September 2007 - Alumni Spotlight - Dan Retzer

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the September 2007 IEM Newsletter.

The featured IEM alumnus for August is Dan Retzer, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer for XcitekSolutionsPlus, LLC (XSP). In his role as XSP’s CTO, Dan is responsible for all technology operations, which includes the Software Development Lifecycle, Project Management, Product Management, and IT/Systems Management. Dan started with XSP five years ago and has been promoted up through the ranks from his original position of Development Manager to his current position.

When asked how he managed the transition from a technical manager to Managing Director and CTO, Dan admits, “I am fortunate that the goals of the company are in line with my personal and career goals. That’s the real secret…if your goals are aligned with your company’s [goals]; the two of you can grow together.” He also adds that the IEM experience challenged him to open his perceptions from the tactical responsibilities of a day-to-day manager to the strategic and abstract modes of thinking required of Senior Executives.

Dan entered the IT field with somewhat of a non-traditional undergraduate degree – a BA in Technical Communication from Auburn University. Anyone that spends five minutes talking with Dan, will find that he has excellent verbal communication skills and is an expert in his field; it appears that his undergraduate degree really paid off.

Dan completed IEM in 2006, earning his MSEE. During his time at IEM, Dan developed the Service-Oriented Enterprise Engineering Lifecycle (SOE2L) - a lifecycle for managing enterprise-wide implementation of Service-Oriented Architectures. He co-presented the SOE2L at the Ninth World Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology in July of 2006. Much of the SOE2L fueled the architecture of XSP’s latest product release – XSP™ V5, which is a Service-Oriented platform engineered specifically for global financial markets and built around a flexible, service-based platform.

Dan’s passions outside of the office include cultivating (unsuccessfully) a golf habit, cycling, and indulging in online mayhem via Xbox Live. He is a huge Auburn fan and attends all the games, carrying season tickets for many years. Dan loves to travel with his wife and plans on striking it rich when he vacations in Las Vegas later this year.

Even though Dan has poured much energy into his career and into the XSP product, Dan’s family remains his primary focus. Dan and his wife have two children: Carmen, their six year old daughter, and their son Phillip, who is three. No matter how hectic Dan’s office life becomes he is home every night and weekend to spend time with his family. “You have to maintain a balance,” Dan says, “Without a balance between career and family, you have dissonance. This dissonance can really impact you as a person. Any good manager will tell you that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of the people around you.”

Feel free to contact Dan via phone at 205.439.5771 or by e-mail at

Join Dan on LinkedIn