Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center
Greg Fischer was born in Louisville on January 14, 1958. He is an entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist and was elected Louisville’s 50th Mayor on November 2, 2010.
He graduated from Trinity High School and majored in Economics at Vanderbilt University. To help pay for his college education, and to finance a trip around the world, Fischer spent his summers in Kodiak, Alaska, as a crane operator helping unload salmon boats. His year abroad, most of it spent in Asia, gave him a global perspective on life and on business.
In 1980, he was a founder of SerVend International and co-invented the SerVend ice and beverage dispenser just as fast-food restaurants and convenience stores were proliferating. Along with his brothers, he led the growth of SerVend into a worldwide corporation with more than 300 employees and $70 million in annual sales. SerVend was nationally recognized for business and leadership excellence, being honored with a site visit by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and as a recipient of the USA Today Quality Cup, among others. SerVend was sold in 1997 to Manitowoc, a Fortune 500 company.
In 1999, he founded Iceberg Ventures, a private investment firm, and later was a co-founder of bCatalyst, the first business accelerator in Louisville. Fischer has helped create more than 1,000 local jobs and has been an active investor and board member in numerous companies across multiple industries, ranging from MedVenture Technology to Vogt Ice to Stonestreet One. He is a former partner and former CEO of Dant Clayton Corporation, which designs, manufactures and constructs sports stadiums around the country.
He is past chairman of the Young Presidents Organization as well as past chairman of the Louisville Science Center, where he helped raise $25 million to modernize the facility. He was a co-founder of Louisville’s Center for Quality of Management. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards with current roles on the University of Louisville Board of Overseers and the Waterfront Development Corp.
He is married to Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides, the daughter of Greek immigrants who were uprooted during the Greek Civil War. Greg and Alex met in 1982 at a Valentine’s Day party in Old Louisville. They have four children -- Eleni, George, Nick and Mary.
Donald E. Lassere joined the Muhammad Ali Center in 2012. In his role as CEO, Mr. Lassere is responsible for fostering the Center’s mission, building and expanding upon the Center’s educational programs, partnerships, and other outreach initiatives.
In addition, Mr. Lassere, launched the Muhammad Ali Global Humanitarian Awards. The Humanitarian awards are designed to inspire and encourage young people worldwide to become actively involved in social justice issues that are impacting their communities, countries, and the world.