Category Archives: Events

Giving Back with SunTrust

I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to act on my vision of giving back to the community and being able to help future generations. When I am able to come together with other leaders in the community to ensure this vision comes into fruition, I am truly overjoyed.

Recently, SunTrust generously donated $6,000 to A Gift for Teaching, a Kids In Need Foundation affiliate that provides free school supplies to teachers in the Central Florida area. That money will go towards Dixon Ticonderoga Company backpacks filled with high quality Ticonderoga writing supplies and Prang art supplies for students in Osceola, Orange, and Seminole Counties in Florida. In addition, Dixon also donated a pallet of Prang art supplies. I was delighted to join SunTrust Florida Division President David Fuller in presenting this donation at A Gift For Teaching and personally see the appreciation of teachers who have already identified many students in need.

SunTrust and Dixon Ticonderoga Company are passionate believers that education is the most important factor to guarantee a brighter future. We are happy to help A Gift for Teaching in their mission to improve public education by providing resources and surplus materials free to teachers for their students in need.



Bowling for Junior Achievement

Over seventy members of the Dixon family recently got together and challenged one another to participate in a fundraising Bowl-A-Thon. The cause is one near and dear to my heart:  Junior Achievement.  I join the massive alumni of Junior Achievement members who believe that the experience of being in Junior Achievement positively impacted my future.  And because of our gutter balls and strikes, we donated just under $2,000 to Junior Achievement – enough to ensure 72 students can participate in JA next year.

When I think back on the high school programs that most influenced me, Junior Achievement tops the list.  I had some of the greatest and most impactful moments in my life thanks to participating in Junior Achievement.  I learned from leaders of my community and value the time they gave to mentor me and this is why I am thankful for the privilege to participate in Junior Achievement today.

The mission of Junior Achievement is timely and significant:  To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.  Hopefully, along the way, one of them will also make time to help me improve my bowling score!

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Me with Team EBIDTA.


Giving Back to Those in Need for the New School Year

Do you know how many children in your city live in poverty?  Here in the USA, there are more than 16.4 million children living below the poverty line.  That’s one out of five American children.  But in the Parramore area of Orlando, nearly three out of four children live in poverty.  Both numbers are unacceptable.

When I think of these children, I think of how important it is not just to be a leader in our industry but also a leader in our community.

For the second year in a row, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with different Orlando-based organizations to give backpacks filled with school supplies to disadvantaged children.  This year, Dixon Ticonderoga Company partnered with the Orlando Magic NBA Basketball team, AMWAY and Orlando City Soccer to donate over 1,100 backpacks to those children in the Parramore area of Orlando. In addition to receiving backpacks filled with Ticonderoga writing and Prang art supplies, they also were able to participate in activities such as an arts and crafts table and they received popcorn and drinks courtesy of Dixon.

Working with these outstanding organizations and the Kids In Need Foundation, it is my goal that every disadvantaged child has the supplies that they need to be successful for their upcoming school year. If you would like to learn more about how to show your dedication to your community by giving backpacks to needy children, please email It’s never too late.


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Kids In Need Foundation National Summit

Earlier this summer, we had a great time with the folks at the Kids In Need Foundation National Summit. I’ve had the honor of being the event keynote speaker for a couple of years in a row, and it’s always one of my most memorable experiences of the year.

I’m extremely proud of our partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation, which offers teachers free school supplies at their “stores”. It has been our long-time goal to donate enough pencils to span across the United States if laid end to end.  In honor of the Summit this week, I wanted to give you an update on this ambitious goal.

  • Total # of Dollars Donated: $5,331,777.50
  • Total # of Pencils Donated: 17,456,728
    • Total # of Inches: 129,959,411
    • Total # of Feet: 10,829,951
    • Total # of Miles: 2,051

The distance from Augusta, Maine to Los Angeles, California, is about 3,200 miles. That means we’re over halfway to our goal!


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The Dixon Team in Las Vegas for the Kids In Need National Summit.

Education Makes Dreams Come True

Can dreams come true? This week, I had the opportunity to find out for myself.

As Vice President of Administration & Human Resources at Dixon Ticonderoga Company I was flattered  yet a bit apprehensive when Dixon’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Gomez, asked me to write a guest post. I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to describe my feelings about an experience that had touched my heart. However, I was surprised to see that as soon as I started typing I was able to relive those moments vividly.

Earlier this week, Akerman LLP, a leading law firm, and Dixon Ticonderoga Company partnered to donate backpacks filled with high-quality school supplies to West Riviera Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Fla. I had the privilege to stand with Akerman staff to distribute 736 backpacks in one day! I was touched by all the high fives and tight hugs I received from the young children. It was amazing to hear the shouts of excitement from the students when they saw their very own backpack stuffed with their favorite packs of Ticonderoga Pencils and products.

While I was on the road driving back up to Orlando from West Palm, all I could think about was the little girl that tapped me on my leg and stated with a soft voice, “Thank you, ma’am. I really appreciate it”.

Thank you, Akerman. Your generosity touched the lives of many young children. Your team deserves all the credit.

If you or your company is interested in being a part of a day of giving backpacks to students and making dreams come true, please send an email to

—     Lillian Gonzalez

Exercising Synergy

Energy and Synergy are two of my favorite words, but maybe Synergy is my most favorite.  Energy can be supplied by an individual, but it takes more than one person or company to create true synergy.

I hosted a gathering of energetic community and business leaders from our region recently to discuss new and better ways to give back to the community.  With their input and creativity, Dixon’s commitment to community and education programs was inspired to a whole new level.  I’ve been pondering the synergy, energy and success of that meeting and have come away with the conclusion that we are definitely on the right track.

For example, Dixon’s new school backpack program received resounding endorsements around the table.  It’s a new concept, but one that is catching on fast.  Instead of appealing to stores and individuals to invest countless hours to donate supplies, Dixon assembles appropriate backpack supplies for corporate sponsorship.  We even include the backpacks!  These sturdy backpacks are pre-assembled with the most popular and teacher-tested supplies on the market (Dixon, Prang and Lyra, of course).  Corporations can have the personalized corporate-branded backpacks delivered directly to the intended schools.  We’re also happy to set up a presentation event complete with photographer to showcase the corporation’s commitment to education excellence.

Later on,   we cheered on the Orlando Magic and relaxed after a hard day’s work. Check out the pictures from our fun and productive event below.




Back-to-School with the Orlando Magic

Dixon Ticonderoga Company had a great time tipping off the new school year with the Orlando Magic at their Back-To-School bash. We, along with former Magic players Bo Outlaw and Nick Anderson, handed out more than 2,100 backpacks to children in need. All the backpacks were donated through our backpack program, and were jam packed with school supplies that will be much needed in the coming school year.

More than 200 elementary and middle school students participated in activities and games hosted by the Orlando Magic.

Click here to email us for more information about how to donate school supplies to children in need. Children, teachers and schools need supplies all year long, so don’t think that it’s too late.

Check out these awesome pictures from the fun event below!