I met DonnaLyn a few years ago. To be quite honest, she is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. But […]
I met DonnaLyn a few years ago. To be quite honest, she is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. But then again, her life has been unlike anyone else’s. She is warm, intelligent, eloquent, sweet, intense and, you can’t help but fall in love with her. She has a lot to say and when you’re around her, everyone seems to be listening only to her. In addition to being a nationally known motivational speaker, consultant, yoga instructor and wellness advocate, she is also the co-founder of the non-profit KickCancerOverboard. She is definitely one of the most interesting people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. Our interview is below:
ID: How did you become a professional conference speaker?
DL: Health crisis redirected my career development focus. Instead of letting a dual cancer couple crisis wreck our wellness world, we transformed it into an opportunity to serve others and expand our talent reach. Long time business owner in Red Bank, Economics professor, Insurance planning professional, corporate trainer, co-founder of KickCancerOverboard and now CEO of DLG Consulting. Big believer in the power of resilience as a reinvention tool in life and business. Very busy helping leaders around the globe develop adaptability skills…
ID: Career highlight:
DL: First female college intern hired at IBM at PA branch. Silly as this may sound, it paved the way early in my career to be a contributing changemaker. The IBM job posting in 1983 was for a “Senior Male”. I requested an interview as a “Sophomore Female” and made the case in the interview that I’d be more skilled and of greater value to the organization and its clients with 3 years of IBM learning and skills development under my belt. Another candidate wouldn’t be able to provide the same deep dive client service. In my mind, the job had nothing to do with gender and everything to do with effort and enthusiasm. This approach has been helpful in leadership roles for four decades.
ID: What do you like to do when you are not working?
DL: When not at work, I am moving or studying..hiking, biking, teaching YogaOnTheLake, gardening, walking our dogs or kayaking. Retired marathoner/triathlete. Currently taking an inferential statistics class. Not one of my smartest moves with the balls we currently have in the air.
ID: What’s your favorite food?
DL: Does craft beer qualify as food? Love a cold one after a day outdoors. I’d also rarely turn away a coffee chip ice cream cone or a piece of delicious dark chocolate.
ID: Most influential person(people) in your life?
DL: I had an Aunt and Uncle as a kid that I admired. They were a generous couple, world travelers, Kiwanians…He was an eye doctor, she was a nurse. They were great role models as pillars of their community. Today I admire business and life leaders that quietly help others advance their goals.
ID: How do you maintain a balanced life?
DL: When my feet hit the ground every morning, I prioritize some kind of physical movement. Could be a dog walk but its usually a trip to the gym or the park to wake everything up for a productive day. As I age, the movement is more important for the mind, as well as the body, spirit. Keeps me centered, connected to nature and grateful for the ability to move.
ID: Five words to describe yourself:
DL: Aware. Resilient. Curious. Student. Creative.
ID: Surprise/random talent:
DL: I have hosted over ten international college students from around the globe for a decade from Beijing to the Bahamas. Love teenagers, millennials, and emerging leaders, as a result.
Thank you, DonnaLyn!
Images courtesy of DonnaLyn Giegerich