Alan grew up on a farm between Winslow and Lena, Illinois. He attended Northern Illinois University, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and Central Michigan University, earning an M.A. in Interpersonal and Public Communication.
A retired Speech Communications/Film Instructor from Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois, Alan taught a variety of courses in film, business communication, public speaking, leadership development, argumentation, political communication, and small-group behavior. From 1992-2017, Alan served as Director of the Stephenson County Leadership Institute and the Jo Daviess County Leadership Forum, community leadership development programs offered by Highland.