Q. You spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Airman. What did the military teach you that has been helpful in your career at Donaldson?
Tera: When I joined the Air Force, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was placed in Logistics --I didn’t know what it was, but I ended up liking it, which is a good thing. I learned how to drive a forklift, load buses and move people. It was never boring. There were always fires to put out or problems to fix. It was like a puzzle.
The military also taught me discipline. I had a job to do, with deadlines and responsibilities. It also taught me respect for my superiors. I was one of 30 women in my particular military group, so I learned how to work in a predominantly male environment.
Q. When you think about the employee culture at Donaldson, what stands out?
Tera: Donaldson is like a little town with very friendly people. There is a lot of cross-functional work. People are interested in how their jobs affect others. There also is a lot of social interaction, which is refreshing.
Q. In your current role, you manage virtual plants. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Tera: I am most proud of helping my employees move up in the company and seeing them succeed. One thing I try to teach them is to get out of their offices and meet with people in person whenever possible. The more people you know, the more you learn.
Q. Can you tell us about your military career, and the path that led you to Donaldson?
Bill: I served 18 years in the military: first as an enlisted member of the Air National Guard; then as an ROTC cadet and member of the Army National Guard; then as an Officer in the Army National Guard and, finally; as an Officer in the Army Reserve. While in the Army Reserve, I was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I have only been at Donaldson since July 2017, but colleagues at a previous employer who had moved to Donaldson had great things to say about the company, the opportunities and its future. I’ve found this to be true. I’m definitely proud to be a member of the Donaldson team and I look forward to continued success and fulfilment in my career here.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and Donaldson Company?
Bill: My job is never the same from day to day. In my work as the Data Privacy & Protection Manager for IT Security, I wear many hats. One of my tasks is to ensure our organization is prepared to comply with IT security and privacy rules and regulations, and I enjoy the variety and ever-changing nature of my work.
I also enjoy collaborating with a diverse group of people from around the globe. While I haven’t traveled much yet for Donaldson, I talk to other employees in other countries and regions on a daily basis. As the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life.”