Dawn Shreeve: President and Co-Founder
Dawn is an adoptive mother of four special needs kiddos; long-time educator, aspiring professional cat cuddler, and lover of all things adoption. An adoptive conference frequent flyer, she thought that bringing adoptive and foster mamas to the beach was the perfect atmosphere in which to relax and connect with other mamas who “get it”.
Dawn is trained in TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) and works with fellow educators and families to better understand trauma based behaviors and help kids from hard places find their voice. Her passion is to help Mamas understand how important self-care is in their parenting journey.
While on vacation to Ruskin in 2015, Dawn fell in love with Little Harbor and recruited her good friend Sindy Ost, a fellow China and Domestic mom, to bring her sales/marketing expertise and passion together for the perfect blend of rest, education and connection for some of the world’s most dedicated moms!
Dawn and her husband Michael parent Tabetha 13, Domestic (born 12 weeks premature with various sensory issues); Fabian, 13, Ecuador (Cleft lip/palate and Amniotic band syndrome); Ayina, 10, China (Spina Bifida) and Easten, 9 ,China (Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Arthrogryposis).
Sindy Ost: Vice President and Co-Founder, Seas The Connection
Sindy has been married to her best friend Kelly for almost 20 and has five children, four adopted from China, one domestically and are currently in process for their 6th daughter from Bulgaria who’s 2.5 years old and has Treacher Collins Syndrome just like Auggie Pullman from the movie “Wonder”. Sindy also struggled with infertility, that resulted in two pregnancy losses.
Sindy and Kelly’s daughter Allison, who is 16, is starting college at Fort Hays University in August of 2023 and will be pursuing her AA degree while also finishing high school.
Her family also has a love for dogs and since she and Kelly have been married they have added Mollie, Hawkeye, Sassie and Maggie who are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.
Sindy enjoyed a very successful career at American Express and when choosing to start the adoption process, she became a full-time mother. Her children have never experienced having a mom working outside the home. She runs several adoption support groups and has done many fundraisers for families’ upcoming adoptions. Sindy also an advisory member for Open Hearts For Orphans.
She loves advocating for precious children in need of Forever Families. So, when Dawn asked her to be a part of Seas The Connection, she could only say Yes!
Sindy’s family relocated to Kansas in July of 2020 but her role in Seas the Connection has remained unchanged. Sindy truly believes that Seas The Connection is the perfect addition for adoptive and foster Mamas to have an outlet; especially one that includes the beach.
When originally asked about putting on a retreat at Little Harbor, she thought it would be the perfect location to host one. A native California girl, she grew up four miles from the ocean. The peaceful atmosphere is what Seas The Connection is all about!
Kelly Lee: Executive Director/ Equipment Manager
Kelly is a lover of the sun, bowling, and some good sushi! Her husband of almost 20 years and her are parents to 5 (soon to be 6 via adoption) children ranging in age from 2.5 months-17yrs old. Her family loves to be outside in the pool or adventuring the lands in their RV. They all are huge animal lovers which is shown their house full of pets! Kelly has had a heart for the foster and adoption world since about 8yrs old and is excited to be a part of this community!
Christina Irizarry-Torres: Secretary
Christina is an adoptive mother to one son, Jayden, who was adopted from foster care in 2014 at 3 years old. She, along with her husband, are also licensed foster parents.
Being originally from Brooklyn, NY, Christina loves City life, but also finds peace and
comfort with a good book in hand and her toes in the sand at the beaches of sunny
Florida. She owns her own mobile notary business Anchored Hope Notary, and in her free time she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, exploring old towns, reading, and serving the community at her local church. She has attended the Seas the Connection retreats from the very first one and was so honored to be asked to join the team. To her, the Seas the Connection team and the attendees are like family. She looks forward to her time with them every year.