67°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Business at Home: Flexible career allows Walker to help others

From engines to eyeliner, Dawn Walker knows that it takes precision and skillful application to succeed.

A former engineer for NASA, she now runs her own Mary Kay business and recently earned her 18th car for outstanding sales performance. She marked her 30th year with the company in February.

Walker earned the use of a new Chevy Cruze, but opted to take the cash option so she and her husband, Dean Leas, could purchase a vehicle that would tow their boat.

Walker earned her first car in March 1989, not too long after devoting herself full time to her new career. Among the cars she has earned are three iconic pink Cadillacs, the ultimate reward offered by the company, as well as a Mustang.

She said she can earn a new car, moving up the levels, in as few as three months, otherwise, consultants can keep a car for two years.

“All you have to do is sign the papers. They pay the tax and insurance for me and my spouse,” she said.

In addition to cars, the company’s incentive program offers a variety of “Cinderella prizes, things women won’t buy for themselves” like diamonds and jewelry, Walker said.

While she appreciates the incentive program, she said it’s the praise she receives that continues to motivate her.

“It all ties into the marketing program that praises people to success,” she said.

Walker has been with Mary Kay full time since 1988, working her way up from independent sales consultant to senior sales director, training and mentoring others across the United States.

“Our business is all about the relationships we build,” she said.

Her ability to build those relationships has translated into other aspects of her life, the biggest of which is her devotion to helping fellow veterans.

After graduating high school in North Dakota, the native of Ontario, Canada, joined the U.S. Army, serving as an air traffic controller for three years.

When she returned to civilian life, she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and statistics from the University of North Dakota before heading to Houston to work for NASA as a performance engineer on the space shuttle program.

Her career then took her to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she worked for NORAD.

After earning her master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Southern California, she went to work for Aerospace Corp. in Los Angeles, specializing in launch and satellite system engineering.

She began her career with Mary Kay while in Los Angeles.

Walker said she likes the flexibility her career provides, allowing her to move as needed for her husband’s work. They decided to settle in Boulder City in 2009 because of its proximity to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, as well as McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The two travel often for work and to visit family.

Once in Boulder City, she became involved with the American Legion, Post 31, helping with its yellow ribbon sign program. In 2013, she became involved with Honor Flight, which sends World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments erected in their honor.

“She is a great businesswoman and has a servant heart, giving of herself tirelessly to help our veterans with her involvement in Honor Flight,” said Dyanah Musgrave, who is part of an informal women’s network with Walker. “I personally know families who have had their World War II veteran family members go on this flight and they say ‘It was an experience of a lifetime’ thanks to Dawn Walker and all her efforts.”

Ironically, Walker’s father, a World War II veteran who died in 2009, had been on an Honor Flight in 2007 and never told her about his experience.

Additionally, Walker supports many causes that aim to make life better for women, including Soroptimist International, Greater Las Vegas Chapter, and the Mary Kay Charitable Foundation.

Both organizations aim to stop domestic violence.

“We can’t look away from abuse,” she said, explaining Mary Kay’s new program, Don’t Look Away, that provides compact mirrors to women containing information that discreetly lets them know how to text for help.

The foundation also raises funds to research cancers that affect primarily women.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

THE LATEST
Therapy dogs make testing ‘stress free’ at King Elementary

Test anxiety is a common concern for teachers, parents, and students, especially this time of year for King students as they prepare to take the state test for the first time.

Statehouse daughter heads services to veterans

It’s not out of the ordinary for journalists to sometimes leave the profession and try something new. Especially when they feel a family connection urging them to enter into a divergent field of employment. That’s what happened to one local individual.

Howard turns passion into full-time job

For many self-published authors, the passion to put words on a page ends up being a hobby they do when everyday life frees up a few minutes here and there to do so.

BCHS gearing up for spring play

Spring is in the air and life is abuzz in the Boulder City High School Theatre Department. While residents all over town are packing their winter clothes and embarking on spring cleaning projects; students in the drama department are collaborating on their spring performance of “Yard Sale” by Tim Kelly.

Andrew Mitchell Elementary goes beyond 7 Habits

As a Leader In Me School, Mitchell Elementary frequently refers to the 7 Habits. As a matter of fact, each day at our morning ceremony, students and staff recite our mission statement, which refers specifically to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

LMNRA has deep roots in Boulder City

We at Lake Mead National Recreation Area are constantly amazed and grateful for the support from the Boulder City community. We also strive to provide great service to the people of this great town.

Local business funds memorial bench at King

For over a year, the staff at Martha P. King has been working with the Giamanco family to create a memorial bench for their little girl, Emilee.

A river runs through it

To say that Kathleen Wood knows the portion of the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and Willow Beach like the back of her hand is definitely an understatement.

All for a good cause

For decades, the Injured Police Officer’s Fund has been there to help provide support to Southern Nevada officers in their time of need.