April 17, 2015

Daly’s mission: To be ‘more than who I am’

2015 Women of Distinction - Business and Business Services

Persistence, Patience, Perseverance. Those are the basic foundations for launching a new product or business, according to Dixie Daly, Loveland Chamber of Commerce membership director.

“Launching is like having a baby,” she said. “If you have it too soon, it will cost more.”

Through her job at the chamber, her involvement with nonprofit organizations and her personal mission, Daly approaches life as though everything about it is an opportunity.

“I live my passion every day working at the chamber,” she said. “I get to help other people create their dreams and I give them connections to start and to be in business.”

Daly starts with new members by asking what they want from the chamber and then lets them know they’re part of a family. “If we know what someone needs, we can give them their wants,” she said, stressing that she steers clear of overwhelming members by telling them what they need and how the chamber will supply those things.

As a volunteer, the list of organizations to which Daly has donated time includes the Women’s Development Council, Susan G. Komen breast-cancer drives, American Cancer Society and Loveland’s Women’s Business Networking.

In 2006 she was named eWomen Network’s international business matchmaker of the year.

Now, after more than 30 years of doing fundraising for various organizations, Daly is applying her “three Ps” philosophy to her own fundraising project.

It all started with Leadership Loveland, a program through the Loveland Chamber that focuses on developing community leaders. Daly recently graduated from the program, which includes a requirement for participants to select a community-service project.

For Daly, that project was a Loveland Dancing with the Stars fundraising event, scheduled for May 16.

“I want to do this to learn more about who I am,” she said.  “I’m not a dancer – I can ‘play dance’ but not like this.”

Her personal goal? “I want to be more than who I am – to see what I have inside and to reach my own highest potential.”

In addition to spending 25 hours learning how to dance, each dancer will perform two different choreographed routines such as the foxtrot, swing and tango, on the night of the event. Each dancer also is responsible for securing sponsorship.

“I raised $1,000 last night, and today I will do another thousand,” Daly said. She sees the endeavor as an opportunity to raise money for her own project. Habitat For Humanity and Heart-J Center are beneficiaries for funds raised.

Daly described the death of her husband two years ago as a catalyst for a life transformation – one that has led her to take this project on.

“My life crashed,” she said. “I realized how precious life is and that people can choose to live every moment with love. That’s what Ed taught me.”

She and Ed met when she was 13, married when she was 17 and had 39 years together.

“He gave me the biggest wings, and that’s why I’m doing Dancing with the Stars,” she said. “I can raise money for anyone, but raising money for me is my step out of the box.”

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