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Cyndy Donato and Dr. Jade James are the latest members to join Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s Board of Directors.

Donato serves as Vice President and Chief People Officer for Novus International, Inc., a global biotech and nutrition supplement business while James, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, is the Director of Research and Medical Services for the St. Louis County Department of Health and the Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at SSM DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton.

“I was a Girl Scout from Brownies through high school,” Donato recalled. “My family moved a lot, probably every two to three years, and Girl Scouts helped me ease into those transitions. It was great to find a girl group to make friends.”

Donato holds a B.S. in Labor Relations from Cornell University, an Executive International MBA from Saint Louis University and is actively working on her dissertation while pursuing her Doctorate in Management from Webster University.

James received her undergraduate degree from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. While attending Fisk, she became a joint scholar with the Fisk-Meharry Joint Biomedical Sciences Program and earned her medical degree from Meharry Medical College three years later.

She completed a surgical internship at State University of New York at Buffalo and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, N.Y. James has worked at People’s Health Centers and Myrtle H. Davis Comprehensive Health Centers, Inc.

After a decade of clinical practice, James earned her master’s degree in Public Health/Health Policy from Saint Louis University in May 2012. She serves a Board Chair for Riverview West Florissant Development Corporation and is the immediate past president for Mound City Medical Forum, the Missouri State Society of the National Medical Association. She is a member of The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The National Medical Association and Mound City Medical Forum.

For the past three years, James has led Troop 2798 and she played an integral part in the development of the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan for Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri by serving as a volunteer on one of the strategy teams.

“I wanted to join Girl Scouts because it is a United Way supporter and that is important to me,” Donato said. “Being part of a women-based organization is important to me as well.”

Throughout her career, Donato has successfully led strategic and operational human resource organizations in the fields of health care, information technology, consumer packaged goods and life sciences.

She began her career with Monsanto and has more than 25 years of experience aligning human resources functions with business results. Donato has expertise in global talent management, executive and employee development, performance management, compensation alignment, employee and labor relations, and talent acquisition and change management. Her ability to build relationships, establish rapport and personal credibility has been foundational in her career.

Donato noted, “There is a lot of research to support how positive outcomes result later in life when you intervene early. Girls Scouts is just that kind of program – early and positive intervention leading to great outcomes later in life.”

Donato said one of her goals involves mentoring.

“Mentorship is really important. We’re all here to help one another. If I can be a mentor, that’s one thing I can do that to support girls and their development. Hopefully, we’ll learn from each other and the girls can develop into positive leaders now and later in life.”

Prior to joining Novus International, Inc., Donato served as Vice President of Human Resources at Express Scripts, Inc. a $100 billion pharmacy benefit manager. Before Express Scripts, she served as Vice President of Human Resources for the Bakery Division of Sara Lee Food and Beverage Group, a $2 billion operating unit of Sara Lee Corporation. She has also served as Corporate Officer and Vice President of Human Resources for The Falcon Companies (TFC), a commercial furniture manufacturer headquartered in St. Louis.

Donato is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Independence Center, a not-for-profit organization that assists adults with severe mental illness to live independently. She is also a member of Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business Alumni Advisory Board as well as a member of Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business’ Executive Masters in International Business Board of Directors. She is an adjunct professor at Webster University, where she teaches an advanced compensation course and she holds Top Secret Clearance Status for the United States Government.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s Board of Directors approved Donato and James at its December 4, 2013 meeting.

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