Dawna is the latest addition to Shumate Design Associates bringing with her over 15 years of experience and expertise in communications for non-profit and educational organizations. She didn't start out in the communications field, nor was it in her career plan. However, she just happened to be in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time depending on how you look at it, and fell into work that she loves.

Born and raised in Portland, Maine, Dawna moved to LA in 1991 for a teaching position with no intention of staying for more than one year. Little did she know that she'd stay for what is now 20+ years. She does miss Maine on occasion, especially the smell of pine trees, the Atlantic Ocean, and a slower pace of life--"the way life should be," however she tries to spend as much of her free time at the beach and the out of doors to make up for it.

Her first taste of communications was in 1992 when she was asked to get the word out about a BBQ. Her plan was to call people individually on the phone and to hand deliver and mail a flyer to friends. She designed the flyer complete with clip art on her black and white Mac Classic, had 100 printed on brightly colored paper, and passed them out to all of her friends, asking them to pass them on to their friends to be passed on to their friends, and so on. With her good eye for design, the flyer turned out okay given her limited resources, however she knew her work was amateur at best, and she didn't plan to quit her day job anytime soon for a career in flyer design. She did however accomplish her goal of getting the targeted number of people to attend the BBQ. Little did she know that her bare bones project was the start of a new career in communications utilizing the concept of viral marketing in its most basic form.

Communications have come a long way since she created that flyer. Now she only uses the latest of technology and software, and no longer uses clip art. If you ask her what medium she enjoys working with most in communications, it's the internet. She loves the fact that with the internet, the world has effectively become an interconnected global village, making it easy and convenient to communicate information to as many as a million or more people through cyberspace with just a few keystrokes.