To Book Don for a Speaking Engagement:

phone: (407) 873-3386
email: don@donmiers.com

Photo by Joy Hmielewski

 

About Don


Professional Career

Stints as a food industry worker, hotel manager and a flea market operator prepared Don Miers for the opportunity to live a dream and enter the world of professional baseball at the tender age of 25. Because of his apprenticeship, he was hired to be the Sales and Concessions Manager for the Tidewater Tides minor league baseball team of the NY Mets in December 1978. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, Don sold sponsorships to local businesses during the winter and, once the season began, he ran the food/beverage concessions during the home games and sold group ticket sales when the team was on the road.

Two years later, Don was hired to be the general manager of the Daytona Beach Astros of the Florida State League and spent four years there, breaking attendance records, raising revenue and being honored as the league executive of the year twice in that four year span.

Don arrived in Kissimmee, Florida on October 1, 1984 as the first Houston Astros employee to work at the then under construction, Osceola County Stadium complex. He served as the spring training coordinator for the major league team, as well the general manager of the then Osceola Astros of the Florida State League, the local minor league team. After two years with the Astros, Miers went from “tenant to landlord,” as he joined Osceola County at the stadium director. Over the next 15 years, he was instrumental in bringing in many new events to the facility such as major league baseball fantasy camps, the Academy of Professional Umpiring, the Olive Garden Classic, the state Junior College Baseball Championships and numerous other amateur tournaments.

In 1996, Miers was charged with overseeing the development of the new Osceola County Softball Complex on John Young Parkway. Within a short amount of time, this complex was booking national events and filling the calendar year round. One of the innovative ideas at the softball complex, was to make the pitching mounds, base paths and outfield distances interchangeable to accommodate all types of softball activity – youth, adult, male, female, fast pitch and slow pitch. Thus, the facility stayed busy and began receiving national recognition and awards.

Realizing that the state of Florida was in jeopardy of losing their major league spring training teams to Arizona, Miers helped organize the Grapefruit League Association in the late 1990s. He assisted in developing the criteria that was used to create a state bill that became law and provided grant funding for five communities, to assist them in renovating their existing facilities or for building new ones to keep their teams in Florida. One of those to receive funding was Osceola County, $7.5 million from the state coffers. In 2000, Miers also successfully negotiated a new lease with the Houston Astros to keep them in Osceola County for an additional 16 years. Having been on the Astros side of negotiations back in 1984, he now came “full cycle” to negotiate on behalf of Osceola County.

After a brief two year stint in Lakeland to help the Detroit Tigers renovate their spring training facilities, Miers returned to work in Osceola County to oversee the opening of Osceola Heritage Park in the autumn of 2003. This new facility continued the tradition of using tourist tax funding to build facilities and lure events to Osceola County that adds to our economic impact. Sporting events, conventions, concerts, and other shows have been added to the local scene as a result of opening OHP.

In 2006, Miers become the director of the newly created Osceola County Event Facilities Department, and took on the challenge of overseeing all of the tourist tax funded facilities to ensure quality events, maximum usage, and fiscal responsibility. The events at Osceola County Stadium, the Osceola County Softball Complex, Austin Tindall Park and Osceola Heritage Park have contributed over $ 120 million annually to our economic impact. Miers currently serves Osceola County as the Sports Development Director, continuing to bring new sporting events to the community.

Don was involved with bringing 3 professional sports to Kissimmee/ Osceola County:

  • Houston Astros – 1985 to present
  • Florida Seals minor league hockey, 2004-2006
  • Kissimmee Kreatures arena football, 2004-2006

Community Involvement

One can only get out of a community what one puts into it. Don Miers has been very fortunate to be able to work in sports and entertainment most of his adult life. What better way to say “thank you” for that opportunity, than to “give back” and help the less fortunate of our society. To try and help make his community a better place to live, Don has been involved as follows:

Past Boards of Directors:

  • Central Florida Chapter of American Red Cross – 1987-91
  • Boy Scouts of America – 1989-91
  • Osceola Wish Foundation – 1992-94
  • Osceola Boys & Girls Clubs – 1993-94
  • Heart of Florida United Way – 1987-1995 & 1994 Fundraising Campaign Chairperson
  • Osceola Education Foundation, Inc. – 1990-95
  • Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce” “Youth As Trustees” Task Force – 1993-95
  • Trinity Lutheran Church School Board – 1995
  • Junior Achievement – 1992-99
  • New Dimensions Charter High School – 1998-99
  • Kissimmee Little League – 1998-2000
  • Osceola Center for the Arts – 1998-2001
  • R.B.I. Foundation – 1994-2001
  • Grapefruit League Association – 1999-2001
  • Miracle League – 2001
  • Children’s Advocacy Center – 2005 – 2012
  • Early Learning Coalition – 2011 - 2013

Current Boards of Directors:

  • Osceola Center for the Arts - 2014, Chairman 2016-17

Other Community Service Involvement:

  • Dedicated Blood/Platelets Donor 1985 – present
  • Motivational Speaker for Youth Groups – 1985 - present
  • Career Day Presenter Osceola District School – 1985-2006
  • Commencement Day Speaker for Middle School Graduations – 1985-1999
  • Business Partner with Osceola District Schools – 1987-2001
  • Junior Achievement Instructor – 1988-2001 and 2009-10
  • School Mentor for “At-Risk” students – 1990-95
  • Little League baseball coach – 1990-2000
  • Games Chairperson – Florida Special Olympics Summer Games – 1997-98
  • Kissimmee Bay Rotary 1997-2011 (charter president); 2016 - present
  • Rotary Group Study Exchange Leader – 2001
  • Leadership Osceola - 2008 graduate and class representative
  • Osceola County Historical Society – 2011 – present - Historical Re-enactor

Awards

  • Community Recognitions Award by the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce – 1988
  • Osceola District School’s Business Partner of the Year – 1991
  • Outstanding Citizen Award by Rotary Club of Kissimmee – 1994
  • Paul Harris Fellow Award by Rotary Club of Kissimmee West – 1994
  • February 15th designated “Don Miers Day” in Osceola County by Board of County
  • Commissioners commemorating 15 years of community service- 2002
  • 2016 Osceola Distinguished Leader Award by Community Vision
  • Elected to Florida State League Hall of Fame - 2016

Personal

Don Miers is married to Patty. They have four sons, three grandsons, three granddaughters and have lived in Kissimmee since 1984.