We're lucky enough to have Don Leyrer scooting around the EC as one of our treasured advisors. A jack of all trades, Don has set foot in a number of different industries & has truly made an impact. He began his career in social work as a houseparent for abused children & later as a Senior Adult Probation Officer. He then transitioned to the corporate world as an executive for high profile Fortune 100 companies. After impactful work at Comdata Corporation, Don co-founded Mailnet Services Inc., a venture backed database marketing firm that specializes in customer analytics, data management, & direct marketing solutions.
His accolades don't stop there. Don also serves on the Health & Workforce Development Implementation Team of the Mayor's Poverty Reduction Initiative & volunteers with CASA as a court appointed special advocate for children that have been taken into state custody.
How did you get involved with the Social Enterprise Alliance, and what motivates you to continue your work with them?
I was introduced to the concept of Social Enterprise by Dan Surface who at the time was looking into starting a Nashville Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance. I was honored to serve 4 years as the Chapter's Board Chair and continue my involvement because I am inspired by those who have chosen this approach of creating sustainable businesses that address some of our most intractable social issues.
How does your volunteer work with CASA support & motivate your day to day work with the EC & elsewhere?
Volunteering with CASA was difficult, heartbreaking and extremely rewarding! I am not currently active with CASA, although I do stay in touch with some of the families I worked with in the past. I am involved with a few other volunteer efforts and as the saying goes… you always get back much more than you give… and I do! Many of the entrepreneurs I meet at the EC find time in their busy schedules to be actively involved in their community. The perspective they gain and benefits they receive from serving is often reflected by how they lead and in the positive company culture they establish.
How has the EC Advisor program helped you to grow, & why is it such an important element of helping entrepreneurs grow?
The EC Advisor program has given me the opportunity to get to know many talented entrepreneurs and fellow mentors, and to witness firsthand the shifts and trends that are emerging in Nashville's rapidly changing business environment. The Advisor program helps create a supportive environment for the entrepreneur at a point when they can significantly benefit from the lessons learned by those that have gone before them.
What is unique about the EC Advisor program?
It is amazing how many highly talented good spirited people have volunteered to be in the EC Advisory program. The Advisory program is truly the heart of the EC…. the EC staff is amazing as well!
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Make a difference. Have some grandkids…not looking for a do over but a do again! Raising kids was the best thing we ever did. None of our kids are dating so it might be awhile….
What book or movie has had a significant impact on your life?
The Road Less Traveled – Scott Peck