OU Graduate Shows Support for Athletics, Scholarships

Posted by Paula Paine on May 23, 2011 in Alumni, Community, "School of Business", "The College" A special feature from The Campus newspaper by staff writer Nicole Becchina photo by Sara Humm [singlepic id=106 w=320 h=240 float=] Dan Hinman graduated from Ottawa University in 1989. The business accounting major did not know he would one day be the owner of four Subway franchises. Hinman initially wanted to be an accountant while working towards his degree. He grew up in Concordia, Kansas, and was involved in the Baptist Church. While attending OU™, Hinman received an American Baptist Scholarship, a music scholarship and was involved in choir and jazz band. Hinman has been married to his wife, Stacy, for twenty-three years. The couple met in Ottawa while they were in college. She is from Ottawa, but attended school at Kansas University. They now have four daughters. After graduating from Ottawa, Hinman went on to graduate school at K-State. That soon came to a halt as an opportunity for work presented itself. He began working at Koch Industries as an accountant. Not long after he started this job did he find it was not for him. “I really did not like the big corporate scene,” he said. “I found it hard to sit behind a desk. I had to be out and about seeing people.” In 1992, a new opportunity presented itself. The Hinmans opened their first Subway store in Concordia, his hometown. At this time, Subway’s goal was to have eight thousand stores worldwide. Now they have well over thirty-three thousand stores. Stacy Hinman’s father owned the local Subway in Ottawa and he wanted out of the business. After living elsewhere, the Hinmans moved back to Ottawa six years ago to buy the store. They like the small town feel. He says they fell into this opportunity. “We like the area,” Hinman said. “It gave us a chance to come back and be close to family. It’s a small town but also close to the city. We like that; it’s the best of both worlds.” The couple now owns four stores in Kansas. Two are located in Ottawa, one in Concordia and one in Clay Center. While he does a little bit of everything, Hinman is mainly in charge of the business administration of the stores, while his wife runs two of the four stores and is more of a traditional manager. “We now have four stores and she runs the two Ottawa stores for us and likes doing that,” said Hinman of his wife Hinman says the best and worst part of his job is knowing each day will be different. “None of my days are the same,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen; every day is different and I don’t have to often sit behind a desk.” Hinman likes to make sure each of his stores is run properly. He prefers growth of each business to run correctly and efficiently rather than quickly. If the opportunity presents itself, they will own more stores in the future. It also depends on the economy. Hinman’s business is a sponsor for the Franklin County Foundation. They also help out a great deal with the University giving donations and helping with scholarship funds. “We provide a lot of food for the athletic programs,” Hinman said. “We help the best we can.” Amy Piersol, former director of alumni programs, attended college with the Hinmans. She is appreciative of how generous they are to the University and how involved they are with students. “They’ve been very generous donors for the University and they provide an establishment that our students can enjoy,” Piersol said. “They have helped with a lot of our various events and they provide discounts to students. It’s nice that they are in walking distance from the campus,” she said. Piersol also added that when an alumnus remains involved with the University and its current students it shows their loyalty. Senior Bobby Adamson agrees that loyalty is shown when someone can give back to the University. “I think that’s a good thing because it shows their support for Ottawa and shows the community involvement with Ottawa Athletics,” Adamson said. The Hinmans are also very involved with Cloud County Community College in Concordia, as well as local high schools and other colleges near Concordia and the Clay City location. While students are a large part of their customer base, Hinman feels it is good to have connections with schools. “We find that those kinds of connections are beneficial to not only the schools, but to us too,” he said. “It’s a good way to help the school provide meals and to get our name out.” He said this is also a good way for the community and the University to work together. He describes it as a good two-way street “I always thought of a business in a community as a partnership,” he said. “It’s a good way to work together.”