Habitat Volunteer Profile: Doug Hamilton
Doug Hamilton is the Steering Committee and Instructor for the North Bay Construction Corps, an 18-week program where high school seniors learn both the skills and the mindset needed to succeed in the building sector. This year their final project was to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County to rebuild a porch for an elderly couple in Santa Rosa.
How I got into construction — I fully intended on going to the US Naval Academy, but had a severe football injury in my later years in high school, and the government quite literally did not want my medical bills. As a freshman in high school down in Terra Linda, I somehow became the “Chairman of Restoration” for the very first one-room-school house north of San Francisco, “The Dixie Schoolhouse”. We fully restored that school house, and it remains in use today as a historical training site at Miller Creek Junior High School. It was my father that then suggested I go to an engineering school, and upon graduation, restore old homes in Petaluma for a business. I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated with honors with a degree in Construction Engineering (1981). The summer of my Junior year, I sent out 50 applications and resumes to local contractors to hopefully secure my first job in the industry. I got one response! It was from Maggiora and Ghilotti, the grading, paving and pipeline contractors, located at that time in Corte Madera. I was hired by them and have remained in that specialty focus (Engineering Construction) my entire construction career. I do possess both a class “A” Engineering Contractor and a class “B” General Building Contractor state license.
What got me into volunteerism? — Simple answer for this one, my father and the Boy Scouts. My father grew up on the East Coast, and in those days (the 1940s and 1950s) it was an expectation of your employer that you donate a significant amount of time towards the community service organization of your choice. He served for 8 years as President for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael and was a also state leader for the USO for many years, even taking a group of prominent entertainers to the jungles of Vietnam to bolster the spirits of our troops in service there. I was a devoted Boy Scout for many years, and to this day continue to embrace the fundamentals of service and duty for which the Scouts have stood for over many generations.
What volunteerism means to me — Giving back. I have been blessed throughout my life, and yes, challenged – as we all are at various stages. It is my passion to give back, and to do so without expectation or any degree of selfishness. It truly brings me great joy, and a sense of fulfilling my life-long duty to uphold and continue the lessons my father instilled in me.