Although seven of his siblings still reside in Cincinnati, and Don’s job allows him to live anywhere, he and Leigh, his wife of 18 years and their three boys choose to call Denver home.
Don is the President of Clear Channel Advantage, a division of Clear Channel Worldwide and he oversees its national cross marketing team. “We navigate all the divisions of Clear Channel for advertisers and aggregate their marketing needs” he says. “We act as a single point of entry for an advertiser to navigate through the company and help them put together marketing plans for radio, TV and entertainment.”
Don began his career in radio in Tampa, Florida but was soon recruited by CBS to go to Atlanta, and then by Jacor - which eventually was bought out by Clear Channel. He moved up the ladder quickly and soon found himself holding the title of Senior Vice President of the West Coast Division for Clear Channel Radio where he oversaw 100 radio stations in California and Hawaii. During this time, he moved his family to San Diego, but the company lasted only eight months.
“When I was given the opportunity to become president of a division, I jumped at the chance,” he says. “California was fun, we surfed and swam, but we’re part of the community here, our friends live here, our kids go to school here and Denver is our home.”
For Don, family comes first and he spends every weekend with them skiing together in the mountains. Although his work frequently demands long hours and travel, he still makes time to give back to the community. He’s been involved in numerous non-profits over the years, including Cystic Fibrosis and Mt. St Vincent, where he currently sits on the development council and plays a significant role in fundraising for their 125th anniversary/ Capitol Campaign.
When it comes to the future Don says, “I have no doubt that something that I least expect will fall in my lap. Over the years I’ve done everything from run in the New York City Marathon to Ride the Rockies to being involved with the Mount St. Vincent home” he says. “ And I never know what passion points will be triggered by what, and where that will lead me to spend my efforts. I just want to spend time with my family and try to lend support and a hand wherever I can.”
What are your volunteer activities? For many years, I was on the Board of Directors for Cystic Fibrosis, I’m a past president and vice chair of the Food Bank of the Rockies. I’m most active with Mt. St Vincent’s and am currently on their development council. Over the past 5 to 6 years, I’ve been an active fundraiser for breast cancer research and I’m involved also with my kid’s schools.
Which social event is your favorite? Each year we take a trip for spring break with the kids. Usually about nine families go on a cruise or something and it is a lot of fun. We get to travel with our friends and their kids. Also, every Thanksgiving, my family, 8 brothers and sisters and 30 nieces and nephews, along with my parents, gather for the week of Thanksgiving in Florida and have a great time.
Favorite Restaurant? Strings
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Jimmy Carter because he was interesting, down to earth and a genuine person, and I just admire his personal style.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Mathew Broderick because he was so cool in Ferris Bueller’s Day off.
Do you have any Pets? We have a 5-month-old Tibetan Terrier named Gordy.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That this was a space enjoyed by the whole family, it’s inviting and warm.
What word describes you best? Caring
How would you like others to describe you? As a friend
What was your first job? After college, my first real job was selling ad space for the Cincinnati Bengal’s football team, in a paper called Bengal’s, a local weekly.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I wish I were a better listener
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Whining
What is your greatest indulgence? Haagen Daz, which I would indulge in daily if we haven’t run out of it at home and Patron Tequila, during certain occasions.
What is the best gift you have ever given? The first year my wife and I moved out here, she was pregnant and didn’t know many people. So, on her birthday, I had a man knock on the door with some packages and he said, “Put this on and come with me.” He was a limo driver, and she put on work out clothes, and he dropped the kids off at a babysitter in the limo, which I had pre-arranged, and drove her to the Aveda Spa where she had a full day of pampering and massage treatments. Then at the end of the day, he came back and handed her more boxes and said, ”Now, put these on and come with me.” I had gotten her everything for a night on the town from stockings to shoes to a dress to jewelry. So they came and picked me up at work and we went to dinner at the Flagstaff Restaurant in Boulder. I took care of every detail and she loved it!
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife, Leigh
What is your current state of mind? I love New York and I’m on my way there tomorrow morning so currently, I’m in a “New York State of Mind.”
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Becoming President of a Clear Channel Division
What is your most treasured possession? My three kids
What is the quality you most like in a man? Friendship
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Sense of Humor
Favorite books / Writers? Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurty, Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett and Sacred Romance by John Eldridge.
What is the best advice you have ever received? “Don’t leave any unfinished business.” My father told me that when I worked for him and he made me really see the wisdom of those words.
Do you have a motto? Always try and make every situation better. Participate and contribute. No matter where you go and what you do, just make an effort to make it better.