Queen Of Connections
When Donna graduated high school she wanted to be either a teacher or a secretary but ended up in the international sector of a banking company, where she learned that she didn’t want to be a banker; because she was an entrepreneur.
As Donna struggled to find her ideal job, her husband’s job moved the family to Rosemont, Ontario. It was here that she realized that her ideal job would have to be one she created! With a partner who was a neighbour, she founded a company that would grow into a very successful manufacturing plant that blended herbs, spices and potpourri. She bought out the partner and ran the business for 10 years, then sold it.
After selling the company, Donna became the Director of Agriculture for the State of Illinois for eight years with Canada, Iceland and Greenland as her territory! Her role was to be the “connector” to find ways to bring Illinois companies into Canada, and Canadian companies into Illinois. She was very successful, and Illinois became Ontario’s largest trading partner and there was a balance of trade!
When Donna left Illinois to return to Canada, she realized that she could “connect“ anyone, anywhere in the world with their needed connection or provide direction for the next step in one's business or career. Need a job? Ask Donna how to maximize your career search. Need more visibility? Ask Donna what you need to do to maximize your media opportunities. Need to focus on who you are, and where you’re going? Ask Donna to take you through her systematic process.
Realizing that she was a skilled connector, Donna began ConnectUs in 1993. ConnectUs is the missing “link” in everyone’s chain of connections. Donna is an expert connector, a negotiator, a coach, a mentor and a friend. She is tough and holds her clients accountable for their actions. She is also an author and a journalist.
When asked about the surprises that being self employed brought her way, Donna said “I think the biggest surprise was that I gave away so much of myself for free – like many women, I gave too much away – and it is because I didn’t know how to value my time as a commodity. When I realized what my time was worth – business took on a whole new perspective!”
Donna has built an impressive roster of clients, who she teaches that relationships are not about what you get but what you have to offer. Donna has won various awards including Woman of the Year - Women in Pursuit of Excellence WFIM, International Leader’s Award – Women and Diversity, and the Award for Outstanding Achievement – CACEE. She has also been anErnst and Young’s nominee for Entrepreneur of the Year. I’ve been nominated for Women Entrepreneur of the Year three times and the Oakville ATHENA Award four times! – (always a bridesmaid)
When asked what her advice for women starting out, Donna said “Know who you are, and like what you do! Life is too short not to enjoy the journey.”
What is important to Donna is meeting more new people, continuing to learn about them and sharing what she learns. Donna hopes to tour the world and meet more and more wonderful people!