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Helen Donegan – Spirit of Collaboration

Helen Donegan i4 Women in Business Orlando

Helen Donegan – Spirit of Collaboration – University of Central Florida Vice President, Division of Community Relations

Described by others as a “philanthropic powerhouse,” Helen Donegan, vice president, division of community relations, University of Central Florida, has accomplished many feats – both professionally and for the community as a whole.

She began working at UCF after serving as the director of governmental affairs at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Helen Donegan met the then new president of UCF John Hitt when he participated in several programs that she coordinated and interviewed for the Director of Community Relations position, working with Vice President Dan Holsenbeck, and thrived in the position.“The growth in enrollment along with the growth in the quality of the institution has been amazing,” Donegan said.

“The past 21 years at the University of Central Florida have been incredibly satisfying and exciting.”While finding success professionally, she has been actively involved in the community during that same time. Donegan has served as the chair of the opening festivities for the Orlando Science Center, chaired the Board of the American Heart Association, Metro Orlando, served as co-chair of the Cattle Baron’s Ball for the American Cancer Society, served as founding chair of the Women’s Executive Council for United Way and served as chair of the Mennello Museum Gala – to name just a few.


“I have always viewed life as a series of adventures that you should learn from and enjoy,” Donegan said. “A new job, a move, a promotion – retirement –all different adventures that offer new opportunities.”

Donegan has also been recognized for her contributions to the community, her professional success and extensive community connections with many accolades. She has been named as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando from 2006 through 2013 by Orlando Magazine, the recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professional’s H. Clifford Lee Award in 2011, and the Orlando Business Journal, Publishers Award for Community Service in 2008. “Life is an amazing journey and some twists and turns may be more difficult than others, but I would say – live in the moment and make the best memories possible for yourself and those around you .”

Additionally, Donegan founded the “Friends of Helen Executive Women’s Networking Group” as a quarterly lunch so she could meet with her peers.“Women bring a different insight and are able to help corporations understand the necessity of balancing work and family. Life is all about balance, and most women are keenly aware of this need.”

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