Danielle O. Saunders
Accelligence LLC, an A-T Solutions Company
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 360
Vienna, VA 22182
703/673-0121 x 101
The National Law Center, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
J.D. With Honors, 1990
Member, The George Washington Law Review
The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
B.A. Magna Cum Laude, in International Affairs, 1987
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society
Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
Dean’s List every semester
Special Academic Achievement Award for the Top Two Percent of the School of Public and International Affairs (1996-1997)
Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:
Founder and Executive Director of Fairfax County Cares, Inc., a 501(c)(3) established to provide a mechanism for families in a specific school in Fairfax County to provide support (on an anonymous basis) to other less fortunate children, teachers or support personnel in the same school who may have difficulty affording some of the extras – such as field trips, instrument rentals, etc.
Member of the Virginia Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association
Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?
I have had the good fortune of working with and for many talented professionals in my career who taught me many things. My first supervising partner at Hunton & Williams (Bill Pusey) was one of the best lawyers I have ever known and he taught me how to be a precise communicator, both oral and written, and that has served me extremely well throughout my career. My colleague in telecommunications (Kieran Bustamante) taught me how to succeed while remaining honorable and being true to my core values. I have an amazing group of accomplished girlfriends who have been mentors to me in some form or another throughout the past 20 years. I also view my husband as one of my best supporters and mentors, not only because he is so successful but because he always believes in me, sometimes more than I do in myself.
What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?
I consider the creation, growth and ultimate sale of Accelligence as my greatest accomplishment to date. I started with a big vision and tremendous determination but little experience in this industry and in a three year period, created tremendous value for both my clients and my stockholders. It was an incredibly rewarding experience both personally and professionally.
What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?
My advice to anyone starting out and looking to succeed in the business environment these days would be take advantage of whatever opportunity is given to you and execute on it to the very best of your ability. If you are a person that can get things done and whom others can rely on, you will have no trouble with career advancement. When I started out, I had no idea that my career would take the turns that it has but I always said yes to new assignments, even when they seemed outside of my area of responsibility. I viewed it all as a learning opportunity and it has paid off.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
Since I had my first child in law school, I have had to balance being a mother and a professional at the outset. I view having a family as a privilege as opposed to an obligation so I give them the same priority as I do my client work and schedule their needs and deadlines in the same calendar as my work requirements. I also try to make time for fitness and exercise as that keeps me balanced both mentally and physically. I am fortunate that I can work in a very flexible environment where the focus is on timely execution and quality work and not so much on face time in the office or standard work hours. I tend to work whenever I need to (to include nights and weekends) but I also am able to be there for my family whenever they need me as well.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a corporate attorney since I was in kindergarten, which was unusual since there were no corporate attorneys in my family. I have always had a deep respect and appreciation for the law and the business opportunities which are available to everyone in this country. I wanted to help people establish and grow companies and be a part of the American Dream.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
I really love the Wizard of Oz and have seen the movie hundreds of times. It appeals to me because of the various levels of the story, especially the emphasis on perseverance and the realization that in the end, the power to get where we want to go lies within all of us.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
People tend to be surprised at how sensitive I can be. I think people see the decisive business woman who can handle multiple issues and execute efficiently and assume that I am a little tougher and thicker skinned than I actually am.
I also had a pilot’s license at one time and flew airplanes solo.
© Copyright 2013 Virginia Lawyers Media. All Rights Reserved.