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Illustrious Brother Dan Conway, 33°
Venerable Master, Centennial Lodge of Perfection

Portrait of Dan ConwayPhotograph of stage spotlight This month we are going to meet and get to know a Brother that we have all seen around the Consistory a lot and have possibly worked with on occasion. He is Illustrious Brother Dan Conway, 33°. Illustrious Brother Dan was newly "coroneted" on September 25, 2021.

A little FYI on the 33°, from Scottish Rite Ritual and Guide, 3rd Edition, by Arturo De Hoyos, page 130 "...reception of the Thirty-third Degree is not merely an honor; the Degree is the historical and actual completion of the Rite. For this reason it is also called the "Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry." An Inspector General Honorary is said to have been "coroneted" by the Supreme Council. The Scottish Rite does not acknowledge any Degree in Freemasonry higher than the Thirty-third Degree." Quite an honor for Dan and so richly deserved. Congratulations, Brother!

Dan is a Colorado native and lives in Englewood with his wife Adrienne, also a Colorado native. He has two older sisters. Sister Karen and her family live in Parker and has three children and sister Trisha lives in Newcastle with her family which includes two boys. Dan and Adrienne have no children of their own, but between them have 12 nieces and nephews ranging in age from 26 down to 13.

Dan's father Ken Conway, 32° and a member of the Denver Consistory is a 57-year Mason and is a Shriner. Many of our readers will recognize Brother Ken on the weekly Journey to the Scottish Rite (J2SR) Zoom calls that Dan hosts. Ken retired from Mountain Bell, later US West after a long career with the phone company. Mother Sue also worked for Mountain Bell and was a Job's Daughter. Ken and Sue now live in the warm and sunny climes of Arizona.

The Masonic heritage that Dan enjoys include both of his grandfathers being Masons – one a Worshipful Master of a lodge in Illinois. One of Dan's great-grandfathers was also a Mason and a member of the York Rite in Massachusetts.

Adrienne grew up in the Capitol Hill area of Denver and her mother was one of the pioneer women in the rocket science arena, working for Lockheed Martin on the Titan project. Adrienne has a brother and sister. Adrienne worked as a potter for several years and then began interning as a chocolatier with Dietrich's Chocolates at 1734 East Evans, in the University of Denver area. When the German chocolatier that owned Dietrich's decided to retire, Adrienne and Dan bought the store in 2016 and continue to operate it as Deiter's Chocolates. For those of our readers that attended or helped serve at our Ladies Luncheon last month, you might remember the wonderful chocolate desserts that the ladies enjoyed. Those were Deiter's Chocolates, and they were fantastic! I snuck one or two as we cleaned up after the luncheon .

Dan and Adrienne met at a wedding in 2001. She was a cousin of the bride, and he was one of the groomsmen. They have a picture of them dancing at the wedding. How many of us can brag that we have a picture with our wives, taken the night they met?

When Dan graduated from Heritage High School in 1992, he knew that he wanted to go to college, but wasn't sure where to go. A neighbor's brother was then President of Montana State University in Bozeman, so he visited the campus, and he loved it. He was active in the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1996 with his BA in Political Science. While he was at Montana State, he went to a Sigma Chi leadership training conference and met a man we all know – Illustrious Brother Bobby Juchem. They stayed in touch over the years and eventually, Dan talked to Bobby about joining the Scottish Rite. Dan is a very strong ritualist and the ritu-als that he and Bobby share as Sigma Chi Brothers carry over and are quite similar in many respects to those in Masonry.

Dan did not know his dad was a Mason while he was growing up. After college he did ask his father on three separate occasions about Masonry and that "flipped the switch". Ken was Dan's 1st line signer on his petition to Englewood Lodge #166 (now New Frontier Lodge #134). Illustrious Brother Jim Glasscock was his 2nd line signer. Dan was raised in 1998 and later served in the east in 2005, the same year that he and Adrienne were married. When Dan was installed as Worshipful Master in 2005, he was the third youngest Master to have served Englewood Lodge #166. After his year in the east, Dan became Secretary of the lodge and served in that office for seven years, alongside Brother Mike Brewer, 32° KCCH as Treasurer. They became close friends during that time.

After joining the Scottish Rite in 2001, Dan "didn't do much" in his own words. While studying for his undergraduate degree and later while studying for his Master's Degree in Public Administration at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Dan built websites as a hobby. Brother Mike asked him to re-do and re-build the Denver Consistory website in 2007 and that was when Dan really began to get active with the Scottish Rite. Over the years he has worked on the 4th, 14th, and 32nd Degrees. In the spring of 2018, he became Chairman of the Class Committee, replacing Most Worshipful Grand Master Mike Moore who had been chairing the Class Committee for several years. Dan has been the Webmaster for the Consistory since 2007 and also serves in that role for a number of other related organizations – the KSA Burns Dinner, the Scottish Rite Foundation and the Scottish Rite Masonic Center. Dan was made an Emeritus Member of the Denver Chapter of KSA soon after receiving his red hat.

Dan remains very active in Blue Lodge Masonry, serving as the Senior Deacon in New Frontier #134. In 1999, he joined the Denver York Rite bodies – Denver Chapter #2, RAM; Denver Council #2, Cryptic Masons; and Denver-Colorado Commandery #1, Knights Templar.

In his life outside Masonry, Dan serves as the Budget Director for Jefferson County. After receiving his MPA from Drake University, he worked for the City of Boulder in the Budget Office for about 2 1/2 years before moving to Jefferson County in 2002. He has worked in the Jeffco Budget Office since 2016 and was just promoted to Budget Director in September 2021.

Dan and Adrienne volunteer every year at the Great American Beer Festival. They enjoy hiking, travelling and gaming with friends. Both are curlers and are members of the Denver Curling Club, located on West 6th Avenue. Dan was just short of being awarded his Eagle Scout award, only needing to do his Service Program to achieve that high honor. Father Ken was the Scoutmaster as Dan was growing up in scouting and they spent many enjoyable camping trips together through the years, especially in southern Utah. They enjoyed snow-caving and their troop was known for its Native American Indian dancing and the fact that they built teepees to sleep in while camping.

Dan and Adrienne are avid baseball and football fans and attend Rockies games and college football tailgates whenever they can. Dan played football and ran track in high school.
I asked Dan to tell us more about the J2SR, as mentioned earlier. As the pandemic lock-down was implemented and it became clear that we would not be able to put on our usual Reunion with the several candidates that were anxiously awaiting the Reunion, Dan and Brother Bobby, along with Brothers Phil Hause and Bill Achbach began discussing ways to keep the candidates interested and engaged. They didn't want to replace the Reunion experience, but rather to complement it. Bobby and Dan looked back to their Sigma Chi leadership training. How can we make this be a transformational experience and not just a transactional experience? How can we make this be something valuable for new and old members alike?

Further discussion centered around the concept of a three-legged stool, with J2SR being one leg of the stool, the actual Reunion another leg, and then the Master Craftsman series being the third leg of a man's introduction to and evolution as a Scottish Rite Mason. The group then took the idea for J2SR to Illustrious Brother Ron Birely and the Executive Committee and as expected, they were very supportive and charged the brothers with "making it happen". Well, in my opinion and from all the comments I've heard from the Brothers around the Consistory, they hit it out of the park!

Each of the Saturday morning J2SR sessions has from 35 to 75 Brothers attending via Zoom. It's interesting to hear comments from the candidates awaiting the Reunion and the level of interest the J2SR has raised with them. Also, it's interesting to hear our more senior Brothers speak of the lessons learned, the information given and their own personal excitement in being able to once again relive their reunion experience over several weeks, as opposed to "drinking out of a firehose" for 3 1/2 days.

It is really inspiring to see how thoughtful and dedicated men and Brothers like Dan took what potentially was a huge problem with the lockdown and cancellation of several Reunions and turn it into a highly acclaimed success story that has been shared with other Valleys of the Scottish Rite. The group truly seized the opportunity to enhance the Reunion experience.

When I asked Dan to name those men most influential to him in his Masonic journey, he immediately mentioned:
  • His father, Brother Ken, 32°. Dan's "guiding light".
  • He also mentioned Illustrious Brother Jim Glasscock, 33° the long-time Secretary of Englewood Lodge #166 when Dan was raised and served in the East. Jim's generosity of spirit and willingness to teach and to share were extremely important to Dan.
  • Brother Mike Brewer, 32° KCCH who joined the lodge the same year as Dan and served as Treasurer while Dan was Secretary of Englewood #166. Mike asked Dan to serve the Consistory as webmaster.
  • MWGM Mike Moore – Dan speaks of the legacy Brother Mike set for the Class Committee. Also, Mike's friendly and open approach to all men. Mike shows how to be a leader without being a manager. The epitome of "brotherhood". Also, Brother Mike was coroneted a 33° Scottish Rite the same day as Dan. What a great honor!
  • Illustrious Brother Bobby Juchem, 33° – a Sigma Chi Brother and friend before either were raised as Master Masons. A true partner in leadership, strategy, thoughtfulness and planning for the future.

Dan's advice to all of us is to focus on our actions – what you do or don't do is what's remembered. Make wise decisions and take thoughtful actions. Everything you say or do, big or small, has an impact on someone. At the same time, don't be afraid to try something new. And don't tell me the problem without being ready to discuss the options to resolve the problem – let's work together to make the experience for everyone better and to attract and retain good men.

The upcoming Reunion will be a great opportunity to say "hi" to Illustrious Brother Dan. He'll be the one at the head of the classroom watching over our excited candidates and sharing knowledge and wisdom with them for the full 3 1/2 days.

I'll close by once again saying congratulations to Illustrious Brother Dan and letting the readers know what an honor it is for me personally to know and work with him and call him "Brother".

Portrait of Alexendar Malhoit, Pennsylvania, 1950
Dan's Great-Grandfather as a Knight Templar
Image of Dan and Adrienne dancing
Dan and Adrienne know how to party hardy

Danny L. Tomlinson, 32° KCCH
1st Lieutenant Commander, Colorado Council of Kadosh

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