Meet the People: Dawn Houser

Dawn started out at Design Collaborative in 2000 as the Business Manager working part-time.  She was a full-time mom with two young children looking for something that would fit in with her family role. Now, in 2019, Dawn is the full-time Business Manager and has been at Design Collaborative for 19+ years. She manages the financial reporting, payroll, employee benefits and budgeting here at DC as well as whatever else comes her way (and yes, she is still a mom!).


Dawn graduated from South Side High School in Fort Wayne, earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Finance at Indiana Tech, then went on to earn her MBA at Indiana Wesleyan. Dawn has lived in Fort Wayne pretty much her whole life, except for a short time (5 years) lived in Florida.


One thing that is very important to Dawn is her family. She has been married to her husband, Greg, for 24 years, and they have two children. Their oldest, Taylor, earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University and is currently working on her master’s degree in Dietetics at Ball State University. Their son, Brian, is working on dual degrees in Music and Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Another member of the family is their goldendoodle named Bernie. Bernie is 10 years old and was named after Bernie Kosar (Dawn’s husband, Greg, is a huge fan of the Browns, whom Kosar used to play for). Dawn says the name suites Bernie the goldendoodle very well!

Some of Dawn’s favorite things to do are gardening and planting flowers in the summertime, cooking, and hiking. The Houser family has been hiking in Colorado, Maine, Arizona, and Utah. Their most recent family vacation was Dawn’s dream trip: Italy. The whole family spent two weeks traveling around the country, stopping in Rome, Florence, Venice, Sorento, Pompeii, and Cinque Terre. They visited the beautiful Lake Maggiore and saw the leaning tower of Pisa.


One little-known fact about Dawn is that she started college in Fort Lauderdale Fl, with the intent of becoming an Oceanographer.  In her first year of college one of her favorite classes was a taking a sailing class.  


When asked what her favorite thing about Design Collaborative is, Dawn immediately said, ‘the people.’ From the administrative staff to the technicians to the partners, everyone is kind and hard-working. Dawn says she tries to get out of her office to talk to people so that she can feel connected with the rest of the office. She believes DC has a very positive and fun culture, and that even on the days where it just feels like ‘work,’ the people there turn it into something more.