Who We Are



Our mission is to help prepare youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential programs infused with life skills, character education, and entrepreneurship. The foremost objective is to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.  We want to build self-esteem and new mindsets that can propel youth to success they likely would not have pursued otherwise.

Every child in America is introduced to entrepreneurship through the real world experience of starting their own business – a lemonade stand.  By running their stand, they learn the business and life skills needed to set a goal, make a plan and work the plan to achieve their dreams.

Our Story

America was built on the back of small business. Entrepreneurs take risks, believing they can realize their dream if they work hard, take responsibility and act as good stewards of their resources. Today’s youth share that optimism but lack the life skills, mentorship and real-world experience necessary to be successful.  In 2007, founder Michael Holthouse had a vision to empower today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs through helping them start, own and operate their very own business…a lemonade stand.  

Lemonade Day is a strategic lesson-based program that walks youth from a dream to a business plan while teaching them the same principles required to start any company. Inspiring kids to work hard and make a profit, they are also taught to spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community. Since its launch in 2007 in Houston, Texas, Lemonade Day has grown from serving 2,700 kids in one city to 1 million children across North America. Lemonade Day sparks the spirit of entrepreneurship and empowers youth to set goals, work hard, and achieve their dreams.

Lemonade Day Message on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Since our inception, Lemonade Day has been committed to delivering youth entrepreneurship programming that is accessible to all children regardless of age, color, race, handicap, economic status, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification. Our experience-based program welcomes young people from all socio-economic backgrounds and instills in them an entrepreneurial mindset that we know makes a profound difference in so many kid’s lives. Those who participate in Lemonade Day become successful adults with meaningful careers who contribute to the communities and economies where they live and work. 
We acknowledge while we have had many beneficial and inclusive initiatives in place, we can always do more, be better, and redouble our commitment in the spirit of social progress. We are hopeful that today’s youth entrepreneurs become tomorrow’s leaders with limitless futures.


Our Story 1 Our Story 2

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Guidestar top rated Charity Navigator Donor Houston

Meet our founder, Michael Holthouse

Meet our founder, Michael Holthouse

Lemonade Day founder Michael Holthouse is best known in the business world as the founder and President of Paranet, Inc., a computer network services company. As an Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year and a two-time “'Inc. 500' list of fastest growing companies" winner, Michael grew Paranet in 6 years to 27 offices, 1600 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million and ultimately sold the company to Sprint in 1997. Since then, he has focused on philanthropy, investments and a variety of business interests. Community involvement is an enormous part of Michael’s life, and he has served on a variety of children’s and civic boards. 

His family foundation, Holthouse Foundation for Kids, focuses proactively on at-risk youth. His philanthropic venture is called Prepared 4 Life (P4L) which prepares middle school youth for life through fun, proactive and experiential after-school programs infused with life skills, character education and entrepreneurship. The most treasured part of Michael’s life is spending time with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.



Our National Board

Charlie Hamilton
Board Chairman
Founding Partner, Caprock Partners

Jennifer Baur
Rockwood Shutters

Joe Daly
Senior Partner,

Douglas Erwin
RedHouse Associates

Steven Gordon
Lemonade Day National

Charles E. Harrell
P.C., Partner
Jackson Walker

Lisa Holthouse
Houston CityBook

Michael Holthouse
Holthouse Interests

Keith Kreuer
RedHouse Associates

Jacobo Ortiz Blanes
Las Brisas Property Management

Amanda Sequeira
Vice President
Community Engagement,
First National Bank Texas

Latrice Tubbs
Senior Vice President
Healthcare Banking,
Commerce Bank


Our National Staff

Steven Gordon
National President

Steven Gordon

Debbie Nazarian
National Director of Cities

Taylor Pettyjohn
Manager of City Support Operations

Debbie Nazarian Taylor Pettyjohn

Claire Schultz
Manager of Program Dev & Systems

Meghan (Kelleher) Lafferty
Development Manager

Claire Schultz Meghan

Colleen Henggeler
City Support Assistant


"Not every kid wants to be or will be an entrepreneur, but we need to help kids achieve something, no matter how big or small."

- Charlie Hamilton, Serial Entrepreneur and Lemonade Day National Board Chairman