Dawn Richardson…A True Beach Babe
By Bob Tagert
Dawn Richardson…A True Beach Babe
One of the great things about owning this publication for thirty years is the chance to meet and write about the fascinating people who live in this region. Such is this month’s personality profile…Dawn Richardson. Dawn was born and raised in North Beach and currently lives in Chesapeake Beach – the Twin Beach to North Beach. She is among the 4th generation in her family that has remained at the Beach. Her family still maintains a true beach cottage on the water after all of these years. Lucky girl – lucky town.
Before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952, Washingtonians would escape the bustle of the city by taking the train to North Beach and Chesapeake Beach to get out of the summer heat to sit on the beach, play the slot machines and enjoy everything this beachside area offered. However, when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened up, the Atlantic Ocean became the desired destination and the beaches along the Chesapeake began to suffer the economic loss. The landscape in North Beach changed a bit after that.
Born in 1972, Dawn’s hometown had become a destination for motorcycle groups in the early 70’s. The economy was slow but it was home to her and her friends. Dawn attended Beach Elementary School in nearby Chesapeake Beach, Northern Middle School and graduated from Northern High School in Owings, Maryland. “Everyone knew everyone and we would look out for each other, that is what it was like growing up here. Sometimes I wish it was like that now,” she remembers.
Right out of high school she was hired by an environmental firm in Annapolis and began taking night courses at a local community college. She advanced with the company earning a promotion to Business Development Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Although she enjoyed her job, the commute was beginning to take its toll and she chose to take a job closer to home, and in 1990 her life began to change.
The revitalization of North Beach had begun in the 1980’s and escalated in the 1990’s. Dawn was happy back home and enjoyed socializing with her many friends. “I sort of spent those days partying and trying to avoid the police,” she tells me, and then I met Eddie.” Ironically, Eddie was a State Trooper Dawn she met in 1990 and in 1994 they were married. Their first child Jacob, was born in 1998 and daughter Josie in 2000. They bought a house one block from where she grew up. Dawn was a stay at home mom for the next ten years while doing some part time work and some volunteer work for the town and its new Mayor Mark Frazer.
In 2003 Tropical Storm Isabel destroyed many of the waterfront homes and the boardwalk. The storm also destroyed some vacant and decaying buildings that would have taken years to remove by conventional means. The storm accelerated the revitalization of North Beach. Since then, the waterfront has been rebuilt with multi-story homes, a condominium and one of the best boardwalks and beach on the western side of the Bay.
With her children now in school Dawn had time to return to the work force and what better opportunity than to work for the town where she was born and help market its many new amenities to the region. She was offered the position of Marketing Administrator by Mayor Frazer and the deal was completed in 2011. This certainly was the right person for the right job and the beach bunny was home at last. She has excelled in this position and is an intregal part of the community.
Dawn loves the water and the beach. She spends a good portion of her leisure time near both. She has a core group of girlfriends, some of whom are grade school pals, that have stayed intact over the years, and these crazy ladies are always finding new beaches to explore. Every September they make their annual pilgrimage to Ocean City, Maryland for a long weekend. “We also take family trips to Ocean City and Myrtle Beach, which is my favorite,” she tells me. They make it a true family vacation and sometimes take along Pete, their yellow Labrador retriever. Most of the family trips revolve around the water. “If we are on a trip and there is no water around, I get antsy after about 3 days and have to get back home to the beach and the water.”
When I asked her where she got her sparkling, yet slightly mischievous personality, she simply says, “My mother…why not!” Even though she is outgoing she says, “My friends say that I have the “voice of reason.” Not a bad combination for someone who is responsible for the marketing of her hometown and has to make sure everything is done right and on time!
With all of the summer events coming soon, I am sure that Dawn Richardson will be hard at work. Look for the first ever film festival coming in June…it should be a classic event in the Richardson-style…On the beach!