September Founders Day Event Honors Local Businesswomen

September Founders Day Event Honors Local Businesswomen

On Wednesday, September 22, the Dana Point Historical Society will honor Donna Kalez (right) of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and Gisele Anderson (left) of Capt. Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a drinks and hors d’oeuvres patio reception at the OC Sailing Events Center at 34451 Ensenada Place, directly adjacent to Baby Beach in the west basin.  Ample parking is available. Following the reception will be a presentation at 6:30 p.m. when event chair Elizabeth Bamattre will interview our two Founders Day recipients.

Gisele Anderson and Donna Kalez, co-directors of the Dana Point Whale Watching Company, trademarked Dana Point as the Dolphin & Whale Capital of the World in 2019.  In 2021, the World Cetacean Alliance, the world’s largest marine conservation partnership, named Dana Point as the first Whale Heritage Site in the Americas.  Kalez and Anderson oversaw a rigorous application process through 2020 and received the official designation last January.

Kalez is the general manager of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, and Anderson operates Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari with husband Dave Anderson.

Donna Kalez is the daughter of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching founder Don Hansen and was born and raised in San Clemente. Her passion for the business and community is very important, and one of her goals is to introduce children to both whale watching and fishing for the first time through new programs both fee-based and free.  Donna wrote the book The Adventures of Captain Don in tribute to her father and also co-produced a DVD documentary “Sharing the Shores of Dana Point.”

Gisele met Captain Dave Anderson in Dana Point while both had sailboats on C Dock in 1995.  They married, and while Dave was taking people out to see the dolphins and whales, Gisele answered the phones and managed the office side of things.  Dave also made an award-winning film and wrote a book.

 Unvaccinated attendees should wear masks at all times during the event.  Vaccinated attendees may choose to wear masks when indoors, if desired.

Please RSVP for this free event to the Dana Point Historical Society at or by calling 949-248-8121.