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Dan Ronan is a Washington, D.C. based Media Relations Executive who in February 2017 joined the Intelligent Transportation Society of America as its Vice President of Strategic Communications. Previously he served as the Senior Director of Communications at the American Bus Association in Washington, and Manager of Communications and Community Relations at AAA-Texas/New Mexico in Dallas.
Early life and education
Ronan was raised in Chicago. Much of his childhood was spent with his grandparents, Leo and Agnes McDevitt. He is a lifelong Cubs fan and worked on the cleaning crew at Wrigley Field while in high school. Later, as an adult, he became close friends with the retired Cubs, Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Jack Brickhouse.
Ronan has a Master's Degree in Strategic Public Relations Management from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He now serves on Kent State's School of Journalism and Mass Communications Professional Advisory Board. In 2003, he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His college education was interrupted by the sudden death of his brother Tim.
Ronan is a licensed commercial pilot. Because of his brother's death, he has devoted his professional life to transportation safety issues. He is considered a transportation expert, and he is a frequent speaker on crisis and reputation management matters.
Early journalism career
Ronan began his career while in high school outside of Chicago, working at local radio stations. At age 16 he served as the moderator on WEFA-Radio, 102.3 FM as the station broadcast live the weekly meeting of the Waukegan, Illinois City Council. While in college he covered the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor.
1983 to 1987
In 1983, Ronan joined the Mutual Broadcasting System in Arlington, Virginia, as an editor, starting on the overnight shift as a tape editor. He later was promoted to the overnight supervisor working with the legendary anchor Fred Lowrey, whose newscasts were part of the nightly Larry King show. Ronan also served as the network pool producer for two speeches, in the Oval Office and Camp David, Maryland for President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office and at Camp David, Maryland. He was also the network producer for speeches for House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill.
1988 to 2001
In 1988, Ronan joined CNN as a writer and was later promoted to on-air correspondent. He specialized in covering transportation and business issues. He was awarded a National Emmy for his work as part of CNN's coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. In 2001, Ronan left CNN.
2001 to 2007
He joined WAGA in March 2001 as a reporter. Ronan is credited with breaking the February 2002 bizarre story of the Tri-State Crematory scandal and its owner Ray Brent Marsh, who had 300 or more bodies in his backyard, many older than five years old.
Ronan also traveled to Havana, Cuba, with the former President Jimmy Carter when Carter met with the Cuban ruler Fidel Castro. Other highlights included leading WAGA-TV's coverage of the shutdown of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the hours after the September 11th attacks. Ronan was presented an RTNDA "Edward R. Murrow Award" for Journalism Excellence for his coverage of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and he also was honored with four Emmys while at WAGA.
In addition, he was one of the first journalists selected by the Pentagon to be "embedded" with U.S. soldiers in Kuwait and Iraq, in the weeks just before hostilities started. Ronan filed more than a dozen stories from the Iraq/Kuwait border while living with troops from Fort Stewart, Georgia. After the war started, he was selected to "embed" with the Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) as it deployed to Afghanistan.
Ronan joined WFAA-TV in August 2003 as a senior reporter until November 2007. While at WFAA he specialized in coverage of the aviation industry, in particular the Southwest Airlines accident in Chicago "Edward R. Murrow Award." At WFAA, Ronan was awarded three Emmys.
Ronan also reported while on board two NOAA weather flights that made numerous tracks into the "eye" of two of the most dangerous Atlantic hurricanes ever, Ivan and Rita. His reporting on Hurricane Rita was featured on ABC's Good Morning America.
After leaving WFAA in 2007, Ronan was a freelance correspondent for the Dallas/Fort Worth bureau of CBS Newspath.
AAA Texas/New Mexico
In May 2008, Ronan joined the American Automobile Association of Texas and New Mexico as the Manager of Corporate Communications and Community Relations. He was frequently interviewed about the dangers of texting and emailing while driving, gasoline prices, automobile safety, drunken driving, highway and road construction, fuel conservation and insurance issues.
For eight years Ronan has served a member of the Board of Directors of "Snowball Express," a Dallas-based 501(c)3. Snowball Express "Serves the Children of Our Fallen Military Heroes." Each December, Snowball Express brings nearly 1,800 children and surviving spouses of men and women in uniform, who have died on active duty.
A fan of both professional and college sports, Ronan is a 1983 graduate of the Joe Brinkman Umpire School in Florida, umpiring college baseball from 1983 through 1995 and officiating high school and small college basketball from 1981 through 1992.
- Feder, Robert (September 17, 1999). "Channel 7 returning to the Emmy contest". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 47.
Dan Ronan, a former Chicago area radio newsman, has signed on as an Atlanta-based business reporter for CNN's Financial News Network...
- "CNN Washington, Showbiz Anchors Cut". CBS News. January 23, 2001.
- Feder, Robert (July 5, 2001). "Anchor's away for Jay Levine at Channel 2". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 57.
Dan Ronan, a Chicago native and ex-CNN correspondent who recently left the network after 12 years, has landed as a reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta...