Donald Bowman, a trustee on our board for the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation, is a leader in the industry. Having served many years as GM of the Mandarin Oriental and now operating his own successful consulting company, Donald is impressive. But wait! Did you know he is also an avid runner? He amazingly has run considerable distance since the onset of the pandemic last year.
On March 13, Donald ran a half marathon that marked 365 days of back-to-back running. Donald ran through Spanish Trail to a cheering crowd. In addition to this remarkable accomplishment, he generously raised over $4100 which he donated to the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation scholarship fund.
The foundation was formed to support our hospitality industry in their educational and career goals. Scholarship grants are awarded each year to Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association members and their immediate families. A variety of scholarships are typically available including vocational certifications and diplomas, higher education degrees, and accredited courses related to the industry.
In addition to expressing our deep appreciation for his generosity, we interviewed Donald. Take a look at what we discussed:
Q: Donald, this was an amazing accomplishment. What started the one year running experience?
A: Just before lockdown started and it looked like gyms were closing as I stopped going to my regular Orange Theory classes and the gym, so just to stay sane I started running daily. In the depths of lockdown it was a great daily motivator just to get out of the house while still staying safe. Suddenly I realized I’d been running for 100 days straight and was enjoying the habit so at that point I started thinking about carrying on for a year.
Q: How many miles do you think you ran for the whole year?
A: OK I admit, I was a little OCD and I ended up tracking it and was amazed that it added up to just over 2,150 miles – that’s about the same as the shortest distance from East Coast to the West Coast.
Q: How did you come to the decision to finish off this fantastic event with a fundraiser for the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation?
A: Towards the end of the year, I was running one morning and thinking about what to do on day 365 and it occurred to me it was a great opportunity to make this about more than the run and I realized it would be a great opportunity to support and showcase the NHLF and create some good from a year of running!
Q: You raised over $4100 which is extraordinary for a one-person event. Where did some of the funds come from?
A: NHLA members were incredibly supportive and I also received donations from many in our industry around the world. My Orange Theory gym also loved fundraising idea and wanted to find a way to support so they held a fundraising class where people volunteered to work out for 90 minutes to raise funds! That raised a lot of money too. I have to say that people were really driven to help and support families in hospitality in Nevada that have been hit so hard during the pandemic.
Q: Being in a very responsible role with the foundation, what goals are you and your committees striving to meet this year?
A: I’m staying very focused on fundraising and events. We have set a thoughtful goal for fundraising during a year of recovery, but I am confident we’ll exceed our own expectations. I’m really excited about the big event we are planning for the fall (not least because it is a running event!). I think that this will be a great way to raise awareness for our growing foundation as well as funds. I’ll see you at the start line!
Again, thank you, Donald, for your substantial contribution to our scholarship fund as well as serving as a founding trustee on the board.