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Interview with Chad A. Douglas, President and CEO, LifeShare Blood Centers

I had the opportunity to sit down with our CEO recently and ask him some questions. Among the things of note was that he grew up as a poor farmer and rancher in Central Florida; and with parental consent joined the military at 17-years old. He believes in Kevin Durant’s philosophy, “hard work trumps talent when talent fails to work hard” and is proof of that philosophy, having started in this business as a phlebotomist. 

Here are some fun facts from the interview.

Chad A. Douglas President and CEO, LifeShare Blood Centers


SUMMARIZE WHO YOU ARE IN THREE WORDS:

Personally: Father, Husband, and Realist.
Professionally: Reserved, Teacher, and Optimist.

PEOPLE THAT KNOW YOU BEST SAY THAT YOU ARE:

Not who they thought I was.

I asked one of my dearest friends his reply, “A work hard, play hard professional with a sincere dedication to those he calls friends.”

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?

Friends and Family – they come first; my community – without a strong community your family can suffer; and our country! My family and I have a long history of serving this country, and I am so excited to be back in the South!

WHY ARE YOU GLAD TO BE BACK IN THE SOUTH?

Culture, manners, and sense of family.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO HAVE FUN?

I love being outdoors. Hunting and fishing are two things I truly enjoy. I am a compulsive golfer. And, a video game nerd; I am pretty sure I have the highest gamer score in the company.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

Success motivates me! Doing something challenging whether in my personal life or professionally. But, I have made my career accomplishing what other people felt was impossible.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Well, a friend of mine is heavily into the Masonic Order. As I know nothing about it, I am reading up on it. I just finished Rebel Yell, a new book on my favorite American General Stonewall Jackson. Professionally I am currently reading The NonProfit Strategy Revolution by David Piana. And I just finished Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I really enjoy teaching, whether it is at work, at home, or in the field. I know a lot of useless facts, and I have a talent for remembering numbers, and conversations. When I don’t know something, I love to look it up.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?

If I had to order a last meal it would probably be a Medium Rare Hamburger, preferably Bison, Sweet Potato Fries with lots of Ketchup!!!

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

My mom always told me, “I could do anything I wanted as long as I wasn’t afraid!” She has always described me as her hero, but she has always been mine.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

My wife.  She is a mom, soldier (Drill Sergeant) who served in Iraq.  When she decided she wanted a specific job she spent 10 years building her resume to get it. Truly a test of hard work and dedication…I wish the story ended there, but she resigned that job after 7 months to move with me to Shreveport.

The second is my parents.  My mom and step-father started out struggling with a home business but through hard work and determination they have been successful and have carved out their own piece of heaven in Tennessee.

Professionally I am proud to be the CEO of LifeShare and to follow the career of Ms. Wallace. I have worked diligently for an opportunity like this and have been very fortunate that others are willing to place their trust in me. 

ARE YOU HANDY AT FIXING THINGS?

I love hands-on projects that allow you to look back with a tasty beverage and say, “I did that.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO GO FOR NEWS?

My Android

WHAT SPORTS TEAMS DO YOU ROOT FOR?

There is only one sport, College Football. Florida Gators, SEC, and Florida State in that order. Professional, Chicago Blackhawks, that’s hockey before anyone asks, San Antonio Spurs and, through marriage, Indianapolis Colts.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU HEARD OR SAW THAT MADE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD?

My daughter, she has a lot of personality for someone so small.

DO YOU COOK? 

I enjoy cooking. When I do, I try to make everything from scratch.

DO YOU PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT?

I tried to play the saxophone in middle school, but found I did not have the talent for it.

WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE?

Since I graduated college in 2004, I have lived in seven states, so my autobiography would be titled, “Don’t Sit Around and Wait for Opportunity – Go After It”

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU RETIRE?

Spend half of the year sailing and the other half on a Bison ranch. (Another fun fact: He’s never been sailing.)