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Don L. Ipson

Public and University Service

Don L. Ipson (1948-)

Don L. Ipson was born and raised in Panguitch, Utah. He had an early interest in automobiles, began working in a local garage when he was 12 years old and continued working at the garage through high school. After graduation, Don married his high school sweetheart, JoAnn Barney, and moved to Salt Lake City, where he began working for Mt. Fuel Supply.

Don went on to graduate with a degree in accounting and business administration from LDS Business College. From there, he spent several years in the banking industry and was eventually transferred to St. George by Zions Bank. A few years later, Don moved to Panguitch to care for his aging father. While there, he purchased a small food distribution company, and thus began his career in the transportation business.

Later, Don was hired by Stan Snow to help dispatch trucks for Host Transportation. Together, they started DATS Trucking in 1988 with one truck. By the end of the year, the company grew to eight trucks. Now, DATS Trucking and its sister company, Overland Petroleum, operate more than 300 trucks, manage regional freight and fuel distribution, and own several convenience stores. Don attributes their success to his partner and the support of their families, tremendous employees, and loyal customers.

Don has also made an impact in Utah through years of public service. He served in the Utah House of Representatives from 2008 to 2016, when he was appointed to the Utah Senate. As a representative, Don was instrumental in convinc- ing education and legislative leaders that Dixie was ready for university status. During the 2013 Legislative Session, he sponsored House Bill 61, which officially changed the name of Dixie State College to Dixie State University and began Dixie’s designation as a comprehensive regional university in the Utah System of Higher Education.

Further demonstrating his commitment to helping the community, Don has held many church and community advisory board positions. He has received the Dixie State College Distinguished Service Award and the Dixie State University Board of Trustees Excellence in Education Award as well as many other awards and recognitions. Don, his family, and businesses have made generous financial contributions to Dixie State University.

Don and JoAnn have four sons, all of whom attended Dixie State along with their wives, and 10 grandchildren.