Term: Elected June 2011
Don has an entrepreneurial business background, with a passion for creating and leading startups as well as turnaround companies operating in new, or rapidly evolving market spaces.
In 1992, Don left his management consulting practice at McKinsey & Company to open one of the first Pizza Hut restaurants in the Republic of Poland. The company he co-founded, American Restaurants (“AmRest”), today operates nearly 500 restaurants in seven Central and East European markets. With over $1 billion in revenues and over 20,000 employees, Amrest is the largest independent restaurant company in the region.
In 1997, Don co-founded More.com, an early pioneer in the e-commerce field. While Don was CEO of more.com, he was a founding board member of hotwire.com, a leading e-commerce travel site (now part of Expedia), and also helped his wife start JustGive.org, an internet-based 501(c)3 “giving portal” that has since raised over $100 million for more than 50,000 charities.
In 2003, Don purchased High Country Passage, a leading operator of high-quality international group tours for top educational institutions such as Stanford, Harvard and Yale University, as well as the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society. Under Don’s leadership, the business doubled its revenues and launched the “World Leaders Symposium,” a unique and groundbreaking series of large (e.g., 250+ participants), ultra-luxury, intensely educational tours, each of which explored a notable current affairs topic with keynote, “off the record” presentations by leading statesmen, including George H.W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, and James A. Baker, III.
More recently, Don has devoted a substantial portion of his time to non profit activities as well as investments. He serves on the boards of the East-West Institute, a non-profit “think-and-do tank” that devises innovative solutions to pressing global security concerns, The Philanthropy Workshop West, a network of philanthropists formed for the purpose of educating and sharing best practices within a close-knit network of donors who share a commitment toward strategic giving, and Andover Breadloaf, an educational outreach program of Phillips Andover Academy focused on the teaching of reading and writing in urban public schools. From 2000-2010, Don was also a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Don is a graduate of Stanford University. Don, his wife and three children reside in Weston, CT.