HAWA is coming to the end of an era: a time without the presence of Doug Coffey, who has decided to hang up his slide rule and pocket protector and enter a new phase of life after nearly four decades with our firm.
In 1983, Doug joined H.A. Williams and Associates after working with Gerrit Van Straten Engineers following his graduation from The Ohio State University. He worked his way up through the company and was named an associate in 1989 and a shareholder in 1991. In 1992, Doug moved his wife Dawn and children Jenna and Bret to southwest Ohio, at the request of the H.A. Williams Associate Board of Directors, to manage the operations of our Cincinnati office. In 1997, after growing the Cincinnati office, he was asked to return to Columbus to prepare to take over leadership of the firm when our president at the time, Bob Roberts, was ready to retire. In 1999, Doug was officially named President of HAWA Incorporated and began his 19-year run as our leader.
As HAWA’s president, Doug led the company by example. His experience as a design engineer, project manager, associate, shareholder and manager of the Cincinnati office gave him the experience and perspective to understand and empathize with every employee under his charge. Doug’s leadership philosophy focused on doing what was needed to allow the HAWA employees the time and resources required to get the job done. That included overseeing the financial health of the firm, focusing on the day-to-day operations, and providing direction to the shareholder group and board of directors. On occasion, it also included shoveling the snow off the sidewalk and coordinating maintenance calls with our maintenance contractor.
Doug was always available to be a sounding board for engineering-related questions on projects and personal development issues. His decision-making process always took into consideration the wellbeing of our clients, our employees and the communities that we serve. He was an incredible mentor to many of the current shareholder group, and I am grateful for his support, example and friendship.
Doug, thank you for all you’ve done for HAWA Engineers; and Dawn, thank you for sharing your husband with us these last 38 years.
Enjoy this new chapter of life.