Dawn is happily married to George and has three sons. A Broward County Native, Dawn’s love for Winterfest developed when she watched the parade as a child and continued that tradition into adulthood.
Dawn proudly celebrates her 29th parade this year. She is committed to creating quality, high profile events for the community that brings family and friends together. Winterfest, celebrating 51 years has grown into an internationally recognized event, The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade has earned the title “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” With over a million cheering spectators, the Parade has become not only the largest one-day live audience of any event in Florida, but also the seventh largest one-day spectator event in the country! Dawn is very proud that this tradition not only contributes to the aesthetic, cultural, and tourist development of the area, but it makes an economic impact of over $50 million per year on her hometown!
Dawn enjoys her community and charity involvement, serving as immediate past Chairman of the Board for Florida Festival & Events Association, President of Children’s Opportunity Group (COG), also serves on the Friends of Birch State Park Board, , The Chamber of Commerce Beach Council, For Paul Foundation plus numerous committees in the community
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? I was hired in the Summer of 1991 and we were just coming out of a critical time for Winterfest and whether or not it would continue to exist. So from that time to now has seen dramatic changes and many firsts along the way. The creation of the Family Fun Day may be one of my proudest accomplishments. To have an event that is completely free for families and bring so much joy makes for a very warm heart. We have created so many amazing events thru the years and continue to grow, that makes me proud.
What do you enjoy the most about your work? I love that others love what we do. It’s a feel good and happy event and the community ensures that we all feel the love with their enjoyment of it.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? Gosh, I think we do so many different things, and I am excited about all of them. Taking empty spaces and filling them is amazing and rewarding. My kids have been a part of Winterfest their whole lives and they volunteer, bring their friends to volunteer and even have friends that chose the path of events and have interned with us. Making an impact is what excites me the most.
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? I got involved with Children’s Opportunity Group a number of years ago now, and their annual Luncheon is amongst my favorite events that I look forward to! And we are back in action on March 4th and you can join the fun too.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Having an amazing home life to compliment my amazing work life. I have that and have never been happier.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? It is impossible to please everybody. Hopefully you have pleased the masses and I would consider that a success.
How do you relax? I love me some beach time.
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life? I think that I am in such a great place and live a very happy life. I guess there could always be a
Little more money to live a little more carefree. I love my life, I think that says it all,
What do you still hope to accomplish? I still have a lot more to learn and hopefully more to share. Keeping my mind open (that hasn’t always been easy) and being a better listener.
What is your vision and hope for the future? To continue to be healthy with the love of my life by my side. Watch our kids continue to succeed and live their best lives. No greater gift than that. No regrets just memories.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? We are a nation divided in so many ways. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and free to express them- that is why we are the greatest country in the world. But we have to respect the difference in opinions and can still be friends. That’s what makes us great. Mine doesn’t have the be the same as yours, and that is okay. Don’t come at me if we don’t agree. We don’t have to. The saying, let’s agree to disagree is one of my favorites. We need to just respect each other and stop stereotyping.
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life? I think I am very real, and maybe not as censored as I should be. Do your best, and have the relationship with people that they are capable of having. Not putting your expectations of what they should be to you. And as a parent- we don’t get to pick what our kids take away. Our memories are not theirs.
What word best describes your life right now? AMAZING
What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time? Florida Festival & Events Association, Friends of Birch State Park, Children’s Opportunity Group, For Paul Foundation
What is your proudest achievement? I feel like I get called on a lot for advice and brain picking by peers. Something I am so happy to do and share whatever knowledge and assets I can. I feel respected in the community, that makes me proud.
How do you stay so motivated and committed? I truly love what I do so it’s easy. We are always open to new ideas and partnerships. Makes it fun
When does someone know when it’s time to move on? Brilliant question, I guess when you no longer enjoy what you are doing.
You are evidently a very capable and talented woman/man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? A great singing voice. I admire those with singing talent, I enjoy and completely respect a great voice. That must be really something watching people enjoy your natural ability.
Is there a saying, motto, or “words to live by” that is your favorite? I am known to say….. I love you more than my luggage.
What is your pet peeve? People thinking others need to be accountable to them (not work of course) but people in life. We are all adults and get to do what we want to do (and not do). I try to live a life doing what I want to do without a lot of obligation or guilt if I don’t want to. We do get to choose. And BTW, if you decide not to go just because you are invited- the event, dinner party, whatever it is will go on without you. Just sayin!
.Do you have a Fashion Addiction? Do we HAVE to call it an addiction?