As a journalism major at the University of Minnesota, Donna Avery honed an interest in publications and advertising while working all four years at the Minnesota Daily. She helped found the award-winning Metropolis, one of the first alternative newspapers in the Midwest. In 1976, Minnesota Public Radio hired her to develop their membership publication Minnesota Monthly into a more broadly appealing regional magazine. While there, in 1980, she proposed and launched a mail-order catalog based initially on the popularity of the radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. The catalog’s rapid growth ultimately led in 1987 to formation of Rivertown Trading Company as a for-profit subsidiary. Avery was named president and led RTC’s successful diversification and growth to more than $190 million in sales. For several years after the company was acquired by Target Corporation in 1998, she remained president and served as a corporate officer of Target. Today, Avery sits on the boards of a number of private companies, including Western Bank, Coolibar and David Heide Design. She is president of Star Development, a commercial real estate investment company.