Dawn Randazzo is a physician and community liaison with Compassionate Care Hospice in Old Forge. She is also a private contractor in the field of event planning and promotion, specializing in the area of entertainment and sports. Previously, she had worked with several area law firms. She was involved in the production of music videos. Randazzo, 44, is a native of West Pittston. She is a graduate of Wyoming Area High School and lives in Exeter.
Can you tell us about your work with Compassionate Care Hospice? When people ask me, ‘What is marketing for hospice?,’ I say that it’s very similar to what a pharmaceutical rep does with a product, but this is a service. There’s a lot involved. There’s marketing, and there are contracts you have to go over, so my legal background comes in with that. And then there’s social work, because you’re dealing with families and patients.
What about your work with special events? I do radio promotion for Pocono Raceway and driver events. It’s very similar to what I used to do with celebrity events at Mohegan Sun, where you go over the logistic plans, do the walkthroughs, and then actually execute the event. I still do it for The Woodlands, too. Every year, I do the Rock 107 birthday party. Anything that involves any kind of production, I love. I’d like to turn it into my own company.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to cook. I like to invent things that I don’t really know how to do, and I don’t do it the way a chef would do it. But the things I cook always come out looking like, “Whoa … this is great.” I’ll teach myself how to do pagach or pierogi – stuff that I never really learned how to do – and I just take a guess at it. But I won’t eat that stuff, because I don’t eat that way. So I used to actually cook stuff for my friends, and I called it “Meals on Wheels.” And if you were really nice to me, you got on “the plan.” Sometimes, I just like to get up in the morning and do things that I’ve never done before, like gardening. When I don’t have anything to do, I’ll do something I’ve never done. And it’s not anything crazy, like skydiving. It’s more like, ‘I’m going to go horseback riding.’ Sometimes it involves a glue gun. Whatever comes into my head, I just do it.
Any hobbies? I guess singing is a hobby. I love it. I promised myself that I’d go out with a duo, or something like that, and I still say that I’m going to. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of my friends do it as a job. I think that I’m OK at it, but I don’t think I’m so great at it that I could make it a job. And I would never want it to be. I’ll show up sometimes, and I’ll sing, and I love it. Music is definitely my hobby. But I never want it to be something that I have to do because I have to be somewhere to do it.
Favorite music? Michael Jackson, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Susan Tedeschi. And I just discovered Houston Person.
Follow sports? I like hockey, so obviously I like our local team. And I like NASCAR, which I never thought would happen. But once you know the dynamics of it, and how it works, you love it. The points, the specific positions, the strategy, the engineering, the physics – there’s a lot going on that people don’t realize. And I like football.
Favorite thing about NEPA? The trees and the landscape. It’s pretty.
Favorite movie? “The Wizard of Oz.”
Favorite TV show? “Blue Bloods.”
First car? A 1977 white Plymouth Volare, with green interior, and you had to beat on the dashboard to get the AM radio to work. And that thing lasted forever. I used to work at the mall, and people would crash into it all the time. It had one headlight falling off. It was the tank. It’s probably still on the road somewhere right now.
Guilty pleasure? Middleswarth Bar-B-Que chips.
Pet peeve? I don’t like when people ignore you. I don’t like when you text somebody and they don’t answer you. I don’t care if it’s a couple of hours later, or a day later, but when they just don’t answer you – I don’t like that. It’s not nice.
Is there anything about you that might surprise even your friends? Everybody thinks I’m so social and out there all the time, so I think people would be surprised how much time I spend by myself, doing whatever I want to do, but without necessarily having a plan. On Sundays, I can randomly go kayaking, and just sit in the middle of Frances Slocum, and lay in the middle of the lake by myself. You get comfortable in your own skin after a certain point in life. It’s not that I don’t want to be with people, or my friends, and if someone wants to join me, that’s fine, but if I have an idea in my head for that day, I’m just going to go do it.
Most influential people on your life? Obviously my parents. We used to have 105 foster children. And some of the kids had special needs. And we adopted two of my family members, and some had special needs. They knew there were a lot of children that weren’t as fortunate, and they would actively make us try to bring happiness to those kids. My mom used to have us color Easter eggs, or color ornaments, and take us to St. Joseph’s to decorate cribs ever year, and then go on the fire truck dressed as the Easter Bunny and hand out jelly beans. Anything, to make us realize that what we had was not what everybody had. They taught us how to give. The other person was Mitch Kornfeld. We worked together at The Woodlands for so many years. He’s very charismatic, and I would watch his conversations and they way he handled everything, and I would kind of take mental notes, and then I would carry that into whatever job I had. And learning how to be like that unique person was the thing that, I think, helped me to have such diversity in my career path.
Alan K. Stout is a regular contributor to Weekender. In addition to the MEET feature, he also writes about the NEPA music scene.
MEET is a new feature in Weekender that profiles local people from throughout NEPA.