Claghorn, Watson join SKA board

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By Jane Bartnett

The Siesta Key Association welcomed two new board members at the organization’s June


Catherine Luckner, association president, announced that they are Dawn Claghorn and Nikki

Watson. Both bring extensive professional experience in the fields of education, real estate and the non-

profit world to their new positions.

Both have recently relocated from Indiana.

Dawn Claghorn

A retired educator and experienced property manager, Claghorn came to Siesta Key and the

Sarasota area from Indiana in January 2023. A special education middle school teacher and

intermediate school assistant principal, Claghorn’s educational career spanned assignments in

Louisville, Kentucky; Richmond, Indiana; and Muncie, Indiana. She and her late husband, James,

who retired from the Indiana National Guard after a 32-year career at the rank of lieutenant

colonel, owned and managed five rental properties in Indiana.

“We were a military family,” she said.

After relocating to Siesta Key, Claghorn purchased and now manages a short-term rental

property in downtown Sarasota. She has branded her VRBO cottage “Coastal Cabana Hideout.”

A graduate of Indiana University, Claghorn holds a Master’s Degree in Educational

Leadership from Ball State University.

She expressed her enthusiasm for the Siesta Key Association and the work in which the SKA is engaged. “I am very interested in the hotel issue,” she said. “I believe that new hotels would impact the people who have built small rental businesses.”

SKA’s coastal environmental work also is a strong interest for Claghorn.

“I’m brand new and happy to help wherever I’m needed,” said the new board member.

Nikki Watson

A global real estate advisor at Sotheby’s International Realty working from the downtown

Sarasota office, Nikki Watson spent the earlier part of her career in the management and

financial services arena. In Indiana, she worked with a national commercial manufacturer as

well as in financial operations management for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and

the non-profit Washington, D.C.-based LEAD1 Association. LEAD1 was formerly known as the

Division 1A Athletic Directors Association.

Watson is a graduate of Indiana University-Indianapolis. She holds a Certificate in Information

Technology from Purdue University and brings experience in business operations, event

management analytics and customer relations to her new role at the SKA.

Watson also served on the board of the College Mentors for Kids, an Indianapolis-based

children’s non-profit organization.

A strong advocate for community service, Watson is enthusiastic about the Siesta Key Association.

“The SKA does important work protecting the barrier island and supporting environmental issues,” she said.

Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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