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Headshot of Donna Cottrell, Financial Analyst

Donna Cottrell

Financial Analyst

Donna Cottrell grew up and has lived her entire life in Asheville.  She and both sides of her family go back several generations in Western North Carolina. She graduated from Asheville High School, received her undergraduate degree from UNC-A and later earned her MBA from WCU.  Additionally, she is a Leadership Asheville graduate.  She has always felt privileged and blessed to be able to call Western North Carolina home.  Donna has 26 years of finance experience, 17 years with grants and more than 17 years in local government. She entered into local government work because of a desire to serve communities and now has a solid understanding of municipalities, having worked with them for many years. Finance, planning, housing and economic development are Donna’s fortes. She has experience conducting budgetary analyses; creating sustainability plans, master plans and land use plans; overseeing solid waste capital and daily operational budgets; and facilitating economic development incentive programs, as well as outreach efforts. Donna enjoys bringing opportunities to communities that they would not have otherwise. Positively impacting the lives of citizens, especially in rural areas, is important to her. Donna is passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives. A project that still hits home for Donna was a Crisis Housing Assistance Funding (CHAF) project back in 2005 after the floods in North Carolina in 2004. In that project, her team facilitated the repair and replacement of people’s homes and provided gap funding for those who had to relocate. Donna still remembers the names of people she helped – even 16 years later – showing how deeply she cares about the people she serves through her wor