2005 Star Volunteer

Donna Ramer, president of StrategCations, Inc.

Donna RamerShe has been called a keeper of the message and “the essence of volunteerism.”

Donna Ramer, this year’s Star Volunteer, is an award-winning communications specialist who, happily for the HBA, has put her skills and experience to work for the organization.

According to HBA president Barbara Pritchard, “Donna has an incredibly clear focus of who we are and where we’re going. Her ability to synthesize messaging and provide consistency are key attributes for an organization that has grown from one chapter to seven, with new ones in formation.”

“The HBA has been very important to me,” said Donna. “I’ve been privileged to help further the mission of the HBA and status of women in the industry, while making life-long friendships.” Donna started as PR chair in 2000, was elected to the board in 2001 and re-elected in 2003, when she became the HBA’s first director of public affairs. She also assumed the task of chairing the Leadership Conference and, with HBA president-elect Debra Newton, created the HBA Leadership Institute as a national platform for training and sharing best practices.

Debra describes Donna as “the essence of what it means to be an HBA volunteer.” Donna “keeps the HBA on strategic message, helps position issues and gives clear, candid reasons for what will and won’t work.”

Immediate past president Daria Blackwell has a special appreciation for Donna’s stewardship of the HBA message and image during the transition to a national organization. Calling her the “keeper of the message,” she said, “Donna never lost sight of who we are, always making sure everything reflected the highest possible standards.” Daria noted that it was Donna’s dedication and professionalism that made the HBA’s premier events - Leadership Conferences and 2004 Annual Meeting - “so strong and pivotal.”

The 2004 Leadership Conference “was by far the finest hour for the HBA and took us to a new level,” Barbara noted. “It was Donna’s vision of what a national meeting could be that made it the successful culmination of the HBA’s transition to a truly national organization.”

Now president of StrategCations, Inc., an independent crisis communications and public relations consultancy, Donna honed her communications and business-building skills early at several major international agencies. A member of PRSA and NY/WICI, Donna also chaired the communications committee of The Arc of the US, and contributed to The Power of Mergers, Creating Foundations for American Schools and the Cor Healthcare Leadership publications. Donna lives in New York with her partner, Ken, and has an adult daughter in Massachusetts.