March 7, 2019

Smith builds on successes at Neenan

2014 Women of Distinction - Business and Business Services

When it comes to economic development, Donna Smith is one of the standouts in Northern Colorado.

Smith, vice president for business development and federal programs at The Neenan Co. in Fort Collins, easily earned her place as a Woman of Distinction in the construction and development category.

“Donna effectively builds relationships with clients that turn into long-term friendships based on mutual trust and respect,” said David Gaylinn, client services partner at Dovetail Solutions, a public relations firm in Denver. “Donna has a unique ability to discern a contact’s preferred communication style and tailor her own efforts to meet the needs of that individual business.”

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Smith has worked for almost 10 years at Neenan, an integrated architecture and construction firm, where she has been responsible for $175 million of the company’s business. She is responsible for sales in the Front Range as well as federal projects.

‘What drives me is that I want to support Neenan,” Smith said. “It’s family to me. It’s important to see it succeed. The fact is that we take a much different approach. It’s not just about selling a building; it’s about selling a process.”

Smith has been influential in many of Neenan’s signature projects. Three stand out as her most rewarding, since she was at the helm in the front-end planning and sales phases:

  • The 153,000-square-foot expansion at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, which Neenan designed and built. The project has expanded the YMCA’s reach to accommodate more than 1,000 guests and serve as a world-class conference destination. Before, the campus was a poorly organized mish-mash of architectural styles and strung-out buildings with poor pedestrian access. Now, the Y is cohesive, pedestrian friendly and attractive to new groups of people such as those who want to hold large conferences.
  • Her instrumental work behind Neenan’s successful bid to develop Colorado State University’s Powerhouse Energy Campus, a nearly 1,000-square-foot LEED Platinum energy research complex in Fort Collins. “The Powerhouse was a super challenging project with lots of constraints,” Smith said. “The technologies they wanted to use were not used anywhere in the United States. It really pushed the boundaries.” Now, the hope is that the Powerhouse technologies will be used elsewhere in the country.
  • The Bohemian Foundation’s headquarters at 262 E. Mountain Ave. in Old Town Fort Collins. The Mitchell Block was completed in 2009 by Neenan and includes 33,385 square feet of space in four stories. The project was awarded Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Smith’s commitment to the community reaches beyond her job to volunteer activities such as United Way.

When it comes to economic development, Donna Smith is one of the standouts in Northern Colorado.

Smith, vice president for business development and federal programs at The Neenan Co. in Fort Collins, easily earned her place as a Woman of Distinction in the construction and development category.

“Donna effectively builds relationships with clients that turn into long-term friendships based on mutual trust and respect,” said David Gaylinn, client services partner at Dovetail Solutions, a public relations firm in Denver. “Donna has a unique ability to discern a contact’s preferred communication style and tailor her own efforts…

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