Donna has been with Adams & Knight for more than 10 years and ensures high-quality quality production for all advertising, branding and corporate identity materials. She also oversees our team of broadcast production experts, as well as our QA team.
And she is creative, passionate and resourceful when it comes to finding the perfect balance between speed, quality and cost for each project. She has developed exceptional working relationships with a vast network of suppliers for all kinds of printing, production and specialty projects.
What awards/recognition do you value most?
One of the most exciting times early in my professional career was leading the transition of a very large agency art department (140 professionals) into the computer age. Every single user had to be introduced to the computer, most having never worked with one before. I acted as IT manager (installing all software, fonts and utilities), software trainer (in Quark, Illustrator and Photoshop) and prepress manager (integrating digital photography and printing technologies). As one might imagine, converting that many people, some kicking and screaming, was challenging to say the least!
I was one of the early “Mac agency gurus,” and it was one of the most rewarding times in my professional career.
What do you find most fulfilling about your work?
I love being part of a team, and truly thrive when I can help lead that team to meet challenging goals. In our business, projects are usually hot, critical and need to be done yesterday. I’m actually that strange sort of person who completely digs that.
What traits help you succeed?
Determination, commitment and perseverance.
What motivates you?
Connection. Team members, co-workers, clients and vendors—I get completely jazzed collaborating with other professionals. I love teaching others and seeing them embrace change.
How do you hold it together when things get stressful?
I try to add a little (or a lot) of humor in my day. And I don’t give up on finding a solution. Ever.
What is your ultimate ambition?
To ultimately come up with the next million-dollar idea—in the realm of feng shui, wine tasting or ultimate beach living!
How have your roots contributed to who you are today?
I grew up in Plainville, Connecticut. Yes, Plainville, but I did not lead a plain life! I grew up with a big backyard loaded with fruit trees. I spent a good part of my youth running around that yard with my dog Champ, both of us eating all the apples, peaches and pears we could. I liked hanging out with the kids on the block and climbing trees, ice skating, and playing hide and seek. I looked forward to every summer when I could plant the garden with my dad. As we planted, my dad would tell me about how I could do anything I wanted when I grew up. He always told me that hard work, dedication and commitment would take me far in life, and to go after any dream I wanted.
What activities do you enjoy?
I love playing sports, being active and enjoying the outdoors. My favorite sports are tennis and volleyball. When I lived in California, I was completely immersed in the beach culture, playing beach volleyball every weekend. I also enjoy cooking and entertaining. As a rule, I keep a well-stocked pantry and can throw a party on a moment’s notice.
Of which achievements are you most proud?
After graduating college, I moved out to California with no job prospects on the horizon. I packed up my little car with all my possessions and made the trek west. A friend made the journey with me, and the two of us cribbed with friends until we eventually landed killer jobs and moved into our own apartment. I thought I’d only live in California for a year, but ended up staying 13!
Traveling to China to adopt my daughter was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Meeting her for the first time was scary, exciting and hopeful all at once. There was a bond instantly, and I wanted her to trust me and know that I would take care of her forever and give her an opportunity of a lifetime. I enjoyed seeing and learning the Chinese culture, and my husband and I made a pact to always return and expose her to her native cultures and traditions.
Who are your heroes or role models?
Biggest hero: My husband. He is the most inspiring person I know. He’s honest, respectful, caring, sincere, funny and HOT!
Role model: Tony Robbins. I’ve met the guy several times. He’s all about what drives you. Everyone is motivated by certain things in life. He helps you focus on what drives you to get where you want to truly go in life.
What is your idea of happiness?
Balance—in all aspects of life. Professionally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Any special interests?
Feng shui. Get me talking about energy and personal space, and I won’t stop talking.
What is your most treasured possession?
What would people find most surprising about you?
I’ve walked across 50 feet of burning hot coals, not once but twice!
I was EXTREMELY shy in high school, despite being the captain of the cheerleading squad!
Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner table?
The Dalai Lama, Steve Jobs, President Obama, Katharine Hepburn, Tony Robbins, Gwen Stefani.
Your favorite motto, quote, saying?
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” — Gandhi
What are your goals for your life?
My ultimate goal is to be happy and healthy. I eventually want to move back to California and retire at the beach. I want to be able to watch the beautiful sunsets while sipping a glass of wine with my husband.
What is the most important legacy you hope to leave?
I hope to share peace. So many people don’t take time to just enjoy life. We all need to eventually jump off the gerbil wheel and start living in harmony with the universe.