Donna Cutting, CSP


When Donna was a little girl, her Dad and his 13 siblings pooled their money together and sent her Memere & Pepere to Rome, Italy for a trip of their lifetime. The day they were to return, the very large family gathered at their home in Fall River, Massachusetts to wait for their arrival. Donna’s Mom found a red carpet in the back of a closet and rolled it out to welcome them. Little Donna Bouchard knew that red carpets were reserved for celebrities and royalty and excitedly watched as her grandparents walked the red carpet and into their house.

It’s a memory she’s held on to forever and her whole mission is based on the idea that everyone should receive a little star treatment! Red-Carpet service is about making that person in front of you feel cared about, significant, seen and celebrated.


Donna has spent over 2 decades speaking, writing, and working with mission-driven leaders in a variety of fields to help them create cultures of happy, caring people who deliver red carpet customer service. Her Treat Customers Like STARS curriculum is being used throughout the United States and in Canada, Australia, and South Africa. She’s been recognized in the prestigious Global Gurus lists for both Customer Service and Organizational Culture, and has spoken to hundreds of audiences in 45 of the 50 United States. (Still waiting on Wyoming, Utah, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Hawaii). She’s an active member of the National Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional and Certified Virtual Presenter. 

She’s an interview-based researcher and has interviewed hundreds of hourly workers in the course of conducting listening sessions for her customers, and a defined study on “What Makes Employees Feel Valued” to be published in early 2022. She’s also interviewed many C-Suite and VP level executives in mission-driven organizations to learn what they’re doing to engage people and create extraordinary customer experiences. 


In 2007 Donna had an idea. What if people treated their customers like stars? Memories of the red carpet rolled out for her grandparents came flooding back and that’s when The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service (Wiley, 2008) was born. Donna followed it up with 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers (Career Press, 2015). Coming soon, in April 2022, look for her third book, Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization (Career Press, 2022).

Learn more about Donna’s books here.


In 1992 a young Donna Bouchard, the activity director for an adult day center, bounded into her boss’ office to greet the new maintenance man with “welcome jelly beans!” A few weeks later she and Jim Cutting were dating and in 1997 were married. Throughout their life together they have welcomed a cockatiel named Smudge, a bunny named Mr. Bun, a sweet Maltese pup named Snowball, and now make their home with two Shih Tzu mixes named Moxie and Tonks. They are officially a “pack.” They love hiking, traveling, reading, picnicking, and look forward to becoming a full-time RV Family.

Extended Family

Donna mentored young Katie (who now goes by Katharina) from the day after her 4th birthday into adulthood. They had many adventures together on a weekly basis. Ask her about the time she almost got them both killed by goats! Katie is now a grown woman with three beautiful children and is the first in her family to have a college degree, and graduated with honors.

She’s studying to be a nurse, is a great Mom, and an all-around terrific human being.


Ask one of her former neighbors where Donna grew up in Westport, Massachusetts and they might tell you about her annual talent shows, held in the backyard on the stage her Dad built. Donna’s been performing since she was a wee child and went on to get her degree in theatre. She now puts those skills to use by adding a little theatrical flair to her presentations and programs. Truth be told, she hopes to someday get back to acting. In the meantime, she’s honored to support the Arts and local theatres as Past Board Chair of both North Carolina Stage Company and the Immediate Theatre Project, and as an avid audience member. #SavetheArts

Donna’s also a huge movie lover and even got to sit on the bleacher seats for the Academy Awards one year! The first movie she remembers seeing is The Sound of Music and her favorites are too numerous to mention. Another inspiration for the red carpet brand.


Even though she teaches customer service and employee engagement, it’s not about either of those things for Donna. It’s about people and the way we treat each other.

An audience member once told her that what he loves about her approach was that she speaks to the emotion behind service and culture. Of course! It’s all about emotion.

If we can approach our work with open hearts, and bring more compassion, caring, joy, empathy, inclusiveness and understanding into the workplace it can only help to make the world a better place. That’s the mission.

"Your passion, knowledge, enthusiasm and delivery were so infectious that I’ve been able to apply much of what I learned from you to other projects/presentations I continue to give at work."

Lorena Conde,

Senior HR Generalist, Empress Casino & Hotel

Energizing and engaging! The presentation was fun and aligned to our organization's work on Onboarding. Thanks for delivering a message to 550 employees in a way that engaged their hearts and minds.

Roberta Anderson

Presbyterian Homes & Services

“Engaging, Entertaining, Hilariously Funny and able to deliver a focused message surrounding our vision and strategy.”


American Express Corporate Travel


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