Mallory Donaldson,

nominated by YWCA Columbus

By: Susie Owens

As a young girl, Mallory learned early that women lift each other up. She felt the hands of women who lifted her in and out of the swimming pool at lessons, the adventure of exploring nature — even on a horse, how to make art out of nothing, and how to dance. Mallory was a YWCA kid. This is where women encouraged her to try new things and helped to mold her into the leader she is today.

Those early adventure skills served her well, as today, Mallory brings order to the chaotic lives of some of the most influential people in Columbus, Ohio. One of her early jobs was to manage the fundraising and scheduling for Jennifer Brunner’s political campaign for US Senate. “It was baptism by fire,” Mallory remembers. Next, she became the scheduler to former Ohio State University President, Gordon Gee, and today, she is the Executive Assistant to Archie Griffin. When she talks about the immense responsibilities and challenges of her work, she says, “I see it as a puzzle, and my job is to try and make all the pieces fit.”

Underneath the surface, there is far more to Mallory than courage and order. “To know Mallory is to know strength. To know love. To know what it means to be selfless. She is the image little girls look up to and the standard to which we should all strive,” says her friend, Shayla Jones.

Back when Mallory was attending Y-camps, her mother was (and still is) the Executive Director of the YWCA in Elyria, Ohio. “This is where my passion for volunteering and service was introduced. Watching my mom serve and empower people daily made me want to do the same, so it was important for me when I came to Columbus to grow in my passion for serving others, and to find my local YWCA. The Y is in my DNA,” she explains.

And the world has returned to her the same blessings of opportunity. “Jennifer Brunner took a chance on me. She needed a scheduler for her campaign, and gave me the opportunity to turn my passion for serving into a career.”

She’s also the voice of a disruptor, the voice women need in the world today. “Mallory is a powerful advocate for the causes she believes in,” says her mother, Jeanine Donaldson.

“She was a disruptive woman long before the Women’s March made it a thing.”

Mallory is still actively involved in the YWCA Columbus, and serves on the executive boards of both YWCA Columbus and the Columbus Dance Theater. The secret to her strength, her friend, Renée Shumate, says, is “her faith in God.” She adds, “Mallory frequently tells me she looks up to me. Little does she know that I find strength in her resilience.”

pointer-dingyIf you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

“How society views my generation. We’re the future as is the generation after us. Believe in us, inspire us, invest in us, and we’ll pay forward”

pointer-dingyWhat is the most important piece of advice you would share
with a young woman growing up today?

“Be your authentic self, whoever that is, and be the best at being YOU!“

pointer-dingyWhat’s your favorite quote?

“Serve one another through love.” ~ Galatians 5:13. “My mission statement in life!”



YWCA Columbus

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Learn more about this wonderful organization here.


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