Speaker Spotlight

Donna Nielsen

Donna Nielsen saw an opportunity that wasn’t being met, and that’s why she joined the business continuity/disaster recovery profession. 

She is CEO and a consultant for Gemstone Consulting which is part of Business Consulting, LLC and includes business continuity, enterprise resilience, project management and information security. She has held this position for seven years. 

Nielsen is detail-oriented, a creative problem solver, and focuses on client relations. She has used these important skills to help her succeed as a BC/DR professional for 20 years. 

She first joined the profession in order to provide supplemental technology disaster recovery with innovative business operations continuity.

“I enjoy the ability to identify and address business risks,” said Nielsen. 

One of several things which she enjoys in BC/DR is working in new industries and learning new business processes.

Nielsen will be part of a four-person Panel Discussion at DRJ Spring 2021. 

The discussion, “Managing Third-Party Risk/Supply Chain,” is on March 29 from 2-3 p.m. The three other professionals who will be part of the discussion include John Liuzzi of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, David Halford of Fusion Risk Management, and Margaret Millett of DRJ EAB. 

This will be Nielsen’s third DRJ conference to attend and her first to present. While at the conferences, she enjoys networking with industry professionals and business leaders who provide valuable insight to the activities that aren’t being addressed. When attending in-person DRJ conferences, she enjoys walking the floor to explore products and services available in the industry.

Nielsen started her career at age 26 by setting up cellular phone companies around the world. After traveling for 25 years, she’s back in Boston closer to her family.

She returned to college at 55 and obtained a graduate degree in homeland security and emergency management planning to resume international travel providing continuity and resilience consulting globally. 

Nielsen is a member of several professional organizations including The Business Continuity Institute, Association of Continuity Professionals, Disaster Recovery Institute International, International Association of Emergency Managers, Project Management Institute, Global Security Exchange, ISC2 CISSP International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Information System Audit and Control Association.

In addition, she has several certifications including CBCI, PMI PMP, (ISC)2 CISSP, and master’s degrees in business continuity and project management. 

She has volunteered for the American Red Cross since 2004 and has volunteered in the past for The Sullivan Center, Volunteer Management Consulting, The United Way, and Laotian American Society for Asian refugees.

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