Don accumulated a significant amount of noteworthy experience by working his way up from entry level in the hospitality industry, completing formal education at the Master’s level, and teaching extensively in the field.
Don started out as a deckhand working in passenger sailing vessels that explored remote bays, sounds and harbors in New England and the Caribbean. The passengers embraced the adventure of these cruises. Eventually, after multiple decades, his career included every aspect of seaman’s work, and running a culinary operation from the most austere eco-tourism adventure in engine-less wooden sailing vessels to the most exclusive luxury cruise ship of the time.
Throughout his career he chose a path that enabled him to gain experience and accumulate skills and proficiencies. He values the mentor/mentee relationship process and has always enjoyed sharing knowledge and skills. Teaching comes naturally to him. Whatever the reason, he was selected early in his career to take leading roles that included teaching others the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful. More than 25 years ago he was recruited to be a trainer in full-immersion learning situations in Scandinavia. He has shared his passion with others as an experiential trainer - an instructor in accelerated learning programs that place the students in situations that transfer knowledge and require judgment, decision, and action. He compresses the phases of learning by guiding people to tap their potential and to quickly assimilate and internalize learning in a way that academic studies cannot achieve. In Norway and Denmark he worked in four internationally respected hands-on accelerated learning facilities that focus on leadership and skill development.
This path opened doors for Don to pursue education and development, ultimately receiving professional certification at the Master’s level in Norway and eventually back in the United States. The dual Masters are each considered terminal certification in the field and provide him with qualifications to be captain on any size ship anywhere in the world.
Concepts and ideas gleaned from years of travel, exposure to world cuisine, and other cultures helped Don to create an innovative educational program that led to achieving unprecedented sales records as a buyer in the luxury food industry.