Dan Coulter Biography
Dan Coulter owns and operates a video production business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife, Julie. Coulter Video primarily focuses on Asperger Syndrome and autism titles and sells them through the company’s website: coultervideo.com, and through other online retailers and bookstores.
Dan was born in Springfield, Missouri. He graduated from Springfield’s Central High School and attended Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State University) for two years on a debate scholarship.
Before his junior year, Dan transferred to the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he earned a B.A. with Honors in Speech and Dramatic Art (Radio-TV-Film) and was named a University Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Dan helped pay for college with a series of broadcasting jobs, including working as a disc jockey/newsman at radio station KICK in Springfield, as an announcer at television station KOMU in Columbia, Missouri and as an assistant program director at radio station KBIA in Columbia.
After graduation, Dan became a weather reporter/promotions director at television station KQTV in St. Joseph, Missouri. One year later, he moved into educational television as a writer/producer/director for Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. While at JCCC, Dan produced a broad range of programs, including a documentary about the artist Christo’s work in Kansas City entitled, “The Wrapping of Loose Park.”
After five years creating educational videos, Dan accepted a job as a writer/producer/director with AT&T in Kansas City and was later promoted to produce videos at AT&T’s Long Lines headquarters in Bedminster, New Jersey. While at AT&T, Dan held a variety of positions in communications and public relations with increasing responsibility. He worked in two headquarters locations in New Jersey and in field offices in Kansas City and Atlanta. In one headquarters job, he supervised the national media relations group responsible for AT&T's residential services and consumer products. Some samples of his accomplishments include:
- Devising AT&T's national media relations strategy in support of marketing to retain customers when the U.S. government required customers to choose between AT&T and other long distance companies. Three out of four customers chose AT&T.
- Dramatically increasing media coverage of AT&T residential services across the South and Southwest with a strategy targeting broadcast stations.
- In association with the Disney Company, producing the television program “The National Information Infrastructure and You,” featuring Bill Nye, the Science Guy, for the U.S. President’s National Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee.
- Writing, producing and directing the travel safety video, “When You’re A Stranger,” used by more than 50 corporations and the US Postal Service.
In 1996, AT&T spun off its manufacturing unit to form Lucent Technologies. Dan became Lucent’s first financial media relations director, helping to promote the largest Initial Public Offering of stock in the United States to that time. His other assignments at Lucent included leading the PR/advertising group supporting Lucent’s software business and serving as a media relations director at Bell Laboratories. At Bell Labs, Dan generated national broadcast and web-based media coverage of Lucent products and technologies. Dan also provided direction and counsel to Lucent’s media relations managers around the world on broadcast and Internet issues.
In 2001, Dan became vice-president of communications at Global Crossing in Madison, New Jersey. He served as the telecom company’s primary spokesperson to the national media and headed the Global Crossing media relations team, then became the head of executive communications and employee communications. In this position, Dan wrote the CEO’s speeches and oversaw a daily global email employee newsletter, an internal news website and other communications for the company’s 5,000 global employees. He also initiated and produced web-based video news updates for employees.
While at Lucent and Global Crossing, Dan and his wife, Julie, used Dan's vacation time to create two videos about Asperger Syndrome (AS), a condition on the higher-functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. Dan and Julie’s son, Drew, was diagnosed with AS in 1997.
In 2003, Dan left Global Crossing to move to North Carolina and work with Julie to produce educational videos full time. Coulter Video products have proved popular with parents and educators, and have been favorably reviewed in publications such as the School Library Journal and Autism Spectrum Quarterly -- and by autism experts from institutions including Harvard Medical School and Yale University.
Dan frequently speaks at Asperger Syndrome and autism conferences and participates in autism spectrum-related media interviews and webcasts.
In 2009, Dan was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and is now using the insights from that diagnosis in his writing, speaking and video production.