under construction or existing. And the dark gray models symbolize future construction hopes.

"Downtown Phoenix is booming," Klocke tells investor Jim Weiss. "The public investment has been there and now the private investment is rolling in. Now you need to jump on the bandwagon."

Weiss likes what he's hearing, and after an hourlong meeting, the broker takes him on a tour of the city.

"Dan is terrific," said Shawn Goetzinger, a developer with Greenroof Development Company. "He is our information resource. He navigates the city process and issues, and he advocates downtown."

Klocke is director of the community development corporation component of Downtown Phoenix Partnership, a nonprofit partnership that promotes development in downtown Phoenix. In an area that is growing by more than 70,000 people a year, Klocke spends part of his time working with developers on commercial projects and part of his time trying to get affordable, reasonably priced housing built downtown.

That part of his job is directly tied to his passion for community service, which dates back to his days at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

"There's definitely a philosophy at the school of giving to others," said Klocke, who graduated as the class president. "There's a theme of social justice that runs in the school, and it may not be a tangible thing you can put your finger on, but I think the philosophy of the school of giving to others is pretty strong."

He often took a leadership role in high school, from serving on the student council to working as co-editor of the yearbook.

His passion for service followed him after college, leading him to Bolivia, where he worked with a group Xaverian brothers at a school for poor children.

He helped open a school in Baltimore for at-risk and low-income children while living in one of that city's toughest neighborhoods.

And, during graduate school, he spent a summer interning for the United Nations in Burundi, a struggling African nation.

Now, it's that same raw desire to make the world a better place that drives him to be one of the best ambassadors that a city like Phoenix could hope for.

At home, Klocke is father to three children -- Quinn, 10, Keelin, 8, and Rory, 2 -- with another baby on the way.

Married 11 years, he met his wife, Shannon Clancy, while both were attending the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor's degree in government and history. The two went their separate ways, but reconnected when Klocke was in Baltimore and Clancy was attending the University of Maryland for graduate school.

The couple got married in Boston, where Klocke received his master's degree in international development from Tufts University.

The Klockes have been remodeling their downtown Phoenix home -- it was a duplex when they moved in six years ago.

"It's a work in progress," he said.

Although he hasn't lived in Buffalo since he was 17 -- he left right after high school graduation -- Klocke visits Buffalo once or twice a year with his family, usually around the holidays. The winter weather is the main draw, especially for the children.

"The kids love the snow," he said. "They remember the first time they saw snow. The first time was in Buffalo."

There are no comments - be the first to comment