Dreaming to Uplift Underserved Students

Author: Joanne Norell

This story by Joanne Norell originally appeared in We Are ND on June 23, 2020.

Dorene Dominguez

As the CEO of the Vanir Group of Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Dominguez heads one of the leading Hispanic and woman-owned program, project, and construction management firms in the United States. That would be enough to keep anyone busy.

But Dominguez doesn’t leave her work at her day job. Her pursuits are extensive. Dominguez currently serves on two public boards, kb Home and CIT Bank. Additionally, she is a Governor of an NBA team, the Sacramento Kings — and a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. That’s not including her work as founder and chairwoman of The Dominguez Dream in Memory of H. Frank Dominguez, a public 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves elementary schools in underserved communities and empowers students through literacy and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), enrichment activities, and parent engagement.

The origins of The Dominguez Dream, which Dominguez founded in 2004 in memory of her late father, tie directly to her family’s connection to Notre Dame. Dorene graduated in 1985 with an undergraduate degree in finance, while her brother, Richard, earned his Notre Dame law degree in 1989. It was at Richard’s law school commencement — where former chairman of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and sixth Commissioner of MLB Peter Uebberoth delivered the commencement address — that the seeds of The Dominguez Dream were planted.