I was born in Vandalia, Illinois, a town of a little over 5,000 in south-central Illinois. Abraham Lincoln attended sessions of the Illinois General Assembly in Vandalia, the second capital of Illinois. My Dad, William, owned a bakery downtown and my Mother, Ina Mae, taught school, before they traveled out to Pocatello, Idaho for Dad to enroll in college, later moving on to Oregon, where they happily spent the rest of their long lives. I’m the second oldest of six siblings who are alive and well and living all over the United States. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, I spent three wonderful years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, teaching English and ancient history at one of Ethiopia’s finest public schools, Tafari Makonnen. The school was named after Ras Tafari Makonnen, Emperor Haile Selassie’s name before his coronation as the Conquering Lion of Judah.
Returning to the United States after my Peace Corps service, I earned a master of management science degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and began a career in nonprofit and public management, which took me to Erie, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon, before I returned to Cleveland with my first wife Janet, to become chief of staff to the new president of Cuyahoga Community College. Settling in Shaker Heights on the east side of Cleveland, Janet and I bought our first home and brought our children Jennifer and William into the world. Jennifer and William are attorneys: Jenny in Portland, Oregon, and Will in Cleveland.
In the mid-1980s, I founded my consulting firm, Doug Eadie & Company, which specializes in helping nonprofit and public organizations strengthen board and CEO leadership and manage strategic change. I also began to write articles and books in my field. My 19th book, Leading Out-of-the-Box Change came out in 2012. Over the past twenty-five years I’ve worked with over 500 nonprofit and public organizations of every shape and size in a wide variety of fields, including association management, public education, economic development, and public transportation.
My second wife, Barbara Krai, and I have been married since 1994. Barbara, a widely known interior designer, owned a beautiful furniture and accessories store and design studio in Chagrin Falls, Ohio – Milieu – before we moved to Dallas, Texas, and then on to Tampa Bay, Florida, where we live in a home facing west on Old Tampa Bay, just ten feet from the water. We added a second floor for our adjoining offices, so we climb the stairs to work every morning. We are both happily busy, Barbara as CEO of Barbara Krai Interior Design and I as a consultant and writer. Of course, our home here in sunny Florida is a popular destination for our six kids (Barbara’s Steve, Donna, Sean and Kevin in addition to my two), their spouses, and our five grandchildren.
“Entwined Lives” is my first really personal blog. It’s the direct result of my return visit to Ethiopia in May 2012, for the first time since returning to the States in 1967. A couple of years earlier, I’d discovered that one of the Ethiopian students who’d lived with me and my Peace Corps housemates in Addis, Tariku Belay, was alive and well and living in Minneapolis. Then, a year or so later, I learned that another former student who’d lived with me in Addis, Tesfagiorgis Wondimagegnehu, was alive and living with his wife Almaz in Addis. I had been out of touch with both of them since the mid-1970s, when the regime of Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown and a reign of terror began under the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, and I’d assumed they’d been killed, along with hundreds of thousands of other young Ethiopians. Having spent a wonderful two weeks in Addis on my homecoming trip. getting reacquainted with Tesfagiorgis and another former student, Berhane Mogese, and meeting many of their friends and family members, I came back to the US determined to write about my Ethiopian experience. Thus was “Entwined Lives” born.