Negrotto earned a bachelor's degree in organizational psychology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She began her career as a manager at Ruth's Chris Steak House and later worked at the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans and the NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa. From there she was hired as vice president and chief operating office of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama's Business Center of Alabama and moved to Birmingham to manage the Harbert Center.
In March 2004 Negrotto accepted her present position with Vulcan Park, shortly after completion of the $14 million restoration of the statue, along with renovations to the surrounding park including a museum and event center. She was named "Nonprofit CEO of the Year" in 2010 by the Birmingham Business Journal.
Negrotto is married to Foster Smith.
- "CEO Profile: Vulcan Foundation's Darlene Negrotto." (March 21, 2004) Birmingham Business Journal