Donna was born in Muncie, Indiana and during her youth lived throughout the Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois). Her journey with the Fish and Wildlife Service began in 1978 at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida as an Outdoor Recreation Planner. In 1983 she transferred to Felsenthal NWR in southeast Arkansas, but in the spring 1986, she headed west to San Francisco Bay NWR. In 1988, she took a different course and went to work for the Department of Justice and then the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. But in 1992, she returned to the Fish and Wildlife Service as the Regional Interpretive Specialist in the Atlanta Regional Office. With the advent of Ecosystem Management in 1997, she transferred to the field to be the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Lower Mississippi River Valley Ecosystem where she remained for four years. In 2001, Donna moved to more northern climes when she was named the Chief, Visitor Services for the Midwest Region in Minneapolis. But she got itchy feet again and in 2008, became the Deputy Refuge Chief in the Southwest Regional Office in Albuquerque. Much of her last year was spent as the Acting Assistant Regional Director for Refuges. She retired in 2011 from Albuquerque and resides now in Durham, North Carolina.