Donna Dunn’s Mission: 25 years and counting

ADS’ 2nd employee is still helping the company – and new employees – thrive

After three decades, people around town still recognize Donna Dunn.

“They’ll say, ‘Hey, you fitted me for my first wetsuit!’”

And she knows they’re probably right. Few people can say they’ve been at ADS since it was just a gleam in the eye of the Lynnhaven Dive Center. But, Donna can.

Selling custom-fit wetsuits to area Navy SEALs was how ADS got its start. And so did Donna - she started working at Lynnhaven Dive Center in 1982, when she was in her early twenties.

When ADS was founded, Donna was its second employee. In those days, she did a little bit of everything – taking customer orders, sending purchase orders to suppliers, and coordinating local deliveries.

Today, she’s our Senior Inside Account Manager - United States Navy, and she’s had a front row seat on everything ADS. It’s safe to say that after those 25+ years, she’s learned what it takes to build a successful career. So what makes someone a good fit at ADS?

"You have to be adaptable. You have to be able to bounce from one thing to the next, and drop whatever you’re doing to help a customer. If your schedule gets turned upside down, you can’t be thrown off. ADS employees aren’t micromanaged, so you need to be able to work on your own and make your own success. If you’re a customer-focused, results-driven problem-solver, you’ll succeed at ADS."

- Donna Dunn

While her customer contacts have changed over the years, the challenges of her role have largely remained the same, from shipping and receiving delays to quick turnarounds to doing whatever it takes to help an ADS customer, start to finish.

“It’s still about taking ownership and helping customers,” she said. “We really have a big purpose here, and that purpose is just to help the customer, to help ease their pain and help them navigate the buying process.”

To this day, Donna still loves seeing new employees buy into the ADS culture and thrive in their new careers here.

“There are so many opportunities to grow at ADS,” Donna said, “and if you want to travel, there are plenty of opportunities to do it. We have positions everywhere, and if we don’t have a position open where a prospective employee lives, chances are, we will soon.”

But maybe not before someone else remembers that time she fit them for a wetsuit.

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