THE ENGINEER: KEITH DOUGLAS Executive Vice President at The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company Hired to work for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company soon after receiving his Civil Engineering degree from the University of Virginia, Keith Douglas has been with the company for nearly 33 years. He serves as Executive Vice President, managing the operational oversight of nine offices in the Southern region. Douglas spent his first 10 years with The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company in Richmond, Va. before moving to Atlanta in 1993 to help prepare for the impending 1996 Olympic Games. While his extended family still lives in Virginia, Douglas and his wife of 25 years, Ann, put down roots just outside the perimeter in Alpharetta. Their three children, Hailey, 23, Laura, 22 and John, 18 have all attended or still attend the University of Georgia. THE ARTIST: “My mother’s side of the family has always had a lineage of individuals who are super passionate about art,” says Douglas. His grandfather, a Mechanical Engineer and Physicist, was also a painter, as was Douglas’ mother. Now, his daughter Laura has also joined the ranks of family painters. Douglas remembers first starting to experiment around the age of seven or eight with leftover paint from his mother’s creations, but didn’t get serious about painting until 2001. “Everyone reacted to 9/11 differently; for me, I felt drawn to start painting my family and challenge myself more. I went from finishing one painting every other year to completing 12 to 15 paintings in a single year.” Although a skilled painter after years of practice, Douglas didn’t take a painting course until three years ago, when he enrolled in a three-day Master Class and fundraising program for Columbus State College with artist, Bo Bartlett. Now, Douglas returns to the Master class every year - this past year, with his daughter as a participant as well. HOW DOES YOUR ALTER EGO IMPACT YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE? “My paintings are very detailed - that’s probably the engineering side of me coming out. And as a builder, when dealing with architects and project development, it helps that they understand I have a balanced approach, both creative and detail-oriented. I’m amazed that people assume engineers aren’t creative; we are all about creating solutions. It is definitely a ‘plus’ in my everyday work to have a creative outlook.” ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ENGINEERS ABOUT STRIKING A BALANCE? Douglas and his wife are now empty-nesters, but still stay contentedly busy outside of work with family, travel and hobbies. “I think balance is of huge importance. Too many engineers get so wrapped-up in their career and forget to embrace other factions of their life. My grandfather is probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to showing me that you can do both. It may take effort, but it’s so important to have a fulfilling way to spend your time after your kids leave the house and on into retirement.”
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Engineers+Beyond+Their+Careers/2383658/289101/article.html.