Who's Who of Top Executives

Caroline R. Doonan

Title: Historian
Company: Norfolk Historical Society
Location: Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Caroline Doonan, Historian at the Norfolk Historical Society, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in preserving local history.

Following obtaining a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1970 from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, Ms. Doonan continued her education with a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina Greensboro.

After many years as a schoolteacher and realtor with Howard Hanna William E. Wood in the Norfolk area, Ms. Doonan has provided superior service since 2011 as a historian with the Norfolk Historical Society, a community-supported nonprofit organization that provides broad opportunities to learn about and participate in the rich and diverse history of the Norfolk, Virginia area. By itself and in partnership with other organizations, the Norfolk Historical Society actively promotes the collection, interpretation, and preservation of Norfolk, Virginia area history through educational programs, preservation support, community awareness and advocacy. Ms. Doonan has served on the historical society’s board of directors since 2017.

As part of her dedication to preserving local history, Ms. Doonan has donated numerous artifacts to Norfolk’s Stover Library, including foreign-made shoes, early American and foreign coins, WWII memorabilia (German gun, gorka cap, pins, buttons and banners), China and pottery, antique Christmas toys, antique carpenter’s tools and family memorabilia. As a testament to her efforts in preservation and real estate, she has received the President’s Award from East Carolina University, was named Outstanding Young Educator by Mocksville, North Carolina and was the recipient of numerous real estate awards in the Hampton Roads area.

Ms. Doonan attributes her success to growing up with a family who valued history. She had always been a collector even as a young girl, from sea shells to foreign-made shoes, which she got from her uncle who worked at Goodwill. As a career highlight, she cites writing a federally-funded juvenile program for the benefit of juvenile offenders JUMP, or Juveniles Unemployed Making Progress. In the coming years, she sees the Norfolk Historical Society growing and adapting to technology and hopes to continue to be a docent with the Society for as long as she can.

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