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Donna Tam

Senior project manager

SHORT BIO

I connect our editorial side to our enterprise side and help with planning and execution (I make people talk to each other and bug them about to sticking deadlines).

What was your first job?

I had two. I worked as tutor and a pizzeria hostess/cashier. I kind of sucked at the pizzeria job, but I had a great attitude.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Balancing my need to fix things myself with offering people the right tools to help themselves.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Define your worth early and then make a plan.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Hippie farmer. I not-so-secretly want to live off the grid with a vegetable patch and some chickens. Maybe manage a co-op.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.

Stability.

What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

I don't know. I have a hard time with consumerism (see hippie farmer comment).

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

I used to think that the little tab on the rearview mirror of a car was for hanging good-luck talismans and air fresheners but later found out it was for adjusting your mirror for driving at night.

What’s your most memorable Marketplace moment?

When I admitted to our senior vice president that I like to yell about the importance of raising the economic intelligence of the country while drinking at bars.

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

I have a paper pulp sample (like a piece of card stock) on my desk from the Evergreen Pulp Mill. It was given to me by one of the senior reporters at my first official newspaper job. I've used it as a coaster ever since, so it's covered with coffee stains and pen markings, but every time I look at it, I'm reminded of all the lessons I learned as a cub reporter and how much I've grown.

Latest Stories (110)

Mapping North Carolina's trans-friendly bathrooms

Mar 29, 2016
As the state's new law faces a federal lawsuit, one woman decides to highlight businesses with "safe bathrooms."
Urinals hang on a wall in a newly-inaugurated gender-free toilet in Berlin, Germany. North Carolina businesses are making similar adjustments to protest a new state law.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Are payday loans hurting minorities?

Mar 24, 2016
A new report looking at payday lending in Florida reveals these businesses are more than twice as likely to be in African American and Latino communities than predominantly white neighborhoods.
In Florida, payday loan stores are twice as likely to be located in a neighborhood where African Americans and Latinos live.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Who were the executives hanging out with Obama in Cuba?

Mar 22, 2016
If you want a taste of what the U.S. wants for Cuba's future, just take a look at the business leaders joining the president's tour of the country.
President Obama with Cuban and American business leaders. 
Jose Andres/@ChefJoseAndres/Twitter

A missed opportunity? When Nokia doubted the iPhone

Mar 17, 2016
Before the iPhone was synonymous with the word "smartphone," some in the industry questioned if consumers would actually buy it.
New iPhone covers are displayed on screen during a Special Event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on September 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Stephen Lam/ Getty Images

SeaWorld is phasing out orca shows, but what about the dolphins?

Mar 17, 2016
The amusement park has vowed to stop its killer whale breeding program, but no word on the treatment of its other marine mammal stars.
Bella, a bottlenose dolphin, swims in a pool with her new calf named Mirabella at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California in 2014.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

How Ferguson police will change the way they work

Mar 16, 2016
The reforms mandated by a federal settlement aim to change how the FPD interacts with the public, but could cost the city an estimated $7 million.
A Ferguson police officer listens to the concerns of a protester as they demonstrate outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri on March 4, 2015.
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

Tuition-free university launches MBA program

Mar 15, 2016
Paying too much for a Masters of Business Administration? This school wants to fix that.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The real life crusade of a Twitter book hustler

Mar 14, 2016
Up-and-comer writer Shea Serrano was just hoping someone would buy his $12 rap book. What he got was a spot on the New York Times’ best-sellers list and a social media marketing machine that can help other writers sell books.
Abrams Books

Scientists want to ID terrorists using their ‘V’ hand gestures

Mar 11, 2016
A new study documents the potential role of AI technology and biometrics in fighting terrorism.
A man gestures through a smashed window after making a bomb threat near Sydney, Australia.
TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images