A Day In Her Shoes – Donna Heidkamp

Donna HeadshotMeet Gia Kubik

Describe an average day in your life.
The first thing I do is walk the dog and then try to work out two or three times a week. I make breakfast, make lunches and get the kids up. The mornings are always a fire drill. It’s chaos from 5 to 7 a.m. Then I head to work - hopefully traffic isn’t bad! The first thing I do when I get to the office is sit down and look at the markets, look at emails and look at what kind of risk is on the books. Every day at work is a little different depending on what projects are going on. After work, depending on what time of year it is, I could be coaching basketball or it could be baseball season. I try to make the kids’ games as much as possible. At night, the best thing I can do to relax is lie down with my youngest to read. Either that or my husband and I will watch some terrible TV to unwind before bed.

Why do you support the In Her Shoes Foundation? What do you like about the organization?
There are a lot of really great women trying to make a difference and really trying to make an impact. I love the areas where the foundation is volunteering. Going into the Englewood schools and building confidence in women and young girls and really paying it forward is great to see.

What advice do you have for women?
Don’t be afraid to try. There is a learning curve in everything we do. I think that, for the most part, women need to be more assertive. Don’t just say yes right away - it’s okay to push back and ask questions. Negotiate. Really take time to learn communication and negotiation skills. One thing I’ve learned from my job is the first answer is rarely the best answer. Really take time to banter back and forth, discuss situations and come up with a solution. In anything that you do, just keep pushing back a little bit. Don’t settle.

How do you stay so positive?
Every night, when my husband and I go to bed, we really count our blessings. We are really fortunate with where we are in life with our family and our health. We really try to keep things grounded. My husband is good at helping me do that because he focuses on trying to keep the enjoyment and laughter in life. We need to take time to stop and laugh a little. Have someone in your life that really understands who you are and can counterbalance you. They can help keep you in check.

What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
I have these black shoes I love. They’re simple, but they have a little bit of a heel. When I stand in them, I get a little more confidence. I feel good whenever I’m standing tall.

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