As a young girl growing up in Jefferson City, Missouri Donna would spend time in the capitol where her mother worked. At this young age she inherently absorbed the fact that change is possible, those who have the power to make change are accessible. This early understanding of public policy has allowed her to become an agent of change.
Serving in her twelfth year/fourth term as the 16th ward alderman in the city of St. Louis, there was national recognition in 2011 for her passage of “scrap metal” legislation which saved the city of St. Louis two million dollars the first year it was in effect. Other city wide legislation successfully passed: limiting minor’s access to graffiti tools, preventing pedophiles from running a child based business and restrictions on gold buyers when melting metals. In the 16th ward she has brought economic development, successfully addressed speeding, upgraded problem properties, reduced crime, and continuously promotes sustainable initiatives. As the Chair of Legislation she has reformed city government by passing a comprehensive personal financial disclosure law which requires all elected officials to do reporting and also serves as a Civil Rights Enforcement Commissioner.
Currently Donna serves and the Executive Director and President of Lemay Development Corporation. The Lemay Development Corporation (LDC), is the organization with the primary responsibility of implementing programs that facilitate the economic growth and development of the unincorporated area of St. Louis County known as Lemay.
While the Director of Institutional Advancement for United 4 Children one of her responsibilities was advocating on behalf of early childhood at the state level. She served on the Missouri Children’s Leadership Council, Regional Early Childhood Council, and was a chair of the Blue Ribbon event to bring awareness to abused and neglected children for the St. Louis Family and Community Partnership. When Donna was the Director of Institutional Advancement for St. Cecilia’s, she was responsible for marketing, public relations, strategic planning and development for the church, school and academy. While in this position she served on the education committee of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with whom she maintains contacts to this day.
Being a skilled multi-tasker, Donna was an adjunct professor of Communications as well as the Executive Director of the Magdalen Community Improvement Corporation. By obtaining federal appropriations, as well as state and local grants she was the leading catalyst in the upgrading of the commercial district. As a board member in 2000 of the Southside Bosnians Services Collaborative she assisted with the assimilation of the Bosnian immigrant population to the city of St. Louis.
Donna currently resides with her husband of 24 years in the St. Louis city neighborhood known as “St. Louis Hills” which is known as the home of Ted Drewes ice cream. Her eldest son is a U.S. Marine and her younger son attends the University of Missouri – Columbia.