Don is a veteran of more than 30 years in the financial advisory industry and a former tax accountant and attorney. Prior to forming Graeter Wealth Advisors in partnership with his sons, Don enjoyed a highly successful career in the financial services industry. For nearly 30 years, he served as a senior executive and leading financial consultant at Hilliard Lyons. A Senior Vice President, the highest position Hilliard bestows on its consultants, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee, Don was one of the firm’s larger shareholders at the time of its sale to PNC Financial in 1998.
Before becoming a full time consultant, Don headed Hilliard’s financial planning department. He also served as head of business development for its trust company for five years, during which time its managed assets grew from $800 million to over $3 billion.
Don earned his B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky and was awarded the Sullivan Medallion as the outstanding male graduate in his class. Upon graduation, he joined the public accounting firm of Ernst and Young and passed the CPA exam before serving as a U.S. Navy officer during the Vietnam War.
After his military service, Don attended the University of Virginia Law School where he earned election to the Order of the Coif for academic standing in the top 10% of his graduating class. He practiced law as a tax attorney with Kentucky’s largest law firm before joining Hilliard Lyons in 1979.
Don became a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School in 1998.
Don has served as an instructor of taxation and accounting at the collegiate level at the University of Virginia and at the graduate level in Bellarmine University’s MBA program. A published author of articles pertaining to investments and taxation, he has served as an expert court witness regarding these topics in both state and federal court.
Long active in civic endeavors, Don has served as an officer and board member of The Children’s Hospital Foundation, Alliant Health System, St. Matthews Little League Baseball, Seven Counties Services, the UK Alumni Association and Kentucky Education Television. A long time history buff, he is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and, since 2011, has taught courses on the life and times of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Bellarmine University’s Veritas program.
Don and the former Diane Lynch of Louisville have been married since 1968. Diane is a UK graduate and a former teacher. She recently received an award for her successful ten year effort to reorganize the local court system to better protect victims of domestic violence. She and Don enjoy traveling and spending time with their two sons and daughters in law and five grandchildren.