In the 15 or so years of the Donovan Group, there is only one regret that I have: naming it after myself. I have always focussed on the “group” part of the name because it is the collective group of people who comprise our firm—dedicating their considerable knowledge, skills and their goodness as people—who are responsible for the success of our clients and our firm.
As we approach our 16th year in business, I am grateful to share some updates.
Earlier this year, we opened offices in Florida, Minnesota and, after launching a partnership with the California School Boards Association, California. At the same time, we continue to grow our national services. We now serve districts in every corner of the United States and many school districts in between.
We also made some really great hires. Holly Henderson joined us earlier this year as a Communication Strategist. She has been deeply involved in education as the marketing and communication specialist for the School District of Baraboo. Holly received the 2019 Wisconsin School Public Relations Association Lighthouse Award, along with 10 Awards of Excellence and four Awards of Merit from WSPRA.
Meet Dr. Lori Mueller
On July 1, we were thrilled to welcome Dr. Lori Mueller to our firm as a Senior Associate. Lori is a greatly respected educational leader and superintendent who has been nationally recognized for her work in school communication.
While superintendent in the School District of Baraboo in central Wisconsin, Lori led significant continuous school improvement through district strategic planning processes. She also led efforts to engage community members in successfully passing the two largest capital referendums in her district’s history. Lori will serve districts nationally while leading the Donovan Group’s efforts in Florida.
We are pleased to also welcome Perry Hibner to our firm as the leader of Donovan Group Intelligence, which is described below. Until very recently, Perry served as the director of communications for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. There, he oversaw communication for both the district and its foundation, taking the lead on fundraising strategies, events, planned giving, newsletters, website management, communication planning and crisis communications.
Introducing Donovan Group Intelligence
Also on July 1, we formally announced the opening of Donovan Group Intelligence, a survey research firm. Since the beginning, Donovan Group has done a ton of survey research. As our footprint has grown, so too has the number of requests for us to provide additional (non-communications focused) research services to district clients, including online surveys for culture and climate issues, COVID-19, referendum efforts and quick, “dip-stick” style surveys. We also provide polling, focus groups and analysis.
While DG Intelligence is positioned as something of a spinoff, it falls squarely under the Donovan Group umbrella and includes services that we have been providing for years. These services are made better by new methodologies and best-in-the-field tech.
In addition to providing top-notch survey research services to schools, districts and educational organizations across the country, the outstanding professionals who comprise our team will be made better by benefitting from the new data that will be generated through this service.
Before I sign off, I would like to return to the “group” part of our name. Just as our growth over years could not be made possible without the outstanding people who I get to work with every day, it could not have been possible without the amazing support we have received from the various friends we have worked with over the years, people with whom we have aligned over our mutual interests in advancing public education and ensuring that when it comes to meeting the needs of all students in our schools, we truly mean all.
Thank you for your support.
Joe Donovan is founding partner of the Donovan Group.