Doug Richards

Occupation: Sr. Director of Professional Services, OpenAir

First Car: 1986 Mazda 626

Favorite Restaurant: Heaven on 7 - Chicago, IL

What are three things most people don't know about you?

a).  I’ve run 2 marathons
b).  I have a black belt in Kuk Sool Won
c).  I was an options trader for 14 months prior to working at QuickArrow

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

My greatest adventure was backpacking around Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji for 7 months after graduating college.

What's your best childhood memory?

Summer vacation, when I was very young.  We used to drive from the suburbs of Chicago to a place in Michigan called Castle Park.  My Aunt, Uncle and cousins would come up from Ohio and we’d spend the week kicking around the sleepy, little town and playing on the beach/lakefront.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

I’d like to talk to my great-grandmother on my Dad’s side.  She was born in 1891 and at the age of 9, she left Slovakia by herself and moved to Chicago to meet up with other members of her family.  She died in 1986 and I’d like to talk to her about her life and the perspective she had regarding the world and how it was changing.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

My first marathon, Chicago 2001.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

Traveling - even though most of my travel is work-related, I like to find local places that I otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to see/try.

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

I’m currently reading Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo. 
My favorite book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse - it’s the only book that I’ve read and then immediately turned to the first page to read again.

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

At some point, I’d like to see a total solar eclipse and actually see the corona of the sun.  Otherwise, I’d love to go on a safari and see the wild animals of Africa.

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

The Austin Humane Society.  The Humane Society helps animals that are too often neglected and truly need help.  Also, I think that giving locally is important and I’d like to see the impact directly.

If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I’d be a Fireman.

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

I started as a consultant because I enjoyed solving problems and the variety that new clients provided.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Listening is the most important skill that a consultant can have.  Develop that and the rest will fall into place.