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Don’s passion for entertaining people with spoken word became evident early on in his life. He would often read the newspaper to his grandparents as well as do play-by-play while he was playing sports-themed video games. His love for speaking continued in elementary school. Teachers and administrators at Mitchell Elementary School recognized Don’s passion for public speaking and helped cultivate that passion by allowing him to handle morning announcements and emcee school events.

Broadcasting a game at Perkins Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Broadcasting a game at Perkins Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

He already knew what he wanted to do for a profession, even back then. During his elementary school years, Don wrote a note to his estranged dad that said he would someday broadcast Monday Night Football games.

Don’s love of writing and public speaking carried on to high school. He was twice the runner-up in the Living the Dream Essay and Speech Contest. The organizers of the event were so impressed with Don’s public speaking abilities that they invited him to emcee the event following his senior year of high school.

Following high school, Don attended Marquette University. Don showed his classic drive and determination at Marquette. He encountered financial issues after his sophomore year and worked full-time to pay for school. He took classes part-time from 1995 until he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication and a minor in criminology. He then went on to earn a certification in Web Design and Development in 2003.

While at Marquette, Don hosted the Wisconsin Jukebox Radio Show on Marquette Radio. Don was the first deejay at the station to have a website dedicated to his show and also featured weekly band interviews and live studio performances. In 2000, Don received the first ever Don and Kay McNeill Award for Creative Efforts in Student Broadcasting at Marquette. Danny Pudi, star of the sitcom Community, received the Chris Farley Award at the same ceremony.

Following college, Don wanted to give back to the community where he was raised. He contacted the Racine Raiders and was given the opportunity to help with the team’s radio broadcasts as well as work on media relations and marketing and promotions activities. While with the Raiders, Don was responsible for implementing Internet broadcasts, FM stadium broadcasts and adding a sideline reporter to the broadcasts.

Don received national exposure in 2002 when he started a website called MLB Fan Strike. It called for fans to voice their dissatisfaction with the players and owners over a possible stoppage of play. Don appeared on ESPN, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and hosts of radio stations across the country, urging fans to take action.

Don hosting the preseason preview on WRJN

Don hosting the WRJN 1400 AM preseason special live at Historic Horlick Athletic Field

Don’s work with the Raiders led to him handling broadcasts of high school football and basketball games for WRJN 1400 AM in Racine, Wisconsin. He handled the play-by-play duties for the WIAA Division 7 State Championship game at Camp Randall in 2008.

In 2011, seeking opportunities to broadcast games more regularly, Don accepted a position with NRG Media in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. In addition to doing play-by-play for high school football and basketball games, Don got the opportunity to broadcast several UW-Whitewater mens’ and womens’ basketball games. Along with his broadcasting duties, Don also served as studio host for Whitewater Warhawks football.

Don also began doing public address announcing duties in 2011. His first PA announcer job was with Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Don created an exciting atmosphere for MATC mens’ and womens’ basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring/summer. He also served as the PA announcer for the Wisconsin Dragons, a womens’ football team based in Greendale, Wisconsin, and the Scion Dental Milwaukee Summer Pro Am basketball league.

In addition to his broadcasting and PA announcing duties, Don served as the Director of Communications for the Wisconsin Wolfpack, a professional indoor football league team, for two years and handled public and media relations duties for both the Racine Raiders and the North American Football League (NAFL). He won several awards for his public and media relations work with the Raiders and NAFL, including being named the National Public Relations Director of the Year by Minor League Football News in 2007.