The Wichita Business Journal features top women professionals working for major companies in the Wichita area and our very own Donna Van Allen was selected for inclusion in the special issue. Learn more about her career and gain some insight on what it takes to work in the field.
What has been your career path?
My fascination with process improvement and its impact on business success has greatly influenced my 20-year career in the telecommunications and broadband industry. Until recently, I led operations at SKT, part of the largest family-owned broadband and communications company in Kansas. After helping facilitate the sale of SKT to new ownership and reorganizing operations under one management team, I now lead an operations team responsible for building and maintaining a state-of-the-art broadband network and providing hometown customer service.
Who are your mentors and how have they influenced your career?
For the first 10 years of my career, I worked with a consultant who educated me on performance management, operational process development, and critical thinking. Those skills have been a cornerstone of my career, and we remain great friends today. The leadership team I work with at Twin Valley are wonderful mentors, and they challenge me to find new and better ways to serve our customers. A wise friend recently said that mentoring comes not only from leaders, but also from employees across the company, and I could not agree more. My work family surrounds me with many wonderful mentors.
Best advice for a woman wanting to enter your field?
Know yourself. Choose a company whose core values align with yours. Understand what your passions are and how they will bring you and the company you choose success. Never let the stress of your workload dictate the quality of your work; prioritize and do your very best at all you do. Listen and learn as much as you can about all aspects of the company you choose.
What do you like most about your job?
Each day brings new opportunities and challenges and is always different from the day before. I love the variety of working with others on processes, solving problems, or gathering data to help measure our performance and success. I appreciate being encouraged to work in all areas of the company when I can bring value.