October 31, 2014

For the past six years, Dawn Schaefer has been a part of the NASCAR Events Group working closely with JHE. Serving as senior manager of content and production, the Missouri State University grad manages a variety of events including press conferences, summits, corporate meetings and award shows. On a day-to-day basis, she is responsible for managing relationships and communicating directly with the group’s production partners. For each event, she manages all elements of production including run of show, content development, scheduling, on-screen content creation, video creative development, printed graphics, credentials, contracts, award show program books and ticket sales.

Prior to joining NASCAR, the Missouri native worked as a media buyer for R&R Advertising and served as an event manager for International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Although the rest of her family including “the four best nephews in the world” still live in Missouri, Schaefer currently lives in Daytona Beach, Florida with her Jack Russell Terrier named Honky Tonk.

Q&A with Dawn:

What is the best lesson from college that still applies to your job? Being a public relations major was a huge benefit when it comes to what I do today. While I didn’t realize it then, I see now that I was lucky enough to have professors that truly cared about the work we were doing in class. They were persistent enough to leave a lasting impression on me and instill my extreme attention to detail which is important when so much of what I do is in the public eye.

What is the biggest myth about your job? A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work and time that goes into making these events as close to perfect as they can possibly be. There’s an assumption that some part of event planning is glamorous. While there are some perks to our jobs, the behind the scenes on something like the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards requires extremely long hours. It’s something we’re working on for eight months out of the year, literally leading up to the minutes before the opening video plays.  

What is the best part of your job? Hands down, best part of this job is seeing the end product come together. It’s amazing to create memories that guests will carry with them for years. I love being a part of that. 

What is the best part of working with JHE? The best part of working with JHE is that the answer is never “no.” I have brought some challenging projects to JHE in the past and they will always find a way to make it happen. Our visions aren’t always complete when we come to them with a job and somehow they figure out a way to make it come to life. 

What is your best tip for success? Don’t give up until you are where you want to be. Nothing is impossible; sometimes you just have to push the boundaries and take a chance. 

Nine Things You Might Not Know About Dawn:

I’m inspired by … my parents who are the hardest working people I know.

I start my day by … pushing snooze at least seven times (I set two alarms for this reason).

My favorite app is … FlightTracker because I’m OCD when it comes to flying.

On my iPod playlist right now is … award show video music options. 

My biggest pet peeves are … clicking of pens and returning a text with a phone call.

My family is … THE BEST; couldn’t do life without them.

My favorite sport is … MIZZOU football, my hometown team.

My favorite quote is… “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” – Max Ehrmann

The best concert I’ve ever seen is … Garth Brooks. He is so energetic on-stage and can keep a crowd engaged without all the bells and whistles. He’s great!

Keep up with Dawn on Twitter @schaeferdawn.

Dawn Schaefer, NASCAR, NASCAR Events Group