Dana Vela

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Name: Dana Vela

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Age: 48

Title: President, Sunrise Preschools

Married/Single: Married… for a wonderfully LONG time.

Kids: Joshua- 27, Zack- 23, Zoe- 18

City you live in: I’ve lived in Gilbert for 20 years!

A typical day in my life includes…

at home, four rescue dogs! At work, colored felt tip pens and fancy paperclips. I do work at the Sunrise Preschools corporate office but we are a PRESCHOOL after all.

I was born…

to parents who made sure to teach me that I could do anything I set my mind to. They also frequently complained about how stubborn I can be. A mixed blessing I suppose!

My favorite thing about Arizona…

Serrano’s Mexican food, patio time at home in the winter and spring evenings. Plus, it’s sure easy to find your way around the valley when you’re as directionaly challenged as I am.

I’m listening to…

the new Maroon 5 album, love those high notes!

My family…

keeps me from taking myself too seriously, we all keep each others egos in check.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

is this serious or fun? Theresa Caputo from the TV show “Long Island Medium” looks like a real blast! (and there’s always potential bonus of additional guests, right?!)

One thing I cannot live without…

just one? EOS lip balm, salted caramel anything, and my AUX cord.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

I’ve always wanted to be a mom! Now that my children are adults I can truly say that I’m twice as blessed because they double as best friends!!

I’m inspired by…

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve always been inspired to make a difference in day to day things  by finding ways to be more efficient and looking for multiple potential solutions, but because my brain is always multitasking I’ve begun looking toward others who are fully able to live in the moment for inspiration as well.

The one person who motivates me is…

usually me.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

I kind of really miss the sense of Patriotism that I grew up with, as it is largely absent in the world my kind live in now. Also (this is a tough one, but seeing as I just started a diet and fitness plan with a new trainer) maybe I could take all of the calories out of Snickerdoodle cookies?

The perfect day would be…

any day that I can host my parents, my family, and all of my extended family including nieces and nephews and now great nieces and nephews. It’s always an enormous amount of work, but those days end up being the very best days.

My first job was…

as a young teenager I was hired to be a preschool teacher’s aide at a school in Ahwatukee. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world because I got paid to play with Playdoh and Legos.

My favorite escape…

a long drive with loud music in my Mustang GT.

My life…

is in a period of change – we just became empty nesters. I have absolutely no memory of what I used to do all day before I was a mom! It’s a bittersweet feeling.

I’m currently working on…

figuring out what to do with myself now that my youngest child is in college and I have no more athletic functions and carpools! I seriously don’t even remember what filled my days before I first became a mom! I either need to start new hobbies or finally organize the garage!

Always…

begin each morning with gratitude, it sets the tone for the rest of the day! Also, always eat the frosting part first!

Never…

give up on a dream or goal! It’s okay to make whatever adjustments are necessary to be successful, some goals do change or evolve as you do!

Favorite Quote…

“Being positive in a negative situation isn’t naive, it’s leadership” – Ralph Marston

Biggest Dream…

I have a lot of big dreams! I would very much like to be able to retire in paradise with my Police Detective husband. We met a million years ago on a beach in Hawaii!

My Pet Peeve(s)…

being told “it can’t be done”. Also running late…or being super lost while running late!



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