PERSONAL: Married; children: two.
CAREER: Business writer. Associated Press, correspondent in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1988–92.
AWARDS, HONORS: Corecipient of the Women's Economic Round Table Entrepreneurship Prize, Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2001.
Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack, Collins (London, England), 2006.
Contributing editor to Inc. magazine; contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Monthly, Working Woman, Working Mother, Family Money, CFO, Corporate Finance, Parents, and New England Monthly.
SIDELIGHTS: In her book Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack, Donna Fenn profiles eight successful small businesses that have been operating for at least ten years, and whose sales are under one hundred million dollars. All of these are low-tech companies, well-regarded by their employees and other businesses. She details the types of businesses, when they were founded and by whom, numbers of employees, revenues, and Web sites. Among the entrepreneurs profiled is Amy Simmons, who started with one ice cream shop and expanded to a dozen, successfully competing against national chains like Cold Stone Creamery and Ben & Jerry's. Chris Zane built his Connecticut bicycle shop business on customer service, and Deb Weidenhamer runs a successful auction house in Arizona. Norman Mayne attributes the success of his family-run grocery stores to his employees, and Trish Karter took her bakery brand national. Fenn demonstrates that what sets these entrepreneurs apart is their customer service, innovation, creativity, and strong community ties. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "this practical and chatty book provides solid strategies for shifting into high gear."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 2005, Mary Whaley, review of Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack, p. 11.
Library Journal, December 1, 2005, Susan C. Awe, review of Alpha Dogs, p. 143.
Publishers Weekly, November 7, 2005, review of Alpha Dogs, p. 69.
Alpha Dogs Web Site, http://www.alphadogs.org (March 30, 2006).
Donna Fenn Home Page, http://www.donnafenn.com (March 6, 2006).