Don is a seasoned businessman, professional, and entrepreneur with franchise, global, and small business expertise. He’s also an accomplished professional speaker, writer, and author on a variety of topics particularly business development and personal relationships.
Everything that Don delivers, whether in a seminar, workshop, webinar, or 1 on 1 format provides immediately applicable value to the attendees. Don teaches and speaks about things he’s lived and done not theory. When working with Don in whatever capacity you’ll see a very measurable ROI for your consulting and training dollars.
Don has been married for 35 years his wife, Kim, and they have two children – Adam, still in college as a student-athlete pursuing a computer engineering degree, and a married daughter, Lauren. He recently became a grandparent to Lauren’s son Courage Joshua.
Don and Kim are very active in their community through their church. Don also serves on several Board of Directors in business and non-profit including Bethesda Mission and recently the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. He was also recently asked to serve for an organization named Baseball Chapel as the chaplain for the AA baseball team the Harrisburg Senators.
He loves cars, the beach, reading, physical fitness, and helping and contributing to people’s lives.
Don was born in NYC and raised in Central Pennsylvania. His father was a first generation depression era parent of European immigrants through Ellis Island. He and his family became Christians in the 60s after moving to Pennsylvania. He had a strong upbringing and was raised in an environment with high trust and integrity. Don is often reminded of the example his father would live in small things like giving back money to a cashier who had handed him the wrong change. Don also often tells the story of his mother’s instructions as she sent him off on his first paying job at 16: If you don’t give 110% you’ll be fired!” Not surprisingly he grew to have a tremendous and disciplined work ethic that would serve him well in his career and business dealings.
Don wasn’t certain of what he wanted to do as a career but was great in math and loved numbers. He applied for an accounting degree at a small prestigious college however in speaking with his parents knew they could not afford to send him there. This situation would have an impact on him in several ways. One he wanted to be sure HE contributed heavily to the investment in his education without burdening his parents. In fact he ended up providing about 50% of total education cost by working 50 – 70 hours a week during the summers, working all holidays from school, and almost full time hours his senior year. It should be noted that neither he nor his parents had any debt regarding his education upon his graduation. Secondly the impact was that he decided at that point that he never wanted to be in a situation where he couldn’t do what he wanted to do because of money. Again, that’s been a strong driving force in his work ethic and business and success disciplines.
So he ultimately entered a state owned college as a math major. He learned many leadership and people skills through the national fraternity he joined as well as on campus interfraternity and student government organizations. He soon realized that business is where he wanted to be and switched majors to business management graduating with a B.S. in Business Management with an equivalent minor in economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In 1977, Don was offered a ‘management training’ position with a local bank for $4600 a year! Not unlike today in the late 70s it was fantastic just to get a job offer. In fact college students in general were getting so many rejection letters that literally walls were ‘wallpapered’ with them. Nonetheless undeterred with a goal of obtaining a job with a whopping $10,000+ salary per year Don turned down the offer. He landed a position with a small local company for about a year making about $10,00 a year before taking an office management position with the then ‘Burroughs’ computer company.
The job with Burroughs was short lived though. Don saw the level of talent in the sales/business development department and the money they were making, and knew he could do it and do it better than most of them could. So not being afforded an opportunity with that company he landed his first job with the office products division of the 3M Corporation. And there with the help of a fabulous sales manager and mentor and now long time friend, he launched his sales and business development career.
The office products division offered Don some top notch true sales training and experience. But Don realized that his success was not so much based on how many doors he knocked on but on the relationships he was able to deliver. And the follow up discipline he taught himself. This led him to his long term career with a global company locally headquartered in the Harrisburg PA area – AMP Incorporated.
Don moved up the ladder in this Fortune 200 company about as quickly as you can in a conservative company. His 7 moves in 20 years there led him through positions of technical sales, global account management, global account leadership doing business in 30 countries, overseas market and business development experience living in Japan and speaking Japanese, P & L and capital expenditure responsibilities, and ultimately being selected as one of 100 leaders in the company to be part of the executive development program.
But as is not all that uncommon these days AMP was acquired by another company and his business life changed. And the highly successful corporate career he’d been developing, for all intents and purposes, was coming to an end. While Don was not downsized he felt the demotions were enough of a setback that he needed to move on in his career. With his extensive industry contacts and a stellar resume there was no shortage of opportunities and offers. Did he want to work for a small manufacturing company in California as their president? Did he want another global executive position with a technology company also in California? Or did he want to become a senior VP at a competitor of his company in the midwest? All tremendous opportunities that at one stage in life he would have jumped at. But he and his wife Kim thought long and hard about another move based on family situations and decisions they’d made years ago before ever having children. And decided that they needed to stay in Central PA for at least another 10 years until both children were out of high school…
So Don decided that it was time to make the leap and step out into starting a company of his own. While he developed some of his own programs and IP around life balance, life management, and overall personal development he didn’t feel he had enough to make a go of it alone. But he knew he was in the right ‘BallPark’ of helping people. And so he joined the master franchise/area developer ranks of an international company entering the U.S. market. In fact he was the pioneer being the first developer in the U.S. and today the longest tenured in the company in all of North America.
Building on his own big company global experience he learned and added franchise industry expertise as he helped build this company into an industry leader around the globe. One that would lead in both the coaching/personal development/training area as well as the franchising industry. He’s now personally become one of the top and longest tenured people in the coaching industry.
He also developed his own skill sets around relationship building personally and professionally. Don now weaves that into how he sells and develops all of his businesses today. He currently owns not only his master franchises but also a marketing company targeting our expertise for professional services, owns commercial real estate, and all in addition to doing training and consulting in the franchise industry.
Don is an accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, writer, and professional speaker. He has 23 years in the Fortune 200 world, 14 in the international and global markets, plus 13 years of business ownership and entrepreneurism. He’s also been training and speaking for 13 years and a writer and author for 10 writing for a regional Christian newspaper, at large for a business journal, blogging, and now published in 2011 with his first book Can You Relate?
For 30 years, I have been creating and operating businesses in the toughest industry on the planet…hospitality! I have SEEN the good, bad, and the ugly of operating businesses. My ‘boots on the ground’ expertise WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY.
If you want to win, you must follow a proven system. By choosing the right franchise system you exponentially increase your ability to profit and have the meaningful life you deserve. Your choice is clear…go it alone or with a team that knows how to win.
This is a no-obligation or cost process for our consulting services, or for the vast amounts of information about franchises we will provide. Because of our credibility and experience in the industry, we have relationships with the best franchisors that are seeking quality candidates like you. And they compensate us if we find a business for you.