Donna relocated the Gaines headquarters from Atlanta to Chicago following a decade that included the Gulf War, an economic downturn and overbuilding that slowed the design and construction industries. The impact was felt at Gaines and Donna used it as an opportunity to reengineer the company to meet prevailing demands. She chose to move her business to Chicago to be near the architectural action.
After arriving in Chicago, Donna completed an intensive entrepreneur program at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Business and established Gaines as the trusted name in the industry. Donna has been tremendously successful in the markets her firm serves. Over the years she has moved into ancillary markets with expanding opportunities for candidate recruitment. She has been active in several industry associations, such as the AIA, IIDA and Women in Planning and Development. Donna frequently writes and gives presentations focused on strategic hiring and management practices within the fields of executive search and design. Today, her desire to continually grow and develop professionally has led her to pursue certification as a Certified Professional Coactive Coach.