Acoustic Lounge recap: Dan DeGeest

Jill O'Brien

Dan DeGeest is a jack-of-all-trades in the Ames community. He works as a senior software engineer at Workiva, ran for Ames City Council in 2015 and is a relatively new addition to the music scene. 

“If I’m gonna live here, I want to make it the kind of place that I want to live in,” DeGeest said when speaking for his reason to seek the city council seat back in 2015. When he didn’t win the seat, he got back into playing guitar with a push from members of the local music scene. 

“I’ve had a guitar since I was 20, but I never really believed in myself, got busy with family and careers and hadn’t picked up the guitar in eight years,” DeGeest said. “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind — it’s a dream come true for me.” 

DeGeest played house shows in the Ames area, but his first official gig was at the 2016 Maximum Ames Music Festival. The tight-knit music community that puts on the festival took DeGeest on faith and made him feel welcome in the scene. 

“There is a love for this community and a lot of people invested into making it a better place, to do something cool and make it a fun place to live,” DeGeest said. 

DeGeest is also involved in the Reliable Street art space project along with other members of the music and arts scene, like Lyndsay Nissen. DeGeest brings not only his passion for music to the table, but also his knowledge of the city government’s role in getting new businesses off the ground. 

“There’s so much crossover. Because of the size, you get to know a lot of people, it’s the perfect size to collaborate and do community projects,” DeGeest said on how conducive the city of Ames is to large collaborative projects like Reliable Street.

“It’s a great, innovative environment,” DeGeest said. “It’s fun to know the people you share your town with.”