Dan Schwab: Demonstrating Commitment to Clients Through Diligent Project Management

“It's deeply satisfying to see owners and tenants occupy a building – to see the space come to life and serve the purpose as intended and envisioned," said Dan Schwab, Project Manager. “Buildings are just empty shells without the people and purpose behind the projects."

As a Project Manager, Dan is closely attuned to clients' visions for their buildings. One of his greatest talents is developing strong relationships with clients as he manages schedules, project teams, designers and subcontractors from project inception to completion. 

Abandoning Actuarial Science for Construction

While Dan seems like a natural for his role as a project manager, construction was not his original career path. He grew up with a passion for math and had intended to pursue a degree in actuarial science. He enrolled in an actuarial program at Drake University in pursuit of what he thought would be a challenging but fulfilling career. Shortly into the program, he job-shadowed actuaries and learned first-hand that the career is lucrative but can be mundane.

“I knew I needed something else," said Dan, who was drawn to construction. “I've always had an affinity for disassembling things to figure out how they work and was attracted to the problem-solving aspects of construction."

He transferred to Iowa State University, where he received a degree in construction engineering in 2014. While in college, Dan interned for Braun Intertec in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Opus in Omaha, working with both the Des Moines and Denver offices. After graduating, he was drawn to Denver, where he accepted a full-time position with Opus. There he gained experience managing projects like The Glenn at The Jones District™ multifamily development in Centennial and Rangeview Industrial Center in Aurora.

Demonstrating Commitment to Clients

Unlike the work of an actuary, Dan's work shapes skylines, contributes to communities and serves a useful purpose for users. He finds his job richly fulfilling.

“Every building we construct is a physical 'trophy' of a job well done," he said, “That makes it rewarding, knowing that you played a significant role making it happen."

After three years in Denver, Dan moved back to his home state of Iowa, transferring to our Des Moines office. He's been involved with several high-profile projects, including Corporate Woods Industrial Park in Ankeny and the CSF Iowa Air National Guard LEED Silver-certified facility in Sioux City.

Dan's leadership and commitment to client service were evident during the buildout of Corporate Woods III, a 200,000-square-foot spec building for multiple tenants, including Tredit Tire & Wheel. Tredit had little experience in construction and leaned on Dan for guidance throughout the process to ensure the space met their current and future needs. However, when the buildout was nearly complete, vandals caused significant damage and set the project back several weeks. Dan's steady hand and collaborative management style helped minimize the delay, which reassured Tredit as they navigated the unexpected challenges.

“Dan is a valuable member of the Des Moines office," said Michael Anthony, Project Executive. “He has a strong commitment to client service and integrity. He takes great pride in living our Opus values in all of his dealings both internally and externally." 

Investing in Growth

Dan feels fortunate to have landed at Opus directly out of college. The supportive, growth-oriented culture has helped him develop his project management skills and work on progressively larger and more complex projects.

“It's clear to me, based on my personal experience and interactions with others in the industry, that Opus is a special place to work," he said. “Everyone has been so encouraging and willing to help me develop into a better project manager and person. Opus truly prioritizes its associates, and the commitment goes both ways, as is evident by the long tenures within the company."


Outside of work, Dan serves as his church's lead technology manager, overseeing a team of technicians. He also lent his construction expertise to the church's building committee, serving as a liaison between the church and its contractor.

He is a hobbyist woodworker, a skill he picked up from both of his grandfathers. “While I'm nowhere near their skill level, I enjoy it and have made several pieces of furniture for my kids," he said.

Dan is also passionate about running. He ran his first half marathon in the summer of 2023 with a fellow Opus associate.


Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.