Skip to Main Content

Valleyfair

Skip to Next Section

Meet Former Navy SEAL - Dan McKeon

Kelsey Megard

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. Twitter: @kelseymegard.

Today and every day we are proud to honor the heroes who keep our country safe. We also want to recognize and thank the veterans who work right here at Valleyfair for their service!

Dan McKeon found himself in a similar position as many college graduates the day after receiving his diploma from Old Dominion University in Virginia. Well, what now? With his criminal justice degree in hand, Dan knew he had to start thinking seriously about what he wanted to do for his career. He had always wanted to be a cop but never found the right place to start on that path.  A few friends had joined the military and Dan decided to follow in their footsteps and give it a shot.

Dan served as an intelligence specialist with the Navy SEALs for seven years. He was stationed in Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, and Panama. He thoroughly enjoyed his time as a Navy Seal but after getting married and having a few children, Dan knew it was time to start looking for a different career. 

After leaving the military, Dan began looking for a career in the private sector. He received an offer with IBM as a supply chain manager where he worked for several years. Dan transferred to Duke Energy where he worked as a security specialist for their nuclear energy power plant before being promoted to their safety team.

Dan's wife accepted a job offer in Minnesota, so their family who had always lived on the warm east coast packed up their bags and moved to the snowy midwest. When Dan started looking for a new job, he never thought he would apply to work at an amusement park. Growing up his family had always visited Carowinds and King's Dominion and he cherishes the memories he created with his family at those parks.

"I loved and still love going to amusement parks," McKeon said, "Our whole family would go to Carowinds every summer and my dad, who was in his seventies, would still be riding all of the major roller coasters."

Dan applied for a posting in Valleyfair's security department and knew that this park would be a good fit after chatting with the interview team. He was quickly promoted to Security and Saftey Manager after starting at the park.

In the few months since Dan started, he has created a new foundation in the department. Dan values structure and planning and he has already brought a new team mentality to the department. "I want our department to have a military-like structure," McKeon said, "It will be less rigid but the team mindset is key to our success."

Dan and his family are still adjusting to the colder weather and he is embracing the Minnesota lifestyle. "I am already a Vikings and Wild fan," McKeon said, "But I am a Yankees fan for life, sorry Twins." He hopes to attend many Minnesota sporting events this winter and thinks that snowmobiling is right up his alley.

There are many skills that Dan attributes to his time in the military with the key trade being organization. He abides by the motto "hope for the best, prepare for the worst." Dan is looking forward to seeing the changes he has already set in motion take place in 2020. 

McKeon (middle) with Lucas, Security (left) and Dan, Safety (right)

Related Topics:

Share This

Kelsey Megard

Kelsey joined the Valleyfair team in 2017 as PR and Communications Manager. She enjoys eating endless funnel cakes, riding Renegade multiple times a day, and telling all the wonderful stories about the inner workings of Valleyfair. Twitter: @kelseymegard.

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Are Those Pets on Thrill Rides?

The Twin Cities Amusement Park might not be open to homo sapiens at the moment, but that didn't stop us from bringing in some canine and feline friends to enjoy a day at Valleyfair.
Read More

Meet Jim Smith: Valleyfair's Aquatics and Park Services Manager

Jim started working as a ride operator. His hard work ethic gained notice from park leadership, and they continuously promoted Jim into different leadership positions.
Read More

Sketch School from Home

Join our good friend Noel in our new series Sketch School from Home. You'll learn to draw your favorite Peanuts characters with step by step instructions.
Read More

Fun Dads Who Work at Valleyfair

Father's Day is this Sunday - here is your reminder! This year, we want to introduce you to some of the awesome dads who work at Valleyfair.
Read More

Valleyfair Food Drive - June 3, 2020

Valleyfair is a gathering place for family, friends, and neighbors to create lifelong memories and social connections. Community starts with all of us, and we are supporting the Twin Cities community by collecting food donations on Wednesday, June 3.
Read More

Memorial Day Coloring Sheets

It might be raining outside this Memorial Day, but that doesn't mean it can't be colorful and fun inside! Check out these awesome Valleyfair coloring sheets to get you in the Memorial Day spirit.
Read More

Coast to Coaster Virtual Road Trip

Take the ultimate virtual road trip this Memorial Day Weekend, a wild ride along 54,000 feet of wood, steel and fiberglass. Go coast to coast on a 10-mile wild ride on favorite coasters – wet and dry - from each Cedar Fair park across North America.
Read More

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Home - Valleyfair Style!

Looking for things to do in Minneapolis this Memorial Day Weekend? Look no further! We have put together the perfect Memorial Day Weekend activity guide that will make you feel like you've spent the day at Valleyfair.
Read More

Fun Color by Number Sheets for Home Artists

Spring has certainly sprung—and honestly, it doesn’t feel like summer’s that far off—and that means the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area is craving a trip to Valleyfair. Although we can’t be together in the park right now, we’re sharing as many ways as possible to take a mental vacation to Valleyfair. Who couldn’t use a little escape right now?
Read More

Working from Home: Valleyfair Edition

We asked our team to tell us about their working from home experiences.
Read More