Dawn S. Reese,

Chief Executive Officer at the Wooden Floor

Dawn S. Reese, Chief Executive Officer of The Wooden Floor, is a social innovator who leverages her unique blend of experience in business, technology, education and the arts to propel young people forward. During Dawn’s 13-year tenure, the organization’s budget has grown from $2.1M to $3.5M and she has led efforts to scale its impact both locally and nationally. In 2018, through an innovative partnership with C&C Development, The Wooden Floor opened a second location in Santa Ana, CA within an affordable housing community and increased its student body to nearly 500 year-round children and their families who are served for up to 10 years, and she created a licensing model to partner with other creative youth development organizations across the nation to transform the lives of young people in low-income communities through the power of dance and access to higher education. Since 2005, 100% of the seniors who graduate from The Wooden Floor immediately enroll in higher education. Dawn believes in building a culture of philanthropy and she is a Certified Fund Raising Executive©, an international certification that less than 8,000 fundraising executives in the world hold.

Dawn received the 2020 Women of Distinction Award from 34th CA Senate District, 2019 Women Breaking Barriers Award from Connected Women of Influence, the 2018 Founders Award from the Institute for Community Impact, the 2016 Center for Leadership Award for Innovation from California State University Fullerton. In 2018, The Wooden Floor received the Best Places to Work Award by the Orange County Business Journal. Dawn serves on the Board of Directors for OneOC as Treasurer, Orange County Music and Dance, Passkeys Foundation as Board Chair and the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Leadership – College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton, and a mentor at CSU Long Beach Student Center for Professional Development. Dawn founded the OC Nonprofit CEO Forum, and Co-Chairs the Youth Mental Health Committee for the Santa Ana Task Force.

Dawn is an author, mentor, consultant, and national conference presenter on the topics of strategic planning, board governance and board diversity, branding, and fundraising. She began the first 10 years of her career with The Oaktree Consulting Group, a management consulting firm specializing in CEO Coaching for the high technology industry, and this is where she learned the best practices of business strategies and corporate governance. Dawn received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Long Beach and she lives in Huntington Beach with her husband.


OneOC – Board of Directors (2017-Present)
Orange County Music and Dance – Board of Directors (2017-Present)
Passkeys Foundation – Board of Directors (2020-Present)
Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors (2019-Present); Government Affairs Committee (2019-Present)
The Wooden Floor® – Board of Directors, Ex-Officio Member (2012-Present)
ArtsOC – Member (2009-Present)
Association of Fundraising Professionals – Member (2011-Present), Board Member and Treasurer (2011-2015)
Bank of America – Neighborhood Builders’ Emerging Leader (2010) and Forum Member (2009-Present)
CSULB Business School – Center for Professional Development – Mentor (2012-Present)
Fieldstone Leadership Network – Emerging Leader (2007) and Nonprofit Executive Coach (2014-Present)
Forbes Nonprofit Council – Member and Contributor (2020-Present)
OCTANE Nonprofit Accelerator – Subject Matter Evaluator (2020-Present)
Orange County Business Council –Leading Educational Attainment Initiative (2012-Present)
Social Innovation Academy – Member and Content Creator (2020-Present)
Vance Caesar Group – Executive Coach’s Group (2013-Present)