Dawn grew up in Morris, Illinois, a small Midwestern farming community about half the size of Paso Robles. At 20, Dawn moved to Southern California to attend community college and then earned a scholarship and graduated from Pepperdine University. After College, Dawn moved to D.C., where she worked at the intersection of governments, business, and international trade to help address world hunger. After years of honing her governmental affairs and regulatory compliance skills, Dawn married and moved to the Central Coast. Dawn has lived and raised her daughter in San Luis Obispo for thirty years. Dawn worked as an energy expert focused on renewables during her time on the Central Coast. She collaborated with local governments to expand energy solutions while providing high-wage quality jobs for local community members.
At a young age, Dawn understood the value of giving back. Dawn's parents co-founded a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive eye health services in low-income areas. Locally, Dawn has been an active community member, working with community organizations such as CAPSLO, One Cool Earth School Garden, the SLO Film Festival, the Economic Vitality Corporation, and served the SLO County Planning Commission.
Governor Newsom appointed Dawn to the Board of Supervisors in November of 2020; since then, she has tackled issues head-on. She has helped steer the County's Covid-19 Economic Response, secured funding for local parks and green spaces, and taken steps to protect the local environment.