Donald L. Saunders was born on January 28, 1935 and is an active member of New England’s real estate industry; his professional activities are wide-ranging and have included the 55-year ownership of Boston’s principal hotel, the 1100-room Boston Park Plaza Hotel and the adjoining Statler Office Building, as well as the ownership of several major commercial investment real estate properties in the Greater Boston area.
Mr. Saunders is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saunders Real Estate, an international real estate investment property company founded by his grandfather, Jacob Saunders, in 1898. He is the former co-owner of the 1100-room Boston Park Plaza Hotel, as well as the present owner of The Saunders Castle at Park Plaza and The Saunders Building at 20 Park Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Saunders graduated from The Belmont Hill School, Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1953 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1957, with a major in Economics, and was awarded an Honorary Degree from Brown University in 1963. He is also a member of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (“MRA”) and the Institute of Real Estate Management (“CPM”) (“AMO”).
He is a lifetime member of The Jerusalem Foundation, Inc., Jerusalem, Israel. He co-established (with now deceased Alvin Einbender, formerly of NYC) the “Tanners Gate” in the Old City section of Jerusalem during Mayor Teddy Kollek’s tenure.
His professional memberships include that of Certified Property Manager (CPM) of the Institute of Real Estate Management (“IREM”), Chicago, Illinois, and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers (“MRA”), and he is a Life Member of The Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, appointed so by then-Governor Michael Dukakis.
His professional affiliations include the following: the Building Owners & Managers Association (“BOMA”); the Greater Boston Real Estate Board; the Institute of Real Estate Management (“IREM”); the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MRA); the Chaines des Rotisseurs, Bailliage de Suisse, Affoltern, Switzerland; the Real Estate Board of New York; the Massachusetts Restaurant Association; the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”); the Greater Providence Rhode Island Real Estate Board; the New England Innkeepers Association; and the International Hotel Association. Mr. Saunders was also a resident of Lucerne, Switzerland for more than 37 years.
Mr. Saunders has been honored with the Annual Award of the Back Bay Foundation for Community Development. He was also given the Humanitarian Award by the National Jewish Hospital and Research Center/National Asthma Center, Denver, Colorado. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Pine Manor College in 1989. He has also served Brown University as a Trustee (Emeritus) for more than 30 years, as Chairman of Commercial Properties of Brown University, and as Chairman of the Board of the Faunce House Board of Governors, as well as serving on its Executive Committee for more than 30 years.