Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Paster-DuPree.
Hi Toni, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As a retired Federal and Department of Defense Contracting and Acquisition Professional at the upper management level, I desired to involve myself into more “service oriented” activities and bypassed opportunities to continue working in my career field after retirement. I’m what you define as “fully retired” and focus on living an active and healthy lifestyle. In other words, I don’t work. A little humor. I also have several auto-immune diseases including Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis), as well as Fibromyalgia and chronic migraines to name a few of them. So, I decided why not invest in getting healthy so I can enjoy life despite these health conditions and along the way bring other women along who have the same or similar conditions and that’s what I did.
Pre-COVID, I started a women’s group, Beauty and Grace that focused on showing women how to enjoy their life, get out and explore their surroundings despite the aches and pains they may feel on a given day. The Coronavirus sidelined the group with social distancing guidance, so we went into hiatus and hope to start again soon. In the meantime, I’ve taken up the game of golf and here’s where Diamonds on the Green (DOTG) comes in.
I searched for activities I thought I could do within my health limitations other than walking, which I was already involved in, and I said why not learn to play golf, it’s a sport that doesn’t require running, jumping or a fast pace that would pose a problem for me. Unfortunately, there was no women’s Amateur golf club near me I could join until recently when I learned DOTG was establishing a chapter in Prince George’s County, MD, through a post on the NextDoor Neighborhood app. I immediately responded with my desire to learn golf and assisted with the founding and establishment of the first DOTG chapter in Maryland as the Vice President, with Denise Goode, chapter President.
DOTG-MD was charted on April 21, 2021 and to date we have 13 members and are an official LPGA Girls Golf member as well. DOTG was founded in June 2018 by Sharron Christian, founder/CEO as an “amateur” Women’s Golf Club in Texas and currently has chapters in TX, AL, GA, FL, VA and MD, with a mission to increase the participation of female golfers and establish a platform that will intrigue and pique the interest of the younger female generation.
As a woman dedicated to community service, DOTG allows me to expand my community outreach in the sports arena by requiring each chapter to support a local charity and provide golf opportunities to local students. DOTG-MD will provide a golf scholarship to local high school students, grant opportunities for girls to attend clinics we host and assist them with obtaining LPGA Girls Golf grants and opportunities as well and support a charity in Prince George’s County MD.
As Vice President of DOTG-MD, my responsibilities include member recruitment, obtaining golf course access, providing opportunities for member engagement in golf clinics, enrichment, access to tournaments, social and civic opportunities to engage with our community and best of all have fun while learning to play golf in a relaxed sisterly environment, and anything else required to make DOTG-MD successful.
I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., active with the Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter (PGCAC) and First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) in Upper Marlboro, MD. In addition to golf, I enjoy cycling, reading, traveling, spending time with my daughter and I’m an amateur wine connoisseur.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Establishing the DOTG-MD chapter has relatively been a smooth road with some minor challenges locating a local golf course to host our chapter as our home golf course. Fortunately, we have established a partnership with Lake Presidential Golf Course in Upper Marlboro, MD and they will be our home golf course site.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I retired from the Federal Government as a Director of Contracting and Contracting Officer, responsible for procuring various major information technology and weapon systems products and services on behalf of military and government customers. I am a Certified Acquisition Professional in the areas of Acquisition, Contracting, Information Technology, Program Management. and Satellite Imagery. I’m most proud of the opportunity to work for the Executive Office of the President during the first term of the Obama Administration as a Quality Assurance Branch Chief in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. What sets me apart from other people in my career field is my vast knowledge in managing Major Acquisition Category programs at both the contracting and program level. Most people specialize in only area, while I elected to become a subject expert in both areas as well as others, which allowed me to better serve my customers and support more effectively their respective mission.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Yes, I learned it’s important to embrace challenges without fear and trust that God will always see you through a crisis, you need only to believe in Him and remain faithful to His ability to conquer all.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.diamondsonthegreen.com
- Instagram: diamondsotgmd
- Facebook: Diamonds On the Green-MD
- Twitter: DiamondsOTG