Doug Fieldhouse ’81 was a founding investor in Vesta in 1995 and was appointed president and chief executive officer in May 1997. Prior to Vesta, Doug spent 15 years engaged in building and leading businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. His experiences include building and operating law firms, international nonprofits, and high-tech enterprises. Doug has been recognized as an entrepreneur, leader and innovator, and was named Ernst & Young’s 2009 Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur Of The Year®. Additionally, he received the 2008 Entrepreneurship Award for Individual Achievement from the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and has been previously recognized by Computerworld, Fast Company, and Inc. magazines. He is a featured author in Smart Business Growth, a book by CEOs of fast-growing companies on strategies and methods behind successful growth.
What brought you to Antioch College? What was your major? A series of random events ended up with me going there—it was not until late summer after I had graduated that I decided not to do a gap year. I had gone to a serious college prep school and had done very well—but I was disillusioned by grades etc., so when I read about Antioch, and understood the co-op program, and learned my first activity would be two weeks camping in the smokes, I called and applied. I never spoke to current students or alums before I applied and didn’t visit. I had a great experience and ended up majoring in international relations.
What's your favorite memory of being at Antioch? Some really bright, really interesting and really different people.
Was there a professor that made a huge impact on your life? There were a few that I really enjoyed and who really pushed me, including Fred Hoxie and Al Denman, to name two.
Any stirring words of wisdom about the independence of Antioch College? Antioch has had a tortured history of financial and leadership difficulty—the school almost shut down during my tenure. But the ideals that the school were founded on are clearly important and clearly worth maintaining and building upon, so I really hope this new chapter is a successful one.
If you could bring one thing to the future of Antioch College, what would it be? Two important things, I think: 1) big focus on international—my experiences abroad during college were instrumental and extremely valuable, and 2) a focus on the fact that “business” and successful business people are not inherently bad.
Why do you donate to Antioch College? I have and I do—Antioch provided a very important building block for who I am and the success I have had and I think it important to help it continue to do so for others.
That said, Antioch can be a very frustrating place and is, in many ways, much more liberal than I am, but it was a great place for me to spend four years, and make some lifelong friends.
About the Vesta Corporation: I helped start the company back in 1995, and we have taken it through many iterations. For the past decade we have been one of the world’s` leading innovators in enabling payments over the phone and internet. Today we have operations in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and China.