It’s the year 2000. The world has survived the millennium panic (spoiler: the world didn’t come to an end), Britney Spears is singing “Oops, I did it again” and Eminem is “The Real Slim Shady.” Dawn has finished college, just got married and is looking for a job in Connecticut, where—for the time being at least—she wants to set up home with her husband. According to the job agency, there is a receptionist position available at Sennheiser in Old Lyme. This was a real stroke of luck for Dawn when it came to getting her career on track.
“After nine months, a new position became available in Customer Services. I applied, interviewed, and I was hired,” says Dawn. Dawn would experience many positions over the next few years. For example, when Jeff Alexander hired her to become a product manager for the legendary Neumann microphones. “I’ve always had a huge respect for these microphones and, of course, you don’t want to do anything wrong. Sennheiser put its trust in me, and I learned something new every day.”
Dawn has a philosophy that explains why others are so confident in her abilities: “I always try to do my best, learn the ropes, understand the bigger picture,” she says. “A few years into the Neumann position John Falcone offered me the position to be a product manager for RF microphones. At the beginning, I did lack the specialist knowledge, but I could always rely on my colleagues. Volker Schmitt took me under his wing and taught me everything I needed to know to professionally represent the Sennheiser brand at major live events and TV shows.”
Dawn remembers many spontaneous calls that left her breathless. “The White House. They wanted to convert their lecterns to the MKH 8000 series. Or the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was extremely honored. I had the privilege of supplying the microphone (an SKM 5200 with 9235 capsule) for Whitney Houston to sing “I Will Always Love You”. It was one of her last television appearances before she died. I have always admired her very much.” Dawn was in her car in Germany when she was given the opportunity to create a special edition for Beyoncé’s then two-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, a microphone incorporating the comic character Dora the Explorer. “We wanted her to have fun using the microphone on stage with her mom, and this was a special request from the engineer. We were able to make this happen in about 3 days”.
During her time at Sennheiser, Dawn discovered a subject very close to her heart. Not every well-educated young woman in the audio industry has such an impressive career as her, many of them have a hard time being heard in a male-dominated world. Dawn is on the board of the Women’s International Music Network, and a mentor and member of Soundgirls.org. In 2018, she received the coveted She Rocks Award for her commitment. As Dawn explains: You have to be shown what you can achieve—you can’t be what you can’t see.” We are excited to see what Dawn rocks next.