IFMA North Alabama

Member Spotlight

Donna Robinson
Principal Software Consultant-Arch/Space Util Specialist
NASA - Marshall Space Flight Center

Donna Robinson refers to herself as Mother IFMA and for good reason.  According to her, she’s old enough to be the actual mother of every other chapter member and she’s also been a member of the North Alabama Chapter since February 1990 – just a few months after the chapter began.  Not to mention the fact that she’s been on the Board of Directors for every one of those years except for two when she decided to take a break and found she didn’t like it.  Donna’s boss at Intergraph introduced her to IFMA and it’s been a love affair ever since.

Originally from Louisville KY, Donna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Kentucky – Go Big Blue!!!  She started her career in residential design and quickly moved to contract design because she didn’t have the heart to tell the lady of the house that her furniture was ugly and business men didn’t care what you did as long as you stayed in budget.  After marrying the love of her life, Donna moved to Houston TX and worked for an architectural/design firm called 3D/International.   November 1983, her husband, Jack, an architect, was offered a position at Intergraph in Huntsville to help them develop better architectural, space planning and strategic planning software programs.  We happily accepted.  Donna was offered a position at Intergraph several months later giving demos to architectural and design firms using the same software Jack was working on.  This eventually led to her training and supporting many of the same customers she’d given demos to earlier. 

In 1990, Donna received a call from a former co-worker who had moved to Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC – NASA) to see if she’d be interested in working there.  In June of that year, Donna started work at MSFC transferring their 450+ floor plan drawings from blueprints to Intergraph’s Computer-Aided-Drafting (CAD) architectural software.  Once the floor plans were in place, she created space utilization drawings to capture building and room square feet, room classifications, people locations, organization code information, etc.  All these drawings are now the background for emergency evacuation drawings, roof drawings, HVAC zone drawings, maps and a one-stop-shop website where any employee can go to see floor plans, maps, run reports, file trouble tickets and so on.  You can see the passion Donna has when she talks about this and why she can’t seem to make the decision to retire.  There’s still so much work to be done!

Donna brings this same passion to IFMA and most other things she undertakes.  Her philosophy on life: Don’t waste your time on things you aren’t passionate about.  Find the things you love, and you will never work a day in your life and you will have lived a great life.  When she’s not working, Donna’s son, Mac, and granddaughter, Kennady, and her three dogs fill her life with love and laughter.  When asked if she ever gets tired of being involved in IFMA, her response is the people she’s met and the many friends she’s made have made it worth every minute.


Coordinated by North Alabama IFMA Chapter Membership Committee Member Spotlight, Nicole Brown, Commercial Flooring Services, Inc.

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