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Donald E. Carlson

Donald E. Carlson

Board Chair

Don has 48 years of business experience in the Cleveland area including 16+ years with Ernst & Young in the Cleveland Practice office of Arthur Young & Company of which the last 4 years he served as Director of the Small Business Advisory Group. Subsequently, Don owned and operated a $17 Million-dollar small business, having sold it in 1995.  He also served Vocational Guidance Services as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, overseeing all Administrative, HR, IT and Finance functions from July 1997 to retirement on June 1, 2010.  

Don proudly served his country in the 801st Combat Support Group, SAC, United States Air Force from 1959 to 1963.  

In 1968, he graduated from Kent State University with a BBA Accounting degree, a member of Beta Alpha Psi (National Accounting Honorary), a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

After College, Don served as Associate Editor of the Ohio CPA Journal, President of the Cleveland Chapter of the International Order of S.K.A.L., President of the Brecksville Lions Club, Board of Directors – Vocational Guidance Services, and held board positions at various nonprofits and organizations, as well as various Council and District positions.  

He has served as guest lecturer at Cleveland State, Kent State, Akron and Case-Western Reserve Universities, as well as at BaldwinWallace College. Don has lectured before the International Sales Group of Northwest Airlines, the National Rehabilitation Association Annual Meeting, and numerous occasions with the Cleveland Chapter of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

He was also Cub Master of Pack 115 and Scoutmaster of Troop 435 – Lakewood, Ohio. In 2016 The Lake Erie Council of the Boy Scouts of America awarded Don their highest honor, the “Silver Beaver Award”.

Don Served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Beck Center for the Arts – Finance and Audit Committee, (and has served as Audit Committee Chair, Executive Committee member and Chair of the successful special $600,000 Sustaining Fundraising Drive). In 2012 the Beck Center for the Arts awarded Don the “Volunteer of the Year Award.”  Then, he served as Finance Chair for “Sapphires Dream,” located in Salt Lake from 2013-2015.

Don currently serves on the Board of Directors of 1st Nonprofit Insurance Company as the Chair of the Finance, Audit and Investment Committee, is Board Chair for Navigate Risk Advisors, and Board Chair of “Save the Kids Foundation.

Don and his wife, Jenean, live in Lakewood, Ohio and have a puppy named “Tucker”

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