“Success is a relative term. I refer to it as progress. The top four reasons for my progress are an extremely supportive family, some fantastic mentors/advocates, aspirations to be the best and most balanced in all phases of my life, and being a values- and principles-based leader,” Donzel says.
Donzel has directed his destiny. After beginning his freshman year at Purdue, he quickly learned what he did NOT want to study. An academic advisor suggested ‘undeclared,’ but that was not the direction he was seeking. Another advisor recommended the School of Technology. “The School was challenging, but it also had majors and curriculum that matched my interests and professors who got personally involved.”
Donzel has moved through the ranks of Quaker Oats and General Mills. Beginning as an industrial engineer trainee and then moving on to senior engineer, department head, manufacturing manager, and plant manager. In his current General Mills position, Donzel is accountable for the company’s development and execution of innovative nationwide product promotional display activities.
The National Association of Industry Technology recognized Donzel as a “2003 Outstanding Technologist.” Donzel is involved both in betterment of his community (Chaska, MN) and his alma mater in a number of capacities, including coach for three sports and the School’s executive council. He and his wife, Tracy, have four children — Donnie, age 11; Sierra, age 9; Joannell, age 6; and Gianna, age 2.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2004.