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Dawn Simon: Mall big is also a big heart

Dawn Simon
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

If you’re from Brooklyn, you know that Kings Plaza Shopping Center — on the border of Marine Park and Mill Basin — is the mall of record for serious shoppers.

Most of us have shopped there, no matter what part of Brooklyn we come from, and now with a glorious new upgrade, it has taken on a new life of its own.

The mall’s success is due in no small measure to Dawn Simon, the area senior manager of marketing for Macerich — one of the country’s leading owners, operators and developers of major retail real estate — with oversight of marketing at Kings Plaza, Green Acres Mall in Nassau Clounty, and The Shops at Atlas Park in Queens. Simon has more than 20 years of experience contributing to the planning, creating and coordinating of marketing programs, and guiding the marketing and community relations efforts of shopping centers in the New York Metro region.

If that sounds like a lot on her plate, the Woman of Distinction — also a mom to daughter Tyler — feels the need to do even more. When she’s not brainstorming a project at the mall, Simon takes helping others to a whole new level, working on several community outreach programs with a knack for handling multiple projects simultaneously.

Simon is a chapter director at Operation Prom, an organization that provides free prom attire to low-income high-school seniors who are graduating, in addition to other resources, opportunities, and mentoring. Simon coordinates the giveaways for prom dresses and tuxedos.

In addition she is a board member at Heart Gallery, N.Y.C., a traveling photo exhibit that helps find loving, permanent homes for foster children.

Her motive is simple enough, says the honoree — she simply loves to help others.

“It is my passion for helping people that drove me to get involved in these organizations,” says Simon, who also organizes the annual Blessing Our Block events at Emmanuel Baptist Church, where she is a long-time member, and works with other charitable groups to donate backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need, and Thanksgiving turkeys to struggling families.

Her love for business and marketing, combined with her extraordinary organizational skills, make here a natural benefactor.

“I enjoy making a positive impact on people’s lives,” she says.

Simon is the best combination of capability and compassion of anyone she knows, states Kristin Crosby, who met Simon when both were undergraduates at Howard University.

“Dawn cares for people often more than is good for her, always putting others before herself,” says Crosby. “What makes her exceptional is that she is an executor who knows how to get things done, so this caring and compassion always turns into action that benefits the recipients.”

The awardee’s kindness and generosity of spirit have helped countless people, remarks Crosby.

“It seems just about every time we talk, Dawn is working on some event that is helping a group in need.”

Neighborhood: Fort Green, Clinton Hill.

Occupation: Area senior manager of marketing.

Company: Macerich.

Claim To Fame: “Being a mom, sister, and daughter.”

Favorite Brooklyn Place: Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Woman I Admire: “Elisa Padilla, senior vice president at Barclays Center.”

Motto: “Not to spoil the ending, but everything is going to be okay!”

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