Michael Donnelly

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Experience Design Expert: BizDev, Marketing, Ops, Events//Founder FWD (For Women & Diversity) Collective

Michael Donnelly has been planning memorable experiences since her 7th birthday party at Leaps n’ Bounds. While consulting for clients nationally on marketing initiatives, sales, sponsorship, events, operational strategy, increasing revenue, or as Founder of the FWD (For Women & Diversity) Collective, a community dedicated to professional inclusion, she carries the same tenacity as her 7y/o self, leading with the idea that “business gets done when people have fun.”

Most recently Michael has taken on the role of Director Of Business Development at Elevate, a digital agency that believes great design has the power to transform the world of commerce. Prior to that Michael has worked with the American Marketing Association, DHL, Microsoft, Verizon, Walker Sands, and a number of SMB’s and start-ups on projects ranging from shaking up the way ‘things have always been done’ to figuring out how to rev up sales or launch a new concept to bring more dollars in the door. And, she has been the force behind building, producing, and expanding the Midwest’s most popular large-scale tech and business events including Techweek and FUND Conference. Her vibrant personality shines through in constructing creative experiences and campaigns for clients, as well as in her time on camera with Entrepreneur.com where she created content and reported live at national events.

Michael lives in Chicago with her pup Lux, loves to standup paddle board, serves on a few local boards, and is all about the #scrappytosavvy life.

BUT, what is “Experience Design” — Experience design or XD is the practice of designing processes, services, events, omni-channel journeys, products, and environments with a focus placed on the quality of the user experience and culturally relevant solutions. Michael’s expertise is marrying marketing, business development, operations, and in real life experiences/events to create meaningful impact for a company’s brand and bottom line.