Denny Gann attended the University of South Dakota, where he earned a master’s degree in Political Science and two minors in History and Geology. He served as a Captain in the Army from 1969 to 1979. From 1972 to 1987, Denny was the City Manager for the cities of Neligh, Tilden, and South Sioux City in Nebraska, then was a commercial real estate developer in Sioux City.
In 1987, Denny became the Executive Director for the Sioux City Convention Center, Tourism Bureau, Arena, and Siouxland Sports Authority. During this time Denny created the first sports commission in Iowa and helped consult with Des Moines and Cedar Rapids in forming their initial sports authorities. As the executive director of the convention center and the director of the sports authority for over 22 years, Denny brought in and hosted many notable events including 3 ISC World Softball tournaments, 3 NAIA National Baseball Championships, the NAIA Women’s National Basketball Championships (20 years and still hosting), the NAIA National Women’s Volleyball Championships (12 years and still hosting), 2 World Wrestling Qualifiers for USA Wrestling, several ASA and USSA national softball championships, the State of Iowa Women’s Bowling Championships, 3 USHA National Hockey Championships, and 4 Arena Football National Championships. Denny helped to form the Northern League professional baseball team in Sioux City and raised money to build the field. He also helped raise $18 million dollars and secured another $36 million dollars from the community for Sioux City’s signature multi-use venue, the Tyson Events Center and the 10,000-seat Fleet Farm Arena, that opened in December 2003. He acted as the initial Executive Director of the center until 2008.
Denny has previously served as President and as a Board Member of the NASC and was on the subcommittee that hired the first Executive Director. He has served on several committees to build the national image of the NASC including the first joint venture with Sports Travel, fund raising (Shirt Auction raised around $20,000), and helped jointly sponsor legislation in the Iowa House that funded all recognized sports authorities in Iowa, allowing them to pay annual dues to NASC and attend NASC events.