Charles "Don" Scales

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“i had previously left a loving tribute to my former husband and it was strangley removed for the site. so i am leaving another one.don and i were...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: leslie scales - highlands, NC

“i had a very nice tribute to don as his wife of 23 years., and someone erased it id like to know why ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: leslie scales - highlands, NC


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Don Scales, a man with a passion for leading, learning, and mentoring, died on September 5, 2021, in New York City. He was 66.

Don was born July 27, 1955, the son of Charles and Hazel Scales. He loved his parents deeply and often cited them as his personal inspiration. He once said, "Anything I accomplish in life must be attributed to his parents." Of his mother, he wrote, "She often said 'Someone is going to come in first today; I see no reason it can't be you,' which are motivational words that I still carry with me every day." He cited his father as such an amazing friend and parent that Don did not want to let him down.

Through his life, Don did his parents proud. From early on, he embraced learning and growing. He earned dual undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematical Physics, and a Master of Chemical Engineering, from Rice University. After that, he achieved an MBA from Harvard Business School. At the time of his passing, he was pursuing his PhD from Drexel University with the hopes of eventually entering classrooms to teach what he practiced successfully for years.

Don applied what he learned often and in profound ways. As CEO of Agency.com, he was one of the business leaders who helped usher in a new era of services firms focused on helping businesses navigate the digital age. He transformed digital marketing agency iCrossing from a small search agency to a full-services firm. At the time of his passing, he was global CEO of Investis Digital, where he led many remarkable milestones during his six years as leader. Those achievements included a complete rebrand of the company, three acquisitions, and improvement of the company's services to support his vision.

He sought to teach others what he learned as a business leader. In 2020, he co-wrote with Fran Biderman-Gross the book "How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm," which reflected his strong belief that employee values are the foundation of any successful professional services organization. In 2021, he wrote a book of breakthrough thinking, "The M&A Solution: A Values-Based Approach to Integrate Companies," which demonstrated how and why businesses could achieve successful mergers/acquisitions by aligning their corporate values. The PhD he was pursuing sought to teach the business world how to measure the tangible impact of corporate values on mergers and acquisitions.

Whether he was learning, leading, or teaching, Don always valued the people in his life: his friends, colleagues, and employees. He was a mentor to many business leaders who worked for him, and he believed passionately in being available to support any employee who needed him. The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Don. He loved sharing quiet evenings with his friends and if you heard a cork pop, you knew it very well could be the start to a lovely dinner sharing a glass of Duckhorn from one of Don's favorite Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard.

Don will be missed for his sense of humor, leadership, business acumen, sense of style, and love for learning. He will be remembered as a loyal son, loving partner, and dear friend.

His memorial service, officiated by Chaplain Fred R. Zobel, U.S. Navy (Retired), will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Crestwood Funeral Home in Midtown, New York City on September 23. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Hazel Scales' Media Innovation Library, Pine Forest High School (Attention Lori Miller), 2500 Longleaf Drive, Pensacola, Florida 32526 or at https://donorbox.org/hazel-scales-innovation-library-fundraiser.