Olivet Professors Share Wealth of Knowledge

Dr. Don Daake and Dr. Ed Piatt use combined business acumen to write bi-weekly advice column in The Daily Journal.

With more than 70 combined years of professional leadership and teaching experiences, Dr. Don Daake and Dr. Edward Piatt should be considered industry gurus. The Olivet Nazarene University professor emeritus and adjunct graduate school professor, are full of good advice, best practices, and global perspectives on how to lead with Christian influence.

Together, the professors write a bi-weekly column for The Daily Journal, a local newspaper in Kankakee County. The partnership began more than 12 years ago when both men were guest columnists for the Journal’s business-to-business (B2B) magazine. Additionally, Dr. Daake was Dr. Piatt’s dissertation advisor in the Ed.D. program at Olivet. A friendship was formed and the two have since collaborated on a number of community and business events.

When the B2B magazine discontinued, Dr. Piatt made arrangements to initiate a weekly series in the Journal called “Main Street.” The purpose behind the column is to share academic knowledge, research and commentary in an approachable format that the general public can consume. 

“We started to realize so much state-of-the-art information coming out of research universities, from leading thinkers, seminal articles, scholarly business books, and peer-reviewed journals never reach the average person,” reflected Dr. Daake. Dr. Piatt added, “The idea of bringing forth theoretical concepts and giving their informed perspective on the practical implication of addressing the needs of the business community.” 

They write these articles without compensation as a way of Olivet professors giving back to the community and beyond. More the 10 of their articles have been picked up by the national associated press news service and some have had worldwide distribution.
Dr. Daake holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, an MBA from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Business Strategy from Florida State University. He was named Faculty Member of the year at Olivet in 2011 and was awarded the Richard M. Jones Teaching Award for Excellence in 2017.  Dr. Daake has consulted with many small, medium, and large companies and non-for-profits on strategy marketing and marketing research.

Dr. Piatt holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Purdue University, an MBA in Marketing from Governors State University, and an Ed.D. in Ethical Leadership from Olivet where he received distinctive honors for his doctoral dissertation. He is a retired manager from the state of Illinois with 32 years of frontline leadership experience. He is an adjunct professor of business in the MBA and MOL programs in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Olivet Nazarene University, and a doctoral advisor and adjunct doctoral professor at Trevecca Nazarene University. He is also an organizational/economic development consultant and lectures frequently on Emotional Intelligence (EI), organizational culture, and leadership. 

Some of the high-profile events the two collaborated on were two international trade conferences with over 80 trade commissioners representing 80 countries throughout the world. A unique State of Illinois-sponsored “Women in the Workforce,” at which several high-profile women offered their perspectives on women inspiring women and featured such notable dignitaries such as Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, WGN news anchor Micah Materre.

Other notable events Olivet’s business department sponsored with various community partners include:  a seminar with the CEO of AT&T Wireless, John Zeglis nationally recognized economist, Stephen Moore, and other Christian business owners, as well as two national Christian Business Faculty Association Annual Conferences. They also coordinated a highly attended Black Pastors’ conference with more than 100 pastors from across the United States in attendance. These various events forged unique partnerships that benefited Olivet.

Over the years, their articles in The Daily Journal have addressed at least 100 distinct topics through more than 700 column posts, including decision-making, Emotional Intelligence (EI) positive psychology, management, marketing, gratitude, customer service, organizational culture, ethics, and leadership While the column’s content does not explicitly cover faith or religion, the professors have not been shy about sharing their personal convictions in achieving and sustaining a Christian perspective.

“Very often we quote scripture when it is appropriate and we know a large portion of our readers appreciate it,” Dr. Daake said. “In many ways we feel that we have been entrusted with a sacred opportunity to connect with the community.” Dr. Piatt advocated, “We strive to offer hope and faith through the application of knowledge coupled with service to others.”

Each week Dr. Daake and Dr. Piatt trade off on writing responsibilities and co-write a column once a month. They have additionally engaged student writers, other faculty, alumni and friends of the University to further share knowledge and broaden perspectives. This winter the duo contributed an article in Olivet The Magazine on gratitude. Read it here.

More than 180 of Dr. Daake’s articles can be searched and read for free in his online library of past work: https://daakecomments.wordpress.com/ and Dr. Piatt’s articles can be found by searching “Mainstreet” in the Journal’s article database. 

For more information about the McGraw School of Business, contact the Office of Admissions admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 12/9/2021
LB