Doris Dunn’s passion for the community is evident.
“I’m one of those MarionMade! folks by the way of my parents,” said Dunn. “My dad, James (Rocky) Winders, was employed with Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in North Carolina. He accepted a position in Marion working as a car inspector before becoming an assistant foreman. Dad left North Carolina to be trained and to find a place to call home.”
Marion became that place for Dunn’s family.
“Dad never doubted his move to Marion,” Dunn said. “He found ways to enjoy his work surroundings within walking distance of his position with the railroad. He enjoyed picking black raspberries and reminiscing with the Lord around the beautiful Quarry Park many years before it became a Marion public gem.”
Dunn’s mother, Norma, joined her father and they began to familiarize themselves with Ohio culture, cooking, and weather. Dunn has four siblings: Norman, Mike, Elaine, and Terry.
“Even though my parents were born in North Carolina, Marion become home. This naturally started my love for Marion. From my bike rides to Messengers fruit market, to Rinks and the Lincoln Park Pool to my education at Ridgedale and Tri-Rivers Career Center and higher education from Marion Technical College,” Dunn recalled. “Right before my 16th birthday, I was hired by the Dairy Queen and worked there until attending Tri-Rivers Career Center. I accepted a co-op position with the National City Bank. At the time of my marriage, we planned to start our own memories and family in New Philadelphia. That changed a year into our marriage when my husband, Mark, had to find a new job which he did, in Marion.”
Dunn is the mother to Jeremy and Leah. She left Marion in 2008 to care for her mother but returned in 2013 when she joined the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce staff.
Dunn has a deep passion to help the Marion business community thrive. Many of the chamber’s member-to-member benefits were designed and implemented by Doris. She truly cares for every one of the Marion Area Chamber members.
“She has consistently performed far beyond the original purpose and intent of her position from the very first moment she joined the chamber,” according to Matt Carbary, president of the chamber. “Her expertise in technology, marketing, communication, graphic design, community relations, and so many other fields helped shape her role at the chamber.”
Dunn served on the Heart of Ohio Homeless Shelter Board for many years. She has volunteered at several churches including Victory Center, Family Life Church, and the Marion First Church of the Nazarene. Doris was involved with the Marion County Fair program for several years.
“She often opts to remove herself from the spotlight,” Carbary said of Dunn. “Her heart is in Marion, reaching out every day to new and existing businesses looking to make their way in our community.”
Dunn is the facilitator of the Marion Chamber’s Leadership Marion class, where she helps mentor the community’s future leaders. In 2020 the Leadership Program was named one of the 2020 MarionMade! honorees.
“It’s exciting to help businesses expand through member support, public policy, advocacy, community planning, and development,” Dunn said. “I want to see Marion continue to be the best city in Ohio to live in and continue to grow into its America’s Workforce Development Capital status. If you feel that way, your passion just flows naturally, and it is contagious.”
Because of her position, Dunn is more involved in the community and feels as though she has never worked in a silo environment. She looks for her words to be encouraging, truthful, and productive.
“Support Marion, encourage each other, be truthful and most of all be productive in all you do. That is what makes a community the best it can be,” Dunn said. “It is exciting to be part of Marion and see where we are going.”