Buddy Teaster

President and CEO

As CEO of Soles4Souls, Buddy brings a potent combination of entrepreneurship, executive education, C-level leadership skills, as well as extensive non-profit experience. His passion for philanthropy and global change led him to take on the role of leading the largest provider in free shoes to children in need around the world.


“This is one of the most exciting organizations I have ever been associated with. 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 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) and where he first encountered Soles4Souls. There, he sharpened his skills of taking a growing company to the next level. Before that, Buddy was the Chief Network Officer for Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a non-profit organization committed to developing better leaders through education and idea exchange. YPO is the largest CEO network in the world with more than 20,000 CEOs in 100+ countries.


His 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 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 was recently elected to the national Social Enterprise Alliance Board of Directors, 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. 


He 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.


Buddy has extensive speaking experience, including for 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.


He and his wife Becca have been married since 1992 and have two delightful daughters.