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Student by Day, Executive by Night

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Photo credit: Samantha Whiting

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Written by: Communicator StaffMay 21, 2015

Written By: Samantha Whiting

Daniel Butler came to IPFW two years ago for a fresh start and has since found new opportunities, including the chance to be executive director of  Baals Music Festival, a block party turned music festival which started in 2012 and will be on Aug. 1 this year.

Butler began his college career as a biology major at Indiana University South Bend before deciding to transfer to IPFW for a fresh start. Upon coming to IPFW, he changed his major from Biology to Business Marketing and also became involved in promoting.

“I promoted for one smaller type of show called iFriday at Early Birds. It was an 18 and up show. I promoted for it, went to it and fell in love with promoting. It’s really easy for me to do. I’m a social person,” Butler said.

Fellow IPFW student, Brett Gauger, brought Butler’s next promoting opportunity to his attention. Gauger chose Daniel Butler for his marketing team based on their similar interests, goals and focuses. Butler and Gauger were on the same marketing team for two local music festivals last summer, House 4 A House and Baals.

When an opening for executive director of Baals became available, Butler was offered the position. Butler says his passion for promoting is what led up to him becoming the executive director.

“I think he [Butler] is a great person to fill in the position because I feel like he has a way of blending community with marketing and he puts a lot of effort into everything he does,” Gauger said.

Butler currently works between 35 and 40 hours a week planning Baals while still attending classes at IPFW in the afternoon. His work for the festival involves finding sponsorships, quoting needed materials, communicating with agents, filing, and maintaining relationships, news coverage and handling press releases.

“If you’re not passionate about something, don’t do it. You don’t need to waste your own personal time if you’re not putting your whole heart into it,” Butler said.

Baals Music Festival recently won the Start-Up of the Year award from Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.  This award is for a company that shows improvement over the past year.

“It establishes us as an actual entity. Being able to have that award the first year we actually have a company, it’s something I know will, in the future, bring ten thousand or fifty thousand people to Fort Wayne. I think this was a good start to get our name out there, we’re the real deal,” Butler said.

Last year, Baals made approximately $7,000. Five thousand of that was donated to Mad Anthony’s Children Hope House. This year, another five thousand of the profit will be donated to the same organization and the remaining profit is reinvested for the following year’s festival.

Gauger said that Butler is perfect for the job. “Daniel has a taste for excitement, energy and most importantly, a positive movement. I’ve seen him become more connected to the IPFW community. He’s booming here,” Gauger said.

“Just being able to look out and see that I put ten months of work into this festival and it brought ten thousand people to downtown Fort Wayne and people were happy with it,” Butler said, reflecting on what he is looking forward to the most.