Donna Krieser – April 2009

Donna Krieser honored as April 2009 Outstanding Alumnus

Heber-Overgaard businesswoman, Donna Jean Krieser received the Northland Pioneer College Outstanding Alumnus Award at the April 22 monthly meeting of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board.

Krieser was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin and lived there until 1991 when she and her husband, Fritz, purchased the Carquest Automotive Care Center in Overgaard. Shortly afterward, she began taking a class or two at NPC, but around 2001 became serious about earning a degree, and stepped up her studies. She went on to graduate in May of 2005 with not just one, but two, Associate of Applied Science degrees, General Business Management and Small Business Management.

"I tried to take one or two things from every class I took and apply them to our business. I wanted to utilize what I was learning," Krieser says.

If grades are a reflection of what she learned, that was a great deal. Her grade point average at NPC was 4.0, the highest possible. In 2002, she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for community college students. In 2005 she was one of just five students from the graduating class to be named an NPC Honor Scholar. As one of the special honorees she even addressed the audience as part of the commencement ceremonies.

With her NPC degrees in hand, Krieser is continuing her education, now aiming for a bachelor's degree in business from Ottawa University. "And they accepted every one of my NPC credits!" she adds proudly.

Heber Center Manager MaryLou Schroeder, left, congratulates Donna Krieser.

Krieser was nominated as an Outstanding Alumnus by her supervisor at the NPC Heber Center, Mary Lou Schroeder, (left) who comments, "I just can't say enough about Donna's drive to learn and then give to those around her. She's phenomenal."

Krieser could easily be labeled a modern Renaissance woman. In addition to being a fully vested, full-time person at Carquest, plus her studies for the bachelor's degree, she also works in the NPC Heber Center office and as a trained General Equivalency Degree (GED) examiner. She is a martial arts practitioner, holding a third-degree black belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu style of Japanese karate. And through the college, teaches classes in self-defense for women.

Community involvement also figures in Krieser's active life. She volunteers for the local Lions club where she is an officer and, for the past four years, has been in charge of the community-wide annual Lions Easter Egg Hunt. And she recently was named a Lions Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest recognition an individual Lion can achieve from the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

She still manages to find time to relax from this rigorous schedule with reading, crafts, enjoying her two dogs and a cat, and, when she can, getting away from it all on her Harley-Davidson 883L Sportster motorcycle.

When asked what advice she would give to others about going on to college, this accomplished woman recalls her father's words, "Higher education is worth it; it's something that no one can ever take away from you!"

As an Outstanding Alumnus, she receives a three-credit-hour tuition gift certificate, a $25 bookstore gift certificate and a pass to NPC Performing Arts events.

The NPC Outstanding Alumnus program salutes outstanding graduates who have used their degree or training to succeed in the pursuit of a career or educational goal and who support and promote life-long learning. Community and NPC personnel can nominate individuals for the award. Forms are available from NPC campus and center offices or on-line by clicking here. To read more about other Outstanding Alumni, click here.