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All About DOnna

The Professional Story


Donna offers a unique complement of private sector business and nonprofit leadership experience augmented by technical skills in food processing and nutrition. With a degree in Food and Nutritional Science, she began as a food technologist doing product development. A few years later she earned an MBA and moved into product management, business unit management, and consulting. She has worked at businesses of all sizes, including multinationals like Kraft, Nestle, and Unilever. As a corporate expat Donna managed a business unit in Zurich that covered Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and later served as a Global Sustainability Ambassador in the flavor industry.


As a BDS consultant and founder of EFour Enterprises Donna expertly blends her extensive business skills with international development experience. She is able to simplify complex business concepts to make them understandable to beginner entrepreneurs in the developing world.

Special interests ​

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Eliminating poverty, hunger, and malnutrition

  • Sustainable development

  • Social responsibility and shared value

  • Social enterprises

  • Economic development

  • Inclusive business

Experience Summary

International Development | Nonprofit

  • Hands-on business support for  SMEs - 12 countries

  • UNDP - private sector partnerships – 4 countries

  • Small business capacity development

  • UNA-USA chapter president and national officer

  • Membership development

  • Professional and trade organization leadership roles

  • Volunteer

Business Management

  • International corporate experience – 14 countries

  • P&L ownership

  • General management

  • Consulting 

  • Business development

  • Marketing and sales

  • Product line/category/business unit management

Functional & Technical

  • Corporate social responsibility

  • Sustainability

  • R&D management

  • Food science/processing

  • Product development

  • Nutrition

  • Project team management

The Personal Story
Experience Summary
The Personal Story
….And you may find yourself

In another part of the world

…And you may ask yourself, well

How did I get here?

…And you may ask yourself

How do I work this?

….And you may ask yourself

Am I right? Am I wrong?

And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?"


Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”


At various points in my career I’ve channeled David Byrne.


I’ve always had a thing for foreign lands.  For my eighth birthday my father took me to New York City and we toured the United Nations. I marveled at the chambers with the headsets and microphones at each seat, and the translators behind glass whispering in delegates’ ears.   I saw, for the first time, a woman in a sari.  This was a place where people from everywhere were accepted, and those people fascinated me. I pretended to be a world traveler in childhood games. 


My first trip overseas was to Spain with my Spanish class in high school, followed by a tour of Europe after graduation. I decided that a passport was a terrible thing to waste, and traveled my little ticket off, vacationing in exotic and wonderful places.


There was nothing international along the first half of my career path, other than as a tourist.  After a few years in the lab as a food technologist I got an MBA and switched to the commercial side of the food industry. 


Then the mother of all opportunities landed on my runway.  I got the chance to live and work in Switzerland.  I had noted on my annual review that I’d like to work overseas, but didn’t think anyone actually read that stuff.  Soon I was off to our global headquarters in Zurich. I spent 2½ years doing Europe.  Some of Asia too. It was a game changer and a life changer.  Domestic business soon became boring by comparison.


I returned home and looked for a way to scratch that global itch.  I soon discovered the field of international development.  I yearned to use my food and business experience to make a dent in hunger and poverty.  I managed to snag a great gig for UNDP and literally circumnavigated the globe in 5½ weeks.  I volunteered in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America.  I wound up back in the food industry for another ten years and was able to get involved with corporate sustainability.  That added depth to my determination.


Now I’m doing what I love, helping small businesses in the poorest of circumstances and advocating for entrepreneurship as the most effective form of development aid. Ultimately I assembled an unusual amalgam of business, international development, and technical skills.  I would like to say I planned it that way. 


Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about the UN.   I’ve been very involved with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), serving several voluntary and leadership roles at the local and national levels, including founder and immediate past President of the Northern New Jersey Chapter. I’m also a board member of the Public Private Alliance Foundation and volunteer in various roles for the Institute of Food Technologists.

Watermarked El Sal 2
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