Stonington Borough, CT
Mystic Chamber of Commerce
Noank Historical Society
OCCUPATION Chief executive officer of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, an adoption research, education and advocacy organization.
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF Navigating new connectivity to my biological family. After many years of waiting, I recently met three of my half-siblings. The beauty and complexity of adoption has never been more poignant for me. I am more grateful than ever to be a Dinwoodie and blessed to be welcomed by my biological family. Never too many people to love or to love me.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Born in Boston, raised and grew up in Westerly, or as I like to call it, “The Center of the Universe.”
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME Family meals with “The Woody Hillbillies.”
PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Working with Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres and JC Penney to help daughters of deployed members of the military enjoy special moments even though one or both parents were away serving our country.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR Having worked tirelessly to help ensure that ALL children have a safe and loving family.
ON MY BUCKET LIST Writing a book.
ALWAYS IN MY POCKET Hand sanitizer.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP Professional gymnast or a reporter.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE INFLUENCED ME THE MOST My Mother, Sandi Dinwoodie. Having her as my mother has made me the woman I am today. She is hands down the most incredible human being I know.
FAVORITE AUTHOR Ayn Rand. Politics aside, she was a prolific writer and storyteller.
LAST BOOK READ “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael A Singer.
FAVORITE SONG Stevie Wonder’s “As.”
FAVORITE MOVIE The original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
FAVORITE TV SHOW “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” with James Lipton or “Politically Incorrect,” with Bill Maher.
FAVORITE PET My childhood family dog a black poodle/mutt named Monique — a.k.a “Neekie.”
FAVORITE MEAL Sandra Dinwoodie’s zucchini Parm, made with zucchini from Tom Dinwoodie’s garden.
AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK An hour give or take.
TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE The ability to forgive.
PET PEEVE When people are not kind and generous.
FAVORITE QUOTATION “Fortune favors the brave.”
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD I feel so fortunate to have grown up in Westerly because I had farm life, beach life and small town quaintness all in one.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT “The Woody Hillbillies.”
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME My biological mother named me June Elizabeth and without knowing this, my parents named me April Elizabeth.... and I was born in October.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED “Bloom where you are planted,” courtesy of my mother.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE “If you are going through HELL, keep going.” — Winston Churchill.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD Every child would have a loving family and safe home.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS Build a better child welfare and foster care system that helps the entire family. I would also make sure that every foster care agency is staffed with highly compensated, highly trained and caring individuals.
I DRIVE A Dark gray 2010 Volvo C30.
I WISH I DROVE A Tesla.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Organic Coconut Water, kale, baking soda.
IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE My birth mother and President Barack Obama.
— Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro