Aug 14, 2023

Darin Fey receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Fey ('00) serves as global director of Business Connect and is the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Darin Fey, global director of Business Connect, has been named the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient at Dordt University. This award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in an extraordinary fashion, who give evidence of living out a Reformational worldview, and who demonstrate exemplary service to the community and the world.

Fey graduated from Dordt in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering: Mechanical. After graduating from Dordt, Fey served as an engineer at Innotec, a manufacturer in Michigan. This provided an opportunity to serve in Africa, which later led Darin to feel called to serve there more permanently, relocating to Africa with his wife Jonna and their two children. Over their 10 years in South Africa, the family served at a couple of children's homes, worked with a nonprofit serving orphaned and vulnerable children, and Darin was part of a team that started a business to teach woodworking skills to young men. An opportunity to join Business Connect in a small role also presented itself early on during this time.

The mission of Business Connect, “is to provide people in the global south with affordable and easy access to essential resources, through the creation of a sustainable, local business model.”

“In my role as the Global Director of Business Connect, I manage and mentor our network of water filter distribution partners around the world,” says Fey. “I develop and maintain relationships with the WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) experts at the large multinational nonprofit organizations that use our products globally. My time is split about 70 percent international and 30 percent domestic.”

Fey believes that Dordt helped him develop exposure to and appreciation for other cultures and belief systems, encouraging him to explore more of the world outside the United States, which impacts his work today.

“Though I moved away from more traditional engineering work after a couple years, the problem-solving skills and analytical approach to problems that I learned at Dordt transitioned very well into roles in supplier development, procurement, and later into small business creation during my family's time in South Africa. Business Connect now offers a great mix of getting my hands dirty with product testing, building into people, bringing life-enhancing solutions to problems, and exploring creation!”

Fey’s experience and service at Business Connect makes a difference in the daily lives of others through the gift of clean water.

“I have the privilege of seeing the impact that clean and safe water has on people's lives all over the world. Fewer missed school and work days, less malnutrition since clean water helps with nutrient absorption, lower child mortality rates, etc. The physical and mental burden that is lifted from a family when they get out of a cycle of never-ending sickness allows people to flourish. Many of the groups that we supply filters to use them as a tool to access communities in order to share about the meaning of the true living water.”

Darin Fey will speak at the Defender Nation Dinner held on October 27 during Defender Days and will receive the award at that time.

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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