Company: Coastal Community Action, Inc.
Location: Newport, N.C.
Growing up, Paula Dickson’s family continually reached out to others using both church and personal resources. Drawing on this history, she was inspired to make a difference with her professional endeavors and is currently celebrating four years as executive director for Coastal Community Action, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to providing low-income North Carolina residents with resources and support. Ms. Dickson leads an organization of more than 200 employees and oversees educational services, self-sufficiency efforts, housing, senior services, home repairs, community and public relations and staff training. She attributes her success to her desire to help and to her husband, who supports her in whatever she undertakes.
Enthused about pursing her professional goals, Ms. Dickson earned a Master of Arts in social sciences from Almeda University in 2003, following a religious education from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to this educational background, she is a certified community action professional. Before joining Coastal Community Action, Inc. she spent 14 years as the center director for Telegraph Community Center, where she gained experience in case management and community services. Highly experienced in the nonprofit field, Ms. Dickson also spent five years as executive director for Community Action of Laramie County. She currently brings expertise in such areas as leadership, community training and development to her organization. In the long term, Ms Dickson hopes to leave the company with enough unrestricted financial resources to efficiently better the local community.
Highly involved in the nonprofit community, Ms. Dickson is on the board of directors for North Caroline Community Action Organization and has notably helped them receive a $20 million weatherization grant for low income seniors and families. Ms. Dickson also serves on a peer review panel for the National Community Action Partnership, supports other professionals in her field through mentoring efforts and sits on various other boards on local, state and regional levels. Devoted to participation in her field, she is involved with the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, the Carteret County Non Profit Network and the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies. Ms. Dickson has been awarded the Clovis Brantley Award for woman of the year and her compassionate efforts have also been recognized by the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board.