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|February 22, 2020|
About Donna Oliva
Professional ExperienceDonna began her career in 1982, as a paralegal at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae (now LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae), a full-service, global law firm with more than 700 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide. Well known as one of the preeminent legal services providers to the insurance/financial and energy/utilities industries, the firm ranks as the 4th largest in the world in terms of deal value, and has been awarded "Reinsurance/Insurance Law Firm of the Year" every year from 2002-2006, among myriad others annually. During her tenure at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, Donna worked for one of the firm's largest and most valued clients, Lloyd's of London.
In 1987, while completing her JD/MBA in Boston, Donna also worked at Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles, California. There, Donna rotated through the real estate, tax, and trust and estates departments of the largest entertainment and media law firm in the US. Loeb & Loeb is also recognized as a leader in the areas of corporate securities, litigation, finance, real estate, intellectual property, private equity, employment, advertising/promotions and tax/wealth services. The firm was recently ranked in the Top 10 nationwide in Technology according to American Lawyer Survey. At Loeb & Loeb, Donna worked for many of the firm's high profile clients, including Howie Mandel, currently of Deal or No Deal TV fame.
Donna also gained extensive real estate expertise at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, the largest real estate law firm in the US where she served as an Associate during the summers of 1986 and 1987, and then as an Attorney after completing her JD/MPA, until 1989. Her experience included real estate acquisitions and sales, financing, development, leasing, management and related joint venture, corporate and tax work for some of the largest real estate developers in the US. Donna also litigated cases involving real estate and general commercial issues.
In 1989, Donna co-founded Global Investment Services Corporation, an international business consulting company that provided investment advisory services to foreign entities, specializing in real estate investments, import/export and legal advice on international joint venture arrangements. During the same year, Donna also co-founded Oliva & Alishahi, a general practice law firm specializing in commercial transactions and litigation, real estate and immigration law.
In 1990, Donna sold her ownership interest in Oliva & Alishahi and joined one of the first Israeli high-tech startups, AFIC Technologies, Inc., serving as the company's Chief Operating Officer. AFIC produced the first working software product for data replication in distributed client/server systems, now an industry standard technology. Donna established, grew and ran all US operations, including marketing, sales, implementation and support, while also overseeing financial, business and product planning and serving as in-house legal counsel. At this point in her career, Donna was able to put both her legal and business expertise to work. Clients of the firm included Salomon Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Chemical Bank and Moody's Investors Service. In 1994, AFIC was acquired by and merged into a subsidiary of OSHAP Technologies (NASDAQ: OSHF), and is currently owned by SunGard Data Systems.
In 1994, Donna Co-founded UNIF/X, Inc., an international software development company specializing in the custom development and deployment of sophisticated database-related client/server and Internet/Intranet software for Fortune 1000 clients. Headquartered in New York City, clients of the firm included companies such as Cantor Fitzgerald, Citibank, CIBC Oppenheimer, CS First Boston, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, Thomas Publishing, Sakura Global Capital and others. As President, Donna managed the company's growth and established Professional Certifications from, and partnerships with, vendors including Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Computer Associates, Microsoft, Netscape, Sun, HP, IBM, DEC, SGI and AT&T.
The notable success of UNIF/X under Donna's leadership paved the way for the inception of w-Technologies, Inc.—one of the first and most exciting providers of wireless applications and mobile business solutions. Serving as the company's Chief Executive Officer, Donna raised approximately $50 million in venture capital, with Morgan Stanley as the investment bank on the last round of financing.
The company's patent-pending technology could extend any application to run on more than 200 types of handheld wireless devices (e.g. cell phones, pagers, PDAs) and all leading wireless data networks globally. w-Technologies was the first to introduce wireless stock and bond trading in February 1998, and eventually developed and sold a wireless application development platform and 19 wireless applications in four groups: mobile finance, commerce, content and communications.
As CEO, Donna managed the growth of company to over 300 employees in seven countries. She established the strategic direction of the firm, coordinated new product conception and development, oversaw new account development, coordinated strategic alliances and managed the company's day-to-day operations globally including finance, accounting, human resources and legal.
w-Technologies customers included Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch, Federal Express, Quick & Reilly, Suretrade, Dreyfus, Hemscott.net, Indigo Mobile and dozens of others. The company also had strategic alliances and partnerships with leading telecommunications companies, device manufacturers, wireless infrastructure providers and IT services companies including AT&T, phone.com, BellSouth, RIM, 3Com, Palm Computing, Nokia, Novatel, GoAmerica, Netscape, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Sybase and others.
Donna's entrepreneurial spirit continued to evolve when she founded Donna Oliva Family Limited Partnership in 2001. As the firm's Managing General Partner, Donna managed the growth of this private investment partnership with holdings that included real estate, financial instruments and operating business interests. Donna served as an investor and advisor to various startup businesses, setting the stage for her next endeavor, Donna Oliva & Associates.