Dee Dee grew up on and under the water. You could say that saltwater runs through her veins. Being raised by a marine biologist meant that almost all things revolved around the ocean, and that has continued to this day. As one of the co-founders of the Plant a Million Corals Foundation, her main role is to raise awareness and build partnerships for coral restoration.
Dee Dee’s professional career started much earlier and has ranged from the local to the global level. Working with the American Red Cross as the disaster response and volunteer coordinator, she handled volunteer recruitment, training, and deployment. While at the Earth Day Network, an international environmental advocacy based in Washington, D.C., she was the Executive Assistant to the President, assisting with organizational management, campaign development, and working with the media as a content contributor and writer. As the coordinator of the Florida Keys Community College Foundation (now College of the Florida Keys), Dee Dee was the lead administrator and fundraiser for the scholarship program supporting the students and programs of the school. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, she coordinated the disaster response for the students and staff , as well as assisting in the fundraising efforts to support those in need in the school. After the hurricane response, she joined the team at the Florida Keys Community Land Trust, raising money and awareness for the lack of affordable housing in the Florida Keys as their Development Officer. This included expanding media presence, planning fundraising events and press relations.
Currently, Dee Dee is the Director of Communications and Development for the Plant a Million Corals Foundation. She is proud to work with her family, as she founded the organization with her father, Dr David Vaughan, her mother, Donna Vaughan. The organization is the culmination of Dr Vaughan’s research on coral restoration, sharing and implementing his groundbreaking discovery of micro fragmentation, a technique now used around the world for coral restoration.
Jose was very interested in coral restoration. He and Dr Vaughan knew each other and that is how Krissy and Dee Dee met. They both share the same passion their fathers had for their work and understand how much has to be done to save our oceans. Dee Dee becoming part of the Foundation was a natural next step for her commitment to improving the environment, above and below the water.
Dee Dee lives in the Florida Keys with her husband, Jason, and their rescue pup, Isabela.