The Wine Auction’s star auctioneer, “Gavel Girl” DawnMarie Kotsonis, originally hails from Brooklyn, NY, but now calls Southern California home. Her career in fundraising began in the 1980’s while she was running a successful commercial auction firm and was sparked by the very personal experience of raising funds in support of Cystic Fibrosis – the disease that claimed the lives of both her nephew and her best friend.
With nearly 30 years of auction and fund development experience, DawnMarie has presided over countless record-breaking auctions including Wine Spectator Top-10 charity events. DawnMarie’s high energy and fun approach to an auction makes her equal part entertainer and fundraiser. She feels that the key to a successful benefit auction is “to make it fast, make it fun, and leave everyone feeling great for having raised a lot of money for a great cause!”
DawnMarie was the auctioneer at the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Auction and was excited to participate again in the 2016 auction in support of the amazing work done throughout the world by Direct Relief. A true believer in the mantra “no margin … no mission,” DawnMarie applauds Direct Relief’s incredible success in turning every dollar raised into approximately a $35 return on their supporter’s contributions.