Dawn began her career with Winterfest in 1991. Her love of the event was developed as a small child. Being a native of Broward County, she grew up watching the Parade from the family boat on the Intracoastal.
As a second generation Parade viewer, Dawn takes great pride in making this event a tradition for her family as well. Dawn is happily married to Bob and has three sons, Austen, Ryan and Chase. All three of the boys can tell you anything you need to know about the upcoming Parade. They love to share the information at school any chance they get!
Winterfest is a not for profit organization with a staff of 3 and a board of 50. While wearing a multitude of hats, professionally Dawn supports a great number of charities during the year as well.
Along with her dedication to Winterfest, Dawn’s passion for community and school events is evident in the many ways she supports these organizations:
- Chamber of Commerce Non Profit Committee Member
- Board Member, Florida Festival & Events Association 2013-present
- Leadership Broward Class of XXXIII
- Board Member, Friends Of Birch State Park 2014-present
- Founding Board Member, B.U.I.L.D
- Nova High School - School Advisory Forum Chair- 2011-2014 – Currently Vice Chair
- Beach Council Marketing Committee-2010-2013
- City of Fort Lauderdale Centennial Events Committee-
- 2011 A Child is Missing Women’s Auxiliary, 2004-2006
- City of Fort Lauderdale Great American Beach Party Committee- 2010- 2012
- Recognized as Broward County 100 Outstanding Women for their inaugural event in 2009 by the Boys & Girls Club and Susan B Anthony Recovery Center
- Women’s Way Member (arm of the United Way Broward County) 2004-2010
- Beaux Arts- Fundraising arm for the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale-President 2007/8, member since 2000
- Crystal Apple Award Winner from Broward County Schools South Central Area Advisory 2006/2007
- Founder- Cooperative Feeding of the sandwich brigade at Virginia Shuman Young Elementary (donated over 6000 sandwiches since April 2008 thru this program)
- Cooperative Feeding Volunteer, 2008-present
- USPS Stamp Out Hunger Annual Food Drive Team Leader- 2007-present
- Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation, event chair 2008
- Glam-a-thon~ Founding Board Member (Breast Cancer event) 2008/2012
- Founding Chair- Rock the Race-Kentucky Derby Bash for Ann Storck Center –-2009
- Broward County Schools -Advisory Forum Chair Virginia Shuman Young Elementary, 2006/
Questions for Blacktie
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? I feel like each year is my proudest personal accomplishment. Winterfest and I have grown up together for 23 parades and we both keep getting better each year!
What do you enjoy the most about your work? I am the luckiest girlie ever that I get to meet people and talk about the Parade and the endless possibilities of partnering with us. It never gets old!
Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input? My President & CEO, Lisa Scott-Founds- we have been friends since 6th grade and have an amazing work relationship. She has helped me be the best I can be. Always a work in progress and room for improvement.
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? We have such fun with our Grand Marshal’s each year, I am not sure I could pick just one person.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? Our Jr. Captain program is now 8 years old (WOW, I can’t believe that) and all started with a 16 year old battling cancer that I read about in the Sun Sentinel. It started out with the idea that we could really make her be a part of things that she would not experience otherwise. She did not survive to the Parade but we had the pleasure of meeting her the day before she became an angel. Since that time, 7 other amazing children have been named Jr. Captain and that program today is sponsored by FPL and includes the winning nominee riding on their showboat in the parade. In fact, the last 2 years included ALL the nominees riding in the parade. I am very proud of what we do.
How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support? There are so many worthy and amazing charities. Sometimes it is just the mission itself that moves me, and other times it is to support a colleague in their endeavors.
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? My organization skills, my passion, historical knowledge and the respect I have earned from the community.
What is your greatest challenge at this time? Never enough hours in any day!
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I really feel like I am living a dream. I have the most amazing family, job and friends. I have a gift in finding balance with all of it and that creates a world of perfect happiness for me.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? If you are good at what you do, there is no need to tell anyone- they will know it because they see it. Humble goes a long way. You never stop learning and improving if you are willing to accept change (I do fight that sometimes).
How do you relax? BEACH
If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? Money- so I could support all the charities I desire and share the wealth.
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life? BEYOND what I could have imagined.
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? NURSE
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? Hate
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life? It is what it is.
What word best describes your life right now? Awesome