Don Lionetti, Microsoft sales director, has a special passion for identifying underserved markets, uncovering clients’ needs, and identifying solutions. It’s what he has chosen as a career focus, and it forms the core of his personal philosophy on life.
Don and his wife Julie have been supporting WSU and the Carson College of Business for over a decade. Most recently, they established an endowed scholarship to support certified Carson College of Business students in financial need.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling in your heart when you invest in someone who has the desire, need, and passion to get an education but lacks the financial resources to do so,” he says. “For me it’s very rewarding to help students offset the burden of cost.”
The endowed scholarship was created through Microsoft’s matching gift program that matches donations dollar-per-dollar, up to $15,000 per employee per year. “It’s important to understand how your corporate matching gift works—every company is different,” Don says. “There are a multitude of ways your dollars, time, or talent can make an impact.”
“You don’t have to give a million dollars to start an endowed scholarship,” he says. “You can start with $25,000 and fund it over several years in multiple increments—whatever you are comfortable doing.” He plans to incrementally increase the endowed scholarship in perpetuity, so that by the time he retires, the fund will make a significant difference for a student in need.
“Being part of WSU was the most rewarding experience of my life,” he says. “I look forward to helping Dean Hunter grow the college’s reputation as being the top choice in the Pacific Northwest for students seeking a business education.”