Dana Vela: President of Sunrise Preschools

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Name: Dana Vela
Age: 46
Title: President, Sunrise Preschools
Married/Single: Married to Lorenzo Vela
Kids: Joshua- 25, Zack- 21, and Zoe- 16
Live: Gilbert, AZ

I was born…

In Northeastern Penn., moved to Ariz. as a high school freshman.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

Is the gorgeous sunny days, the diverse population and the ease of navigation while driving in the valley! (I can be directionally challenged!)

I’m listening to…

Pandora on my iPod. Everything from country oldies, to 80s and Disney movie songs.

My family…

Makes me crazy, keeps me sane.

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

Either both of my grandmothers (they have both passed away) or the male cast of “The Fast and the Furious” (don’t judge).

One thing I cannot live without…

I say time to just hang out with my friends or family. My friends and family would probably say my IPhone.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

An Olympic-figure-Skating-Miss-America.

I’m inspired by…

And surrounded by strong, smart, resourceful, dedicated and hardworking co-workers. It’s easy to do your best when you’re surrounded by THE best.

The one person who motivates me is…

It’s hard to choose just one, but probably my Mom and my 16 year-old daughter Zoe. They are both unapologetically unique, fierce, passionate and strong. Knowing that they are proud of me means everything.

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

To cure cancer. Isn’t that everyone’s wish?

The perfect day would be…

Cooking and baking for a huge Sunday dinner with my husband and kids and parents, brothers and sisters-in-
law, nieces, nephews, and whatever “strays” the family brings. Oh, with football.

My first job was…

A preschool teacher’s aide at the age of 15. Thirty years later I’ve never really left the field.

My favorite escape…

Is probably baking. There is something soothing about tinkering with the ingredients in a recipe that distracts and soothes me.

My life…

Is so very blessed, even if most friends think it would make a good sitcom.

I’m currently working on…

A million things, including initiating new methods for improving the quality of the education we provide at Sunrise and finding a way to routinely get my grown sons to still hang out with the family more often.

Always…

Remember to count your blessings, or count to 10 before you speak in frustrations, or both.

Never…

QUIT. It’s okay to “retreat” and “regroup” and come back at it from another angle though!

Favorite Quote…

I love quotes, and have a million favorites. Today’s favorite is: “it never hurts to just keep looking for the sunshine” ~ Eeyore

Biggest Dream…

Retiring in paradise with my amazing Police Detective husband- I feel like we have been so busy “surviving” the days that the years have flown by and we have some serious “catching up to do.”

My Pet Peeve(s)…

Chronic negativity, loud doubters, and people who make me late!





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