Why Strong Leadership is Important for Any Business or Organization



Charles E. Harrell, Keith Kreuer, Dana O'Brien, Jacobo Ortiz Blanes


The Lemonade Day National Board of Directors is comprised of a dedicated and diverse team of business and community leaders committed to helping kids start, own and operate their very own business…a lemonade stand.   Board members play very significant roles providing guidance to the organization by contributing to the organization’s culture, strategic focus, effectiveness, and financial sustainability, as well as serving as ambassadors and advocates. They are important resources for the organization in multiple ways.

In this week’s blog, I want to introduce you to four new members of Lemonade Day’s National Board of Directors. We are very excited to have these talented individuals share their guidance and wisdom to help propel Lemonade Day into the future and for many more years to come. They will strengthen the Board’s focus on Lemonade Day’s new technology app - My Lemonade Day, fundraising efforts, and expanding our experiential program to more cities.

Lemonade Day National Board Chairman, Charlie Hamilton commented, “We’re excited to expand our board with these very talented and purposeful executives who will bring wide-ranging expertise and insight to our work. We are diligent to ensure our board and leadership represents a variety of experts from banking and financial services, legal and compliance matters, information technology, investment and start-ups, and data and research on youth aspirations and ambitions, and the newest board members are no exception.”

The new board members are already making a difference in the organization’s mission to help prepare youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential programs infused with life skills, character education, and entrepreneurship. The four new board members are:

  • Charles E. Harrell is a partner with Jackson Walker in Houston, Tex. He is a widely respected corporate attorney with decades of experience in complex transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, cross-border matters, finance and capital markets. With an entrepreneurial history and experience as a certified public accountant, Mr. Harrell counsels board committees on matters of corporate governance, strategy, regulatory compliance and finance. He is a member of the Lemonade Day board’s fundraising committee, which focuses its efforts on attracting corporations, foundations and individuals interested in “investing” in today’s youth.
  • Keith Kreuer provides over 30 years of experience in starting and building innovative, customer-oriented information technology companies. As Principal with RedHouse Associates in Houston, Tex., Mr. Kreuer specializes in helping early-stage companies create their business plans, define product roadmaps, build processes that scale and secure angel investments. Mr. Kreuer has mentored executives and entrepreneurs throughout the years and shares his valuable advice with the organization as well as its fledgling entrepreneurs. As a member of the board’s My Lemonade Day App Technology Committee, he provides valuable insights on information technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Dana O’Brien, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The Brink’s Company, has more than 25 years of legal experience and has spent over 20 years serving as General Counsel. In this role, Ms. O’Brien has had responsibility for all legal matters facing the organization, including corporate, governance, commercial, litigation, mergers and acquisitions and financial transactions. She also has led compliance and ethics for the organizations she has served. She has served for both international and domestic public and private companies. Ms. O’Brien will support the organization’s fundraising efforts as it continues to expand its program throughout North America and abroad. 
  • Jacobo Ortiz Blanes is the President and Co-Founder of Las Brisas Property Management, the largest service-oriented property management firm in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2008, Mr. Blanes and his team offer accounting and cost savings strategies, facilities management, marketing and branding services, construction management and other consulting services. He is also Vice Chairman of the Salvation Army Puerto Rico. Mr. Blanes will assist his fellow board members of the fundraising committee in securing donations to help the organization with its expansion goals and ongoing technology app development.

On behalf of my National team and the other members of our Board of Directors, I want to thank all our directors for their commitment to our youth. Michael Holthouse, Lemonade Day National co-founder said it best, “I want to welcome these esteemed executives to the board of directors and express my gratitude to all our valued board members for providing visionary leadership for the organization and its staff. I’m eager to work with the Board as they develop new programs and expand Lemonade Day to more children around the world.”

To learn more about the Lemonade Day National board and read member bios, click here.


We would love for you to join us at Lemonade Day and make a difference in a child’s life and the future of our country. Please feel free to share this blog with others and share my contact information, debbie@lemonadeday.org with anyone who would like to know how to help us provide our program to more children and youth or start Lemonade Day in a new city!

Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.  For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit www.lemonadeday.org.

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