TPG Role:

Don is a partner in The Partnering Group, consulting with both manufacturers and retailers.

Partner Capabilities and Experience:

Don has over 30 years of food industry experience in retailing, sales management and marketing. He has a proven track record and has made cutting edge improvements in the areas of Trade Management, Category Management, Sales & Marketing, Company and Brand Redesign. During his career, he has led first time initiatives in developing category management as a department and developed trade strategy  to complement new ERP and trade systems. Don has led direct and broker managed sales teams at all levels, guided a worldwide pricing team, managed shopper marketing teams and cultivated a brand as general manager of the P&L.

Partner Industry Experience:

Don’s most recent experience came at Sara Lee where he was the Business Unit General Manager for the Deli business. Don introduced a number of new initiatives – new packaging and products, new shopper marketing approaches and reinvention of pricing and trade approaches.

Prior to his deli role, Don’s primary responsibility was leading the Best Practices team for Sara Lee including; pricing and promotion management, category management, shelving and assortment, training, customer strategy and sales operations. Key accomplishments included; moving Sara Lee from the mid 20’s to #7 in industry power rankings and leading revenue recovery efforts to 33% above input cost increases.

During his pre-Sara Lee days, Don spent a number of years building experience against a vast array of assignments:


  • Built and deployed a NABCA database for use in day to day selling
  • Designed and constructed Captain Morgan’s bar at the Palace of Auburn Hills


  • Developed the category management effort
  • Constructed pasta aisle reinvention approaches
  • Fostered ERP implementation and trade development efforts
  • Led a team that rationalized over 2000 skus
  • Served on a team that redesigned the manufacturing footprint
  • Aided the broker consolidation effort

Don completed 8 years of service on the Food Advisory Board at Western Michigan University and was a member of various advisory groups – Path to Purchase Institute, IRI, Acosta Sales and Marketing.

Partner Education:

Don holds a an MBA in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Distribution from Western Michigan University.


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