For this installment of Get to Know, we are pleased to introduce Doug Dyson, a member of ASPE’s Atlanta Chapter.
ASPE: What are your hobbies outside of work?
Doug: I absolutely love working in my yard—have Bermuda grass in the front and just put in Zoysia in the back—and I own three reel mowers, which I cut with to about ½ inch. I do love to play golf; I’m not very good at it, but there’s just something peaceful about the order of the course. Lately, my most challenging “hobby” is school. At age 54 I decided to go back and am currently in my third semester of the Kennesaw State University Executive MBA program. I’m fortunate to have such a highly regarded program so close to where I live. It’s a cohort program with a teaming component, which has just blown me away. The practical content of what I am learning has been phenomenal.
ASPE: What is your favorite type of music, band, and song?
Doug: My tastes have changed over the years, but I still love the old rock music from the 80s (U2, The Police). At Auburn I began to really enjoy the Grateful Dead (went to about a dozen shows); then I found some local guys who can actually bring the hammer in, of all things, Christian rock (Third Day). Lately I’ve come to love the current country beach genre (of course, Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown). When it gets chaotic at the office, I’ll turn to jazz (Earl Klugh, George Benson) to try and soothe the beast that sometimes tries to take over my mind (LOL).
ASPE: What do you do to relax?
Doug: Two years ago my son came home from Auburn under really difficult circumstances, and we spent a ton of time together rebuilding the deck on the back of our house. Just before that, my agency had acquired representation of the Milwaukee Tool line, so we had access to all of the greatest tools we could ever need. We spent nearly a year working together adding a roof and installing a really sharp rail design. We also put in ceiling fans, lights, and a big-screen TV. Now my wife and I will sit out there every evening and just enjoy hanging out together. My favorite is being out there in the spring, listening to the rain fall on the metal roof. There’s not much more peaceful in my opinion.
ASPE: If you could play any sport professionally, what would it be and why?
Doug: Baseball. In high school I played for one of the all-time great coaches, Sammy Dunn at Vestavia Hills (Alabama). He had an insatiable passion for the game and instilled in me a competitive fire and respect for the game that still burns. I actually walked on at Auburn (outstanding bullpen catcher, ha-ha) and played for Paul Nix and the legendary Hal Baird. When my son started playing, the competitive fire went to a different level. I completely fell in love with practice again and really loved bringing that same energy to the field that I used to see in Coach Dunn. My love for the mental/strategic side of the game would probably take a dozen pages so I’ll leave that alone…for now.
ASPE: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Why?
Doug: St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It has the prettiest water, prettiest beaches, prettiest mountains…what more could you want? The pace is about as slow as you can get, and it’s still not heavily commercialized for the most part. Plus all that fresh seafood…and it’s still in the greatest country ever (USA!).
ASPE: What is your favorite meal? Is it prepared at home or found at a restaurant?
Doug: When I was at Auburn, I quickly found out that you can’t cook on the grill without using something called Dale’s Sauce. It originates in north Alabama and is the best marinade on the planet. As I’ve gotten older, they have fortunately introduced a low-sodium version. Anyway, I inherited a great love of the ribeye steak from my grandfather. Reverse seared on the grill at home with twice-baked potatoes—that’s a slice of heaven for me.
ASPE: What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
Doug: Chinese. There is a hole-in-the-wall place called China Fun just down the road from us that makes the best Happy Family anywhere. I love to get that for takeout on a Friday night.
ASPE: What song would you say best sums you up?
Doug: As I mentioned, I’m a baseball guy, and I’ve recently joked to my kids that if I were playing in the bigs that my walk-up song would be Eric Church’s “Some of It.”