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East County News Service


Sept. 12, 2016 (East County) – Fitness instructor, dancer and choreographer Dionne Thomas has been selected as keynote speaker at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce’s 14th annual Women In Leadership Luncheon (WILL). Awards will be presented Friday, Sept. 16 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel in Mission Valley.

Thomas, a licensed Zumba instructor, was a speaker at the 2015 TedX Temecula event. She is known for her ability to help people connect to their authentic self expression. Chamber officials said Thomas’ speech will include her encouragement to people to awaken their inner dancer and allow themselves to move courageously unguarded through the world.


“It is my passion to help people release their fears, self-doubt or whatever is holding them back from living the life of their dreams,” said Thomas, according to her website. “I believe that dancing is one of the ways we set ourselves free to return to that child-like inner confidence so we can become all we want to be.”


The annual WILL event will honor women for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business, according to Leah McIvor, 2016 event chair. 


Major sponsors include Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Barona Resort & Casino and Hollywood Casino in Jamul. For ticket sales and sponsorship information, contact the Chamber offices at (619) 440-6161 or send an e-mail to Rosemary Reed,


In 2115, Miriam Raftery, editor of East County Magazine, was among WILL award winners. Other winners last year included: Mara Fortin, Nothing Bundt Cakes; Carey Guthrie, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors; Molly Nocon, Noah Homes; Erica Pinto, Jamul Indian Village; Elizabeth Smith Chavez, Smith Chavez Law; Wendy Urushima-Conn, Asian Business Association; Shelly Zimmerman, San Diego Police Department.

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