Don was born and raised in Los Angeles, and has lived his entire life in Southern California. He attended Occidental College, played basketball there and is a member of the OXY Basketball Hall of Fame.
After graduating from college, Don coached high school basketball and golf for four years at Glendale High School. After that, he worked in the restaurant business for 11 years. He was Director of HR and then VP of Administration for a very successful regional restaurant chain in Southern California.
In 1989, Don started his own consulting firm providing human resources and strategic planning consulting for middle market companies in California. In 2000, Don was asked by a long-time client to run a statewide independent study Charter School he had started - a unique and challenging opportunity.
In 2003, Don became Vistage Chair. Vistage (formerly TEC) is the world’s leading CEO membership organization. As a Chair, he is a high-level executive coach and close inner circle advisor for more than 35 men and women who run $3-$500 million dollar companies. Don is a Master Chair, multiple Chair Excellence Award winner, and winner of the 2016 Pacific Region Chair of the Year Award. He leads one Chief Executive group, one KEY Executive group, and two Emerging Leader Programs.
In addition to Chairing Vistage groups, Don is also an experienced Executive Coach and Group Facilitator. In the past 18 years, he has coached more than 200 C-Level executives and has facilitated more than 600 all day C-level meetings.
The common thread that runs through Don’s eclectic career is a passion for developing people and organizations. His personal core purpose is to be a catalyst for learning, growth and change for the people in his life.
Don’s passions are family, world travel and golf, and he tries to combine all three whenever possible. In the past 15 years, he and his wife have traveled to more than 40 different countries.
Don has been married for 15 years to Sharon Valdez. He has three grown sons and five grandchildren. Scott is a producer for Fox Sports1 in Los Angeles, Michael is an attorney in San Diego, and Jeffrey is an emergency room/trauma care physician in Los Angeles.