Buddy Teaster of Soles4Souls
Buddy Teaster of Soles4Souls
Buddy TeasterSoles4Souls President & CEO
When CCILU put down roots in the USA, we sought partners who shared our passion for giving back to the community. We found a kindred spirit in Buddy Teaster. As CEO of Soles4Souls, Buddy leads the largest provider in free shoes to children in need around the world. We are honored to partner with Soles4Souls on our Spring 2017 “Step Forward, Give Back” campaign, and excited to have Buddy on board as a CCILU 2017 Ambassador.
Like CCILU founder Wilson Hsu, who made the leap from banking to sneaker design, Buddy was previously the President/COO of Executive Business Services (EBS), a holding company that includes RTM Networks, StarKart, and the National Association of Local Advertisers (NALA). It was at NALA that he first encountered Soles4Souls. “This is one of the most exciting organizations I have ever been associated with,” Buddy says. We have a great team and a growing, passionate group of supporters and donors around the country and the world. We’re doing work that really matters and I look forward to doing my part to help even more people regain their dignity and break the cycle of poverty.”
Buddy’s energy and enthusiasm for work spills over to his passion for running. Having run his first marathon in 1994, Buddy enjoys trail and long-distance running and has since finished numerous ultra marathons (50K +) including fourteen 100-mile runs.
Buddy shares CCILU’s philosophy that you must liberate yourself and pursue your calling in life. “The most important thing is to just commit,” he says. “Deciding I wanted to run has been more important than any other part of my running life.“ Buddy considers training “a great parallel with doing the hard work it takes to make a real difference in the world. There are many times when it would be easier to quit. I’m tired, hungry, sore. But if I quit, am I the person I say I am? The person I want to be?”
Buddy earned his BA in Religious Studies and French from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, and holds an MBA/MA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He served as the YPO’s Chair for the Global One Chapter, and Network Chair for the Digital Marketing and Media Network. He is active in the Southern Chapter of the World President’s Organization (WPO), serves as Education Chair of the YPO-WPO Apparel Network, and will serve as the Network Chair in 2016-18.
His role as a CCILU 2017 Ambassador complements Buddy’s extensive experience as a public speaker, appearing before groups such as the YPO; universities like Belmont, DePaul and William and Mary; and forums including TEDx St. Louis, the Columbus Council on World Affairs and the Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit.
Buddy has been honored with several awards, including the “Global Impact Fellow” honor by the YPO-WPO; and the 2015 Social Engagement Network’s “Inclusive Business and Community” Award. We welcome him now to our community, the CCILU family, anticipating a year of meaningful engagement, helping others throughout the United States.
“I’m proud to bring my experience to Soles4Souls and join forces with CCILU to help those in need around the world who also have to push beyond the harsh realities of poverty and lack of opportunity,” Buddy concludes. “Together, we can provide new ways to create and expand our work to help make the world a better place.”