Dashuna Robinson’s nominator says that she leads with strength and humility for both the State of Michigan and the Benton Harbor Area School Board, “using her voice to fight for the equitable distribution of resources for the community” at large. She adds that Dashuna “has fearlessly led our school district in achieving a balanced budget, an accomplishment that hasn’t been made in the past 14 years, while jointly leading the development of the district’s strategic plan while working to increase stakeholder support during those efforts.” She has serviced families in need for more than 14 years, and has a passion for improving the lives of everyone, which has led her to a life of service, often assisting in crisis-related leadership roles, with the ultimate goal of reaching the highest level of government and political leadership required to impact the laws and policies that govern service provision. Earlier this year, she too, was a member of the 2021 Class of the Moody on the Market 40 Under 40 Young Professionals in Southwest Michigan. Read on to learn more of the amazing story of Dashuna Robinson of Benton Harbor.
Where do you live?
Benton Harbor, MI
Company or Organization
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services / Benton Harbor Area Schools
What is your job or role there?
Assistance Payments Supervisor- Project Coordinator / Board of Education President
How do you think that Bold Women of Business demonstrate being bold?
Bold Women of Business demonstrate being bold by being ethical risk takers; rising to the occasion, dominating in their field of expertise, and exuding and achieving excellence, regardless of the obstacles faced. We lead phenomenally.
Bold women are often defined by a number of descriptors. Please choose from the following descriptors to produce the top three that you would say most exemplify your personality?
Please provide an example of when you feel you were at your very best in taking action on the job or in your role.
Given the magnitude of my dual roles with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and position as the Board of Education President for Benton Harbor Area Schools, I am often required to multi-task in order to be successful. On one particular day, I worked a partial business day as an Assistance Payments Supervisor and Project Coordinator for MDHHS, completed two BHAS building tours, and attended the funeral for the relative of one of our Board of Education Trustees, all in the same 8 hour day. Another example was the day I prepared for an in-person MDHHS stakeholder meeting as the Project Coordinator, and attended a benefit determination hearing as an Assistance Payments Supervisor, with my evidence printed in hand, from my car. In my leadership roles, I have managed to maintain providing equitable service delivery to MDHHS clients, develop a strategic plan and help achieve a positive fund balance for the first time in over 14 years for Benton Harbor Area Schools, while effectively coordinating water distribution services for Benton Harbor residents. I get things done, by any means necessary.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened on your road to success?
While working on a MDHHS water distribution shift held at our centralized site located at BHHS, I attempted to answer a question of one of our volunteer staff regarding shift protocol. Because I am a person who is a team player, I never automatically present as being the boss. I was also working just as hard as everyone present, so they did not recognize that I was the person in charge. The volunteer was adamant that they receive the answer that would be most preferred by MDHHS. It took me about 3-4 attempts and additional clarification to get them to realize that I am both the MDHHS Project Coordinator and the Board President for BHAS, so I was the person most authorized to answer their question. We all had a good laugh at their confusion and diligence. The volunteer and ambassadors all found a greater respect for my humility and leadership by shifts end.
Who most inspires your personal drive for success every day?
My family and community are who most inspire my personal drive for success every day. I aspire to represent our family and community in the highest esteem, making my ancestors both living and in Heaven proud, while also being a positive role model for future leaders. My number one priority is to ensure my children and future generations of our community have the opportunity to walk the trail that I have blazed so that they may stand on my shoulders to achieve future greatness.
What is your best advice to women in Southwest Michigan looking to succeed, as you have, in business?
The best advice that I have for women in Southwest Michigan looking to succeed is to pray for discernment and use it, unapologetically. Know that God makes no mistakes and has placed you in your leadership role because you are worthy. Never stop perfecting your craft and always seek opportunities that encourage and support personal growth. Never doubt your right to have a seat at the table, but remember that if you are always the most educated and knowledgeable person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Every lesson learned is an opportunity for growth. Use them as the fuel that garners your future success.
What does your selection to the first ever Bold Women of Business from Moody on the Market mean to you?
My selection for the first ever Bold Women of Business award from Moody on the Market is an honor indeed, because I am helping to establish the Gold standard of excellence for this award through servicing my community. My life’s efforts are providence. I am simply trusting God’s plan for my life and how He has promised it will be used to bless others. I am committed to the uplift of all disenfranchised populations and lead in spaces that seek to accomplish such; economically, educationally, and politically. It’s amazing and humbling to be acknowledged for my heart’s passion – working towards the greater good of my community. I pray that this recognition expands my territory of leadership, while also motivating and encouraging future Bold Women of Business.