National Advisory Board March Spotlight- Daniel Dienst
Waco, TX- Daniel W. Dienst is currently the Senior Strategy Officer for Marie Kondo, best selling female author & entrepreneur and board member of Knoll, Inc., a publically traded iconic design company. He was also a director and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) until he sold the company in 2016 in October 2013.
Mr. Dienst is a highly accomplished executive and investor who has successfully repositioned and grown several publicly-held and private companies, including many founded and led by female entrepreneurs. His previous experience includes several prominent leadership positions. From March 2008 through June 2013, Mr. Dienst served as Chief Executive Officer of Sims Metal Management, Ltd. (NYSE: SMS; ASX: SGM), the world’s largest and most sustainable recycling company, a role he assumed to shepherd that company through the aftermath of the global financial crisis after the sale of his predecessor company, Metal Management, Inc., to Sims for $1.7 billion in March 2008. He had served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Metal Management, Inc., an NYSE-listed company, from 2003-2008. From 2002, Mr. Dienst served as Chairman and Acting Chief Executive of Metals USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: MUSA) after its restructuring until 2005 when the Company was sold to an affiliate of Apollo Management, LP in a going private transaction valued at approximately $1.6 billion. Mr. Dienst also recently served on the Board of Directors of 1st Dibs.com, Inc., a private e-commerce company majority-owned by Benchmark Capital, Spark Capital and Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. until its last venture capital raise.
Mr. Dienst has been historically active in the not-for-profit sector, serving for many years as an Executive Director and Trustee of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club (the largest Boys & Girls Club in the United States) and a founder (and ex-Chairman) of The Newark Police Foundation, an entity created to help further the public safety efforts of Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the municipal turnaround of Newark, NJ. Mr. Dienst holds a B.A. from Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1987) and a J.D. from The Brooklyn Law School (1993). He currently resides in New York City with his wife Jill and their daughter Emma Kate, a high school sophomore and student-athlete equestrian competitor. Mr. Dienst, an avid rider, is also a member of the AQHA.
Question & Answer with Daniel Dienst
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY?
Spending time with family, the ultimate luxury after being on the road all over the world for the past 20 years.
2. IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANYONE, PAST OR PRESENT, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Abraham Lincoln. He was the master of interpreting public opinion and shaping converging interests for the betterment of our country.
3. IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ANOTHER CAREER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
Public service via elected office. Or if that didn't work out, lead guitar for the Drive-By Truckers.
4. IF YOU COULD BE A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE IN ANY SPORT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
At 6'3", 215 lbs with a 7 foot wingspan I'd like to try my hand at wide receiver for a professional football team. The only problem would be that I run a 20 second 40 yard dash.
5. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT ABOUT COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS?
Collegiate athletics prepares the 99% of student-athletes who don't seek professional athletics career for gamesmanship on the biggest field of all...life.
6. HOW DO YOU THINK THE SPORT OF EQUESTRIAN MOST BENEFITS YOUNG WOMEN?
I challenge my employees and partners to be 'fearless not reckless.' This is exactly what NCAA equestrian does for our competitors in the show ring, in the classroom and in their post-collegiate careers down the road. Put a young lady on an unknown 1,200 lb beast in front of a large, sometimes noisy crowd and go jump a bunch of 3 1/2 foot fences on a windy day; these gals can then fearlessly do almost anything in life.
7. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS?
An acquired taste.
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRAIT IN A PERSON?
A good listener who seeks true understanding and genuine interest in the matter at hand.
9. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
Hopefully somewhere other than standing in the mud at a horse show.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT?
South Central Montana working for my good friend Curt Pate, the natural horseman.
11. IF YOU COULD VISIT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY?
Mongolia, traversing the country on a pony. Hopefully a large pony.
12. BEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
My daughter; a gift from God.
13. WHAT ONE ITEM IN YOUR WARDROBE BEST PERSONIFIES YOU?
My custom made Lucchese roping boots.
14. WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
15. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge
16. WHAT IS YOUR BEST WAY TO DECOMPRESS?
Watching college football in front of a roaring fire
17. WHAT WOULD YOUR KID(S) SAY IS YOUR BEST DANCE MOVE?
The Kevin James "Q-Tip" move from the movie Hitch.
18. RED OR WHITE? YEAR?
I only drink white mexicans of recent vintage (blanco tequila). As Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones once said, wine is for quitters.
19. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?
Too many to mention. If a good embarrassment doesn't kill you then you are well-equipped to handle just about anything life throws your way. You haven't really lived until you get royally embarrassed a few times.
20. DO YOU LACE RIGHT OR LEFT FIRST?
I don't do laces. Not coordinated enough.
21.WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR PET PEEVES?
Those in an organization who don't share a similar sense of urgency
22. FAVORITE FAMILY ACTIVITY, OUTSIDE OF EQUESTRIAN?
Travel to some far away place where we haven't been before.
23. FAVORITE FOOD?
Pulled pork from Payne's BBQ in Memphis.