Mention children and Donna Davidson's eyes light up as she sees the possibilities. Her inspiration as a leader in children’s issues began at a young age, when her passion led her to become a speech and language pathologist. Donna, CEO of Easterseals North Georgia, was part of the team that created the first preschool program for children with special needs in Massachusetts. She ultimately joined Easterseals Massachusetts in 1987 as director of marketing.
Donna’s expertise and leadership brought her to Georgia in 1992, where she took the helm as ESNG’s CEO. Her first charge was to survey the needs of the 44 communities that ESNG serves. At that time, Georgia ranked 48th in child well-being. She applies her expertise in early education and early intervention to advocate and deliver quality programs that are crucial to the future success of young children with disabilities.
Under Donna’s leadership, ESNG opened the first inclusive child care program in Georgia. This program has expanded to provide comprehensive early education and care services to 1,500 children daily in 14 locations across metro Atlanta and North Georgia. As a result, thousands of Georgia’s children have started school healthy and ready to learn. ESNG is also Georgia’s largest provider of critical early intervention services, serving more than 2,000 children annually.
Donna has spent the past 27 years identifying the service gaps that exist for Georgia’s children. She analyzes data, meets with community members and continually researches best practices, identifying solutions that will help nurture the genius that exists in all children. She shares this knowledge with community leaders, families, philanthropists, and state and federal legislators, tenaciously working to identify resources to put these solutions into practice.
The Perimeter was carefully selected as the home for ESNG’s corporate office. It’s the perfect central location for her team to travel to the 44 counties ESNG serves, and it’s also home to many of the hospitals and physician groups with which Easterseals collaborates. Donna also enjoys the area’s amenities such as the Sandy Springs Tennis Center, City Springs, and of course, the shopping.
Donna’s was honored to be Easterseals North Georgia’s CEO during its 100th anniversary.
“For 100 years, Easterseals has provided services to children with disabilities and other special needs. We will continue to do so until 100% of our children are included, and 100% of our children are empowered.”