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The 50 in 52 Journey
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Driving Force Radio: Dafna Michaelson
Dafna Michaelson is the founder, president and JourneyWoman for the 50 in 52 Journey, a project for which she traveled across America to all 50 states and Washington D.C., spanning the 52 weeks of 2009 to find America’s problem-solvers and idea generators. Through this journey, Michaelson has been sharing the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their communities throughout the country, with the goal of changing the mirror we use that reflects who we are as a society and thus inspiring others to action.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Dafna Michaelson
Most recently Dafna Michaelson served as Director of Volunteer Services and Patient Information for Denver Health and Hospitals Authority. In her role, Dafna has increased active volunteer participation by 44% and recently became credentialed as a Certified Administrator of Volunteer Services, an American Hospital Association Designation. Dafna is the first professional in her field to be certified as a CAVS in Colorado. Dafna is a graduate of the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, the Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts. With her MBA, BA in Music and HS majors in Drama, Vocal Music and Technical Theater, Dafna is well suited for her career in the profession of non-profit leadership. An active participant in the Kentucky Indiana Ohio Region of the B'nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), Dafna has been trained since childhood to participate as a leader in community organizations. In 1990 Dafna received one of two scholarships in her region to participate in the second March of the Living (MOL). MOL is a program which takes Jewish teenagers to several of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland, including Auschwitz, to mourn the loss of millions of their ancestors in the Nazi Holocaust. This week is followed by a celebration of life in Israel. The mission changed her life and cemented her passion for active involvement within the Jewish Community. Dafna is a life member of Hadassah, and is currently serving a two year term as President of the Denver Chapter of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. She previously served as National Young Leaders Advisory Council Representative for the Desert Mountain Region, an eight-state region spanning the US from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, and Vice President of Leadership for the Denver Chapter. In this role, Dafna received the Judith Epstein Memorial Award for her project entitled the Desert-Mountain Region World Series of Poker and the creation of a custom deck of playing cards titled: “52 reasons to be proud of Hadassah.” The Denver Chapter of Hadassah is 1400 members strong and was founded in 1915. Trained by Hadassah to work in all areas of advocacy, Dafna strives to be involved in the larger community of Denver through joining the Denver Health Foundation’s Level 1 Society Board and becoming a member of the Legacy Leadership Council for the Colorado Department of Education’s Colorado Legacy Foundation. In 2007 she received an appointment from Mayor John Hickenlooper to the Denver Women’s Commission. Dafna recently completed the Downtown Denver Partnership 2007 leadership program where she took a leadership role co-chairing the operations committee of the Greenbiz Denver project. Following in the footsteps of several Colorado Governors and other Colorado Elected officials, Dafna is an alumnus of Leadership Denver, a program of the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation where she led her class in acquiring a Denver’s Road home parking meter to support the Mayor’s initiative to end chronic homelessness. Since her graduation from Leadership Denver, Dafna has searched for ways to continue making an impact in Colorado. In July of 2008 Dafna filed documentation for non-profit status for her upcoming project 50 in 52 Journey. Dafna will visit 50 states in 52 weeks to create positive impact and civic engagement nation wide by meeting America’s problem solvers, listening to its idea generators, and empowering its public. Professionally, Dafna has worked in the community as Associate Development Director for the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, Director of the Holocaust Awareness Institute for the University of Denver, and Director of March of the Living for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York. In 2003 Dafna launched Design by Dafna at the National Stationery Show in New York, manufacturing for resale handcrafted invitations and stationery. Dafna shares her life with her two beautiful children, Gavriella Leeba, 7, and Eytan Daniel, 6.

The Journey Institute