Donna R. Balinkie, Founder and President
Donna Balinkie, a seasoned marketing, product management, and business development executive, founded Firedrive Marketing Group. She has over 20 years of experience growing and managing P&Ls of start-up, growth-stage, and established B2B and B2C organizations. Donna is committed to forthright, honest interactions with every client. An entrepreneur at heart, she is passionate about developing breakthrough strategic plans and driving flawless execution that accelerates growth and maximizes profitability.
Prior to founding Firedrive Marketing Group, she was responsible for TESSCO Technologies Mobile Devices & Accessories Business Unit’s exponential growth, bringing revenues from $30 million to over $300 million and positioning TESSCO as a leader in the wireless accessory market.
In her role as Director of Marketing for EarthShell Corporation, a development-stage start-up, Donna was responsible for all marketing and sales efforts including developing strategic plans, branding and web design, market research and public relations efforts.
Donna also has held brand management and customer marketing positions at Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company.
She holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
When she isn’t helping her clients with their marketing strategy, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters and her dog, Trixie and volunteering on several non-profit boards, and training for duathlons.
Lisa Robey, Sr. Marketing Strategist
Lisa Robey began working with Firedrive in 2016 bringing 20 years of experience in marketing, product management, and business strategy. Her collaborative approach and intense focus on achieving the end-goal has led to a track record of success at both start-up and established organizations. Lisa brings a general business mindset to marketing and has the ability to translate complex and technical products or services into clear and concise customer value propositions.
Lisa excels at developing and driving the execution of marketing strategies including: campaign development; branding and positioning, persona definition; lead generation; CRM and marketing automation; content creation; and event, digital, and print channel strategies.
Lisa previously held roles in Product Management, Product & Solution Marketing, Strategy & Business Development, & Strategic Marketing at TESSCO Technologies. While responsible for the P&L of two mature business units, she drove year-over-year profit growth for four consecutive years. Lisa also started a new, entrepreneurial division within the organization, creating a solutions-based business unit focused on Smart Grid, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Prior to TESSCO, Lisa worked for a web-based start-up, helping the company achieve profitability and positioning it for acquisition.
Lisa is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University.
When I met Donna Balinkie, Pet Connect Business was nothing more than a prototype and a vision. She rolled up her sleeves and helped us transform Pet Connect Business into a successful brand by identifying and building our unique market position, target market segmentation, customer value, and pricing strategy. This allowed us to clearly demonstrate our benefits in the mind of the target customer, while also seamlessly articulating Pet Connect Business to investors and industry leaders. Donna continues to be one of the most valuable resources in my network!– Hector OcasioFounder & CEO, Pet Connect Business
Donna has been a tremendous partner. She and her colleagues at Firedrive have provided focused leadership in marketing strategy in three of my most recent ventures: Concourse Express; Revolution Cooking; and GrekTek. Donna’s experience allows her to jump right in with little direction and deliver quality work every time. I continue to recommend her to other entrepreneurs and companies, and I look forward to working with her again in future ventures.– Tom KlaffCEO, Revolution Cooking
We retained Donna, a critical marketing review of a strategic product line whose sales had stalled. Donna guided us through an extensive customer segmentation analysis that gave us new and illuminating insights into our target customers and their buying journey. She then helped us to develop new positioning including testing with focus groups. Donna quickly became a very valued member of our team and I highly recommend her for any marketing project from strategy to execution.– Brian LeveyVP, Marketing - Datacolor
Evergreen Private Finance had a great experience with Donna. We've been very pleased with all of the strategic value and marketing execution. I would highly recommend engaging Donna and Firedrive Marketing if you have high standards and looking for a quality work.– Lawrence BrownChief Executive Officer at Evergreen Private Finance
Firedrive helped lead our branding refresh process at The Associated. Donna’s thoughtful management of the process enabled all the stakeholders to feel engaged in the process and reach consensus on the direction we took with our branding. Donna took the time to learn the intricacies of our organization and was able to provide helpful insight based on her understanding of our needs. Our new brand is stronger and more effective thanks to the work we did with Donna and her team.– Melinda GreenbergVice President of Marketing The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
After meeting Donna the first time a few years ago, I knew we had to find a company in the portfolio for her to work with. Her drive, creativity and determination was evident the first time I met her. She was hired to essentially create an entire marketing program and then execute it. A job she did extremely well. I cannot say enough good things about Donna and her ability to create and implement. I am actively trying to find another slot for her in the portfolio and wouldn't hesitate to put her in front of anyone.– John BurkeGeneral Partner, True Venture Partners
Firedrive President Donna Balinkie is a focused and driven professional with a track record of success … Her results speak for themselves.– Leslie Buche Greve Product Business Unit Leader at TESSCO Technologies
Firedrive Marketing created and led a strategy to re-energize the Lightning Golf brand with a logo redesign and a new, bigger and better website … Donna's input, knowledge, and instincts were invaluable to making this project a huge success.– Jimmy Rosenfield President/CEO, Lightning Golf & Promotions
Donna Balinkie is a hard charger who really takes the time to learn the industry and business in which she is working … We have gained much from our partnership.– Brian Kagen Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Medifast, Inc.
Firedrive's work yielded demonstrable results immediately. Donna led the rebranding effort of our core technology and helped us create a successful B2B marketing plan, resulting in a business development pipeline of 40 new licensee prospects. Of course, we've kept her onboard, and she is now helping us improve our B2B marketing as well as kicking-off B2C branding.– Dr. Steven LeBoeuf Co-Founder and CEO, Valencell, Inc.