For the last couple of months, there’s been a new face at the Wallace A. Municipal Building, with Dawn Mitchell Parks joining the Town of Ocean View as its financial director.
“I was not looking for a job. I happened to go on the GFOA website and saw Ocean View,” said Parks. “I grew up playing on my family’s farm, running the streets of Ocean View and Bethany. When I saw this, it really called to me… This job is like coming home. I still have family here.”
Parks was born and raised in Seaford but spent time in Ocean View as a child.
“Ocean View has a very dear place in my heart. My father’s grandparents had a farm here, so my family is originally from Ocean View,” she said. “The family’s farm was on West Avenue; Mitchell Estates was part of their property. My dad used to hunt in a swamp that’s now a golf course…”
Following high school, Parks went on to receive a degree in business administration from East Carolina University in North Carolina.
“I love numbers,” said Parks. “I was always good at numbers, so it kind of fell into place.”
Parks joined the Town at the end of October, having worked for Wicomico County, Md., for 13 years in a number of roles, including financial systems program manager, assistant director of finance for operations, acting director of finance, and as systems project manager.
Prior to going into the government sector, Parks worked for a municipal software company.
“I implemented and supported government financial software,” she said. “It was a local company out of Salisbury. They sold the company a few years ago, and now both of them are finance directors for different cities locally.”
Having been with the Town of Ocean View for a few months, Parks said she’s looking forward to getting to work on the upcoming budget.
“The transition has been very smooth coming in,” she said. “Right now, we’re getting ready to go straight-forward into working on the fiscal year 2020 budget. That’s the big push right now. I’m looking forward to the budget. Budget is my favorite.”
Parks currently lives in Pittsville, Md., with her husband and 11-year-old son, Trey, “but within the next couple of years, we plan to move back to this area.”
“I look forward to growing with the town and working with the community.”
Thus far, Parks said, she has enjoyed her time with the Town and looks forward to serving the community for years to come.
“It’s such a wonderful atmosphere and working relationship with everyone here. They’ve all been very open-armed and willing to help. It’s very nice,” Parks said. “I want to move forward with the Town as it grows, while trying to keep the small-town atmosphere is really how I’d like to finish out my career.”
Parks said she looks forward to serving the citizens of Ocean View and is happy to have returned to a town so dear to her family.
“I get up every morning and look forward coming into work,” she said. “You come in with a hope of making a difference. That’s my goal — to make a difference. I love working in the government atmosphere. I hope they come and call, reach out if they have questions. That’s why we’re here — we’re here to serve them and to help them.”
By Maria Counts