Doug Spencer – Coalition Volunteer Extraordinaire
In celebration of National Volunteer Appreciation Month, we are introducing you to some of our super volunteers during the next several weeks. Today, we want you to meet Doug Spencer, by profession a Utility and Construction Management Consultant. But we know him as our dedicated Coalition Board member, Doug Spencer Golf Challenge Chair, and all-around volunteer extraordinaire for more than 20 years. (And he wants to make sure you register as a golfer or sponsor for this year’s Golf Challenge on May 2, 2014 at Alaqua Country Club.)
How did you get involved with the Coalition? My first connection came as part of a program that Orlando Utilities Commission had for their employees. It was tailored after Leadership Orlando and was called Team OUC. As part of the Community Day we served breakfast to the families at the old bus depot. The families slept on the floor in little cubicles. After we served, we were provided a tour of the Men’s Pavilion and the current Center for Women and Families. The facility was an old TV station and was a total mess inside. It looked like someone had just picked up and left one day. After that I participated in the Inaugural Golf Challenge. About 3 years later I joined the Board, termed out after 9 years, and I am now back on the Board.
What was your first impression of the Coalition? Seeing those families at the old bus station made me a believer that I had to do something.
How often and in what capacity do you volunteer? I serve meals a few times per year, participate in Board activities, and I chair the Golf Challenge, now in its 18th year.
Why do you continue to support the Coalition? I like to be part of something where you can really make a difference.
What has surprised you most about working with the Coalition? The commitment of the employees. They work crazy hours and never give up.
What are your fondest memories of volunteering at the Coalition? The year we raised over $140,000 at the Golf Challenge. The day the new Men’s Service Center got approved.
What do you wish other people knew about the Coalition? That it is a hand up not a hand out.
Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while volunteering at the Coalition. When I was at OUC, my staff used to sponsor a family during Christmas. The family was usually from the Coalition’s Women’s Residential and Counseling center (WRCC). One of my employees led the entire effort and did a wonderful job. One of the families we sponsored had 3 kids and I will always remember how happy the kids were for the presents. The parents were very appreciative of everything.
How would someone describe you? Fair on difficult issues. Passionate about everything I do, including the Coalition.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering? Work, Golf, Water Ski, play Racquetball, and spend time with my wife Laurie.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? I skied in four water ski nationals. I play the drums.
Way to go, Doug! And we can’t thank you enough for your Coalition passion.