Welcome to Dawn Davis, Program Director

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Dawn Davis has joined the Bridge for Youth as Program Director. She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, and a bachelor of science in Business Management from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, MN.

“With Dawn’s extraordinary experience and proven record of success, she will be an excellent addition to the Bridge for Youth leadership team and be able to bring our programs to the next level,” Executive Director Michelle Basham said.

Dawn worked for Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health leading the operations and administrative infrastructure of the department.  She was responsible for a team of over 350 employees performing in eight lines of business that supported the department’s 4,000 employees. Her areas of oversight included: Staffing management; Integrated planning & analysis; Training and development; Data privacy practices; Contract management; Waivered services; Service authorization; and Shared office support.  Prior to her role with the county, Dawn spent 16 years  working with community-based nonprofits Pillsbury United Communities and EMERGE Community Development (EMERGE is a spin-off 501c3 from parent organization, Pillsbury United).  She has had a career leading nonprofit operations as well as program management.  Her nonprofit experience includes leading employment & training programs, permanent supportive and transitional housing, ex-offender & refugee services, financial literacy, welfare-to-work, transportation services, social enterprise businesses, emergency supports; expanding programs and achieving results.  Throughout her tenure, she has advanced into positions with increased levels of authority, leadership, and staffing responsibility.

Dawn has served in senior level leadership positions at Hennepin County including serving as the Senior Department Administrator and Area Manager, EMERGE where she served as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer and Pillsbury United Communities where she served as a Division Director and Associate Director.  Throughout her career, she also has been active in groups including: Hennepin County Leadership Diversity Council Member/Liaison, Hennepin County Contract Governance Board, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) Board Member, Fremont Community Health Services Board Member and Hennepin County Workforce Investment Board (WIB.)

Dawn’s outstanding work was recognized with a President’s Leadership Award from EMERGE (2011,) 40 Under Forty Award; Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (2007) and an Excellence in Management Award from Pillsbury United Communities.

Dawn is passionate about working with organizations that are invested in providing holistic services to individuals; that seek to influence systems change, and that are responding to the unmet needs of families, youth, and children in our communities while also ensuring to strengthen organizational and operational infrastructure. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Minneapolis in 1996 and is a resident of North Minneapolis, a wife and mother of two daughters (Summyr and Tarran).

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