Donna has been in the travel industry since 1992 and has spent much of that time marketing destinations as a CVB executive. She is currently the CEO for Louisiana’s Northshore CVB, on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain about 30 minutes from New Orleans.
She is a graduate of Leadership Louisiana and has been recognized with multiple industry awards. Her 15 minutes of fame came after co-organizing a massive relief effort after Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast in 2012, raising nearly half a million dollars in donated supplies and convincing Amtrak to transport them to hard-hit areas of New York and New Jersey. For these efforts, she was presented the Louisiana Volunteer Service Award and recognized by New Orleans CityBusiness as a “Woman of the Year.”
Her Disney experience didn’t begin until she was an adult with her first visit in 1999. She was seven months pregnant with her first child, and somehow, even in the ungodly heat of central Florida in August, she fell in love with everything Disney. Since then, she has made up for lost time, and she and her family have visited Walt Disney World more than 30 times and Disneyland twice. Donna has planned conventions at Walt Disney World, she is a DVC member, and her children know Main Street USA better than their own neighborhood!
She has also traveled extensively in the US, Canada and internationally. She has been to Oktoberfest in Germany, drunk Guinness with the locals in Dublin, and vineyard-hopped via helicopter in New Zealand’s wine country. She has also climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, learned to hula in Hawaii, and rocked the front row at a Bon Jovi concert in Barcelona.
In her free time (when she isn’t planning the next trip), she is a dedicated wife and mom to two daughters. Her oldest daughter is a college sophomore and hopes to participate in the Disney College Program. Her youngest daughter’s high school cheer team is ranked sixth in the nation and competes every year at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.
Favorite Disney destination:
Sailing the high seas with none other than the big cheese himself. Cruising, for me, is a perfect vacation, that is why I have sailed 30 times and have been on all of Disney’s ships. I just love longer cruises and far off destinations, but I love the Caribbean too.
Favorite Disney snack:
Dole Whip in the Magic Kingdom. Nothing better on a hot day in the park!
Visits to Disney destinations:
Walt Disney World - over 100 times, Disneyland - twice, Disney Cruise Line - 30 cruises, Hilton Head - twice, Vero Beach - twice.
First Disney memory:
Our first trip to WDW was in 1985, and our kids grinned from ear to ear the entire week. We had an all-inclusive package and we tried everything from horseback riding to individual boats on the lake to having lunch on Empress Lilly, character meals, and of course the parks. It was truly a magical vacation.
College of Disney Knowledge