When Don Goldman (Central High 1972) began working with his father Sam and brother Ken (Class of ’68) at Goldman Promotions in 1982, the company employed 10 people and grossed $2 million in sales. After taking over as CEO in the 1990s, he greatly expanded the company’s footprint with key acquisitions in California, Tennessee, Illinois, North Caroline and Maryland. Today, Goldman Promotions boasts 150 employees nationwide and has more than $30 million in revenue.
With Don at the helm, Goldman Promotions has respectably soared from small family business to powerful industry leader. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, Goldman Promotions stands tall, ranking in the top 1 percent of more than 20,000 promotional products companies nationwide. Amidst copious honors and celebrations, Don and his industrious team have been privileged with the highly regarded Silver and Gold Pyramid awards from Promotional Products Association International.
In addition to its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Goldman Promotions maintains offices in Baltimore, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Denver and Wichita. In late 2005 the company relocated its headquarters from Olivette to Maryland Heights, combining office and warehouse activities in a 38,000-square-foot facility that represents a 50 percent increase in size for Goldman’s operation.
The St. Louis Business Journal has highlighted Don’s design for the new facility and its many unique architectural features, acclaiming it as a “New Age” look with bold exterior colors and an aesthetic interior theme formed through a seamless coalescence of industry and art. “We wanted our new location to be fun as well as functional,” says Don, “reflecting the creativity and ingenuity that are hallmarks of our service.”
A serious athlete, Don for years was ranked among the best handball players in the country, winning the National Masters tournament and earning top rankings throughout the ‘90s. As an advocate for the active lifestyle, Don was one of the organizers of the St. Louis Handball League, serving as a commissioner for 10 years.
He also is a life-long member of the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis County, where he and his father shared their love of community, sports and family values. In addition to his service on the Health Club Board of Directors at the JCC, Don has helped establish numerous children’s programs, including summer camp, racquetball and parent/child activities.
In the early 1990s Don served as a member of the PTA of Bellerive Elementary School with his wife Ann, together they initiated the Bellerive Health Assistance Fund, which provides eyeglasses and dental assistance to students who are in financial need. Don and his wife Ann also served as co-presidents of the Parkway North Middle school. Years later Don became a charter member of the Parkway Alumni Association, Don was instrumental in the formation and design of its original structure in 1994.
After graduating from Parkway, Don attended Meramec Community College, Southwest Missouri State and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, and has since earned his credential as a Certified Advertising Specialist from PPAI. With a life-long desire to learn and grow, Don frequently finds himself back in the student seat as he partakes in industry-based courses, seminars and training programs.
A firm believer in the importance of community involvement, Don traveled throughout the United States living on various communes and tried his hand at horse farming in Tennessee, where he met his match in Ann Herron, who subsequently became his wife and loving companion. In addition to Goldman Promotions, they still enjoy the rustic life today, farming 50 acres on a 236-acre spread about 50 miles south of St. Louis on land that formerly was the town of Koester Springs. Don can be seen there driving and arguing with his aging, beat-up 1965 International Harvester pick-up truck, which is adorned with colorful hippie graffiti. The old farm also is host to Don and Ann’s annual “Freedom Fest,” a growing yearly celebration of family, food and music.
Armed with fond memories of the Parkway School District, Don occasionally plays the banjo, the harmonica and sings with the Blind River Band, a fun-loving sextet that includes three Parkway alumni who have been friends since childhood.
Don and Ann have two children, Silas and Hannah, who also graduated from the Parkway School District (Parkway North), and now their grandchildren are continuing their education in Parkway. Whether in business or in his personal life, Don values the camaraderie of friendship and sharing good fortune with others, and treasures his memories of Parkway Central High.
Goldman currently resides in St. Louis, MO.