Donella Wilson,, partner nonprofit practice leader, Green Hasson Janks (HLB International), was nominated for the 2017 TA & IAB personality of the year award
Donella is the kind of professional people aspire to be. She demonstrates everything that is good with leadership and makes the teams she supports thrive. Her soft demeanor shouldn’t deceive you: she’s a strong influencer who gets things done quickly. Her enthusiasm propels everyone forward, and creates a team with vision, passion and heart who create the highest-quality work. Not because they’re afraid of her, but to mirror her! Donella is incredibly involved in supporting Green Hasson Janks, the community and those around her. She is a super woman! Only someone with super powers could do the things listed below each year and still make time to read three books in a weekend and daily yoga!
Donella is a partner leading the Firm’s Nonprofit Practice. She has over 18 years of public accounting experience providing audit and consulting services. Although Donella works exclusively in the nonprofit sector, her industry experience also includes closely held companies in service, manufacturing, waste management and recycling, real estate development and home building.
Donella obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and further obtained post-graduate diplomas in Accounting and Taxation. She has worked in South Africa and England and has been in Los Angeles since 2000.
Contribution to the Profession
Donella is a member of the California Society of CPAs and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Donella co-chairs the Firm’s quarterly nonprofit educational workshops, yearly conference and oversees the Learning and Development function for Green Hasson Janks University. She is a frequent guest lecturer and conference speaker on nonprofit financial management and governance issues. To utilize her passion in this space she is the co-chair of the CalCPA Nonprofit Conference Planning Committee. As an adjunct professor, has taught Nonprofit Financial Management at USC’s School of Public Policy, Planning and Development. Donella also guest lectures for Antioch University of Los Angeles' Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and UCLA's Anderson School of Management's Law and Management of Nonprofit Organizations. She’s a frequent panelist and speaker. Last year she was a panelist on volunteerism at the 2015 American Bar Association Section of Taxation Meeting in Washington, DC.
Public and/or Community Service
Committed to ending homelessness for women, Donella is president of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC). For 35 years, DWC has been working hard to break the cycles of chronic unemployment and homelessness for women. She’s been an active member of the Downtown Women’s Center for the last decade.
Donella is also a partner with Social Venture Partners Los Angeles, a network of professionals who bring their collective expertise and resources to innovative nonprofits in Los Angeles, collaborating with them to strengthen their organizations and expand their capacity.
Mentoring Other Professionals
Donella is a strategic partner in shaping Green Hasson Janks’ formal mentoring program with our Human Resources Department. As a committee member she has helped shape the policies, pairings and ultimately, the culture here at Green Hasson Janks. To lead by example, she systematically mentors those at the Firm with more difficult career issues ranging from first-time leaders struggling with work/life balance, to those with questions on technical specialization.
Once outside of the Firm her mentoring doesn’t stop. Green Hasson Janks “alumni” continue reach out to her for advice and guidance.
Improvement to the Workplace
Donella’s leadership has helped shape the culture at Green Hasson Janks. As the on-campus recruitment chair, she has led the team in attracting great talent and grown our internship program. She empowers those involved with recruitment on campus, and they’ve built a strong brand for Green Hasson Janks and excitement for those joining the profession.
Not only has Donella attracted new talent into the Firm, but she is passionate about developing individuals at all levels. She manages the Learning and Development function, and has created a culture of learning within the Firm. Learning and Development has created a suite of technical, soft skills and leadership opportunities both in the classroom and on-the-job called Green Hasson Janks University. We have a formal Mentoring Program, rotating Internship Program, secondment opportunities in Australia and run a Leadership Program for seniors to senior managers. These continual growth opportunities have created an environment where people feel stretched, appreciated and supported. The proof is in our engagement surveys and how we’ve been voted “Best Places to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal for the last seven years. Donella’s energy around this space is how we’ve achieved the beneficial offering Green Hasson Janks University provides.
Lastly it isn’t just what Donella has done, but how she has done it that makes her an ideal Woman To Watch candidate. Donella’s emotional intelligence, thoughtfulness, and energy are why so many people love working with her and aspire to be like her. She demonstrates that you can be a strong, respected woman without being loud, forceful or pushy since she leads with her passion, kindness and skill.