Douglas George Towne
Chairman, Disability Relations Group
Author, Orator, Public Policy Facilitator, Social Entrepreneur
Every person has a calling and Doug Towne has found his. By virtue of past experience and avid study, Doug has learned to see both sides of an issue and use this insight to bring understanding to parties originally disagreeing.
His “facilitation method” has proved successful in various arenas, from corporate conference tables to transportation and accessible voting for Americans with disabilities.
Disability issues are his expertise.
Doug knows them personally and professionally both. Hi sees the big picture, a world in which “ability” is the operative word. He is a staunch American, believing in both the letter and the spirit of the law under which all Americans experience freedom and equal rights. And he is willing to put himself on the line to bring this to fruition.
Strategy is his passion.
From chess to marketing to public image to politics, Doug’s mind sees the maze, the dead ends and the pathways that lead forward; the repercussions and the advantages—for both sides at the same time.
Agreement is his goal.
Neither consensus nor compromise is good enough. Agreement means both sides understand and readily volunteer to change a portion of their original stance, acknowledging it is in the best interest of the issue at hand.
Diplomacy is his language.
A true statesman, Doug communicates, with clarity and without judgment, aspects of disagreement forming stumbling blocks to advancement toward agreement.
Negotiation is his means to the end.
He is able to condense an issue to its non-negotiable elements, prioritizing those essential areas and bringing forth a solution to the satisfaction and enhancement of all.
Image is his specialty.
Not a positive spin, but rather a public portrayal of an organization’s true intent and purpose of mission. Whether grassroots social activism or a governmental agency or a corporation, Doug can turn the underlying principles into a persona; one that recognizes the integrity and conviction of an organization; one that takes its rightful place in the minds of consumers, especially those with disabilities.
Douglas George Towne began his life as an advocate for people with disabilities at age thirteen while attending the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia.
As a member of the Student Council and Editor and Chief of the school paper he successfully led several actions designed to improve the life of the students.
His lifelong advocacy efforts garnered him the prestigious State Wide Advocate of the Year for 2002 from the Florida Independent Living Council and recognition from Congress as well.
Transferring from the school for the blind he became one of the first blind students to graduate from public school under the new law in 1976, going on to study history and journalism at the State University of New York. His continuing education has yielded several professional licenses and designations throughout his progressive career.
His business background began at age thirteen selling greeting cards door to door. After developing several small businesses and building a footprint in the real estate rental community he moved into the mortgage field. He retired as CEO of Continental Charter Mortgage in 1994.
In 2001 he founded Disability Relations Group (DRG) to return to his first love of advocacy and public policy in the disability arena.
As Chairman of DRG and its chief consultant, he spends a great deal of time writing and has penned a number of policy works and many social enterprise plans. His social enterprise work has come as the result of his certification by the State of Florida as a Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant. (CBTAC) As a CBTAC he has moved into social enterprise consulting as well as small or micro business development. Working for the state of Florida, large nonprofits and individuals with disabilities who have business aspirations.
Throughout his career he has spoken to groups both large and small from local civic clubs, in the majority of the state capitols and before members of Congress in Washington. His motivational style has excited sales forces and his Biblical approach to disability has fascinated congregations. He has been a guest on numerous television and radio shows and quoted in publications around the world.
His great hobby or distraction is his love of trains and he enjoys a large scale train collection that he has been building since he was 4 years old.
Now approaching sixty years old he prefers to let his clients, associates and those he has assisted speak to his competence and past performance as is illustrated in the following pages.
2000- HealthSouth Survivors Award
2002- Florida Statewide Advocate of the Year awarded by the Florida Independent Living Council
2006- Businessman of the Year awarded by the National Republican Congressional Committee
2007-Congressional Medal of Distinction awarded by the National Republican Congressional Committee
EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS, AND LICENSES
1976- Clifton Fine Central School Graduate (first blind student to graduate from a public school in New York under the original Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.)
1979- State University of New York at Plattsburgh
1990- Cook School of Real Estate graduate certificate in Mortgage Brokering
1990-2003- Licensed Mortgage Broker Florida Division of Professional Regulation
1999-Designated Toast Master, Toast Master International
2000- National Transportation Institute Americans with Disabilities Act Para Transit Eligibility Certification
2003- Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Patrol Project certification
2005- Inside Policy and Advanced Training for the Next Generation of Experts Certification, National Council on Independent Living, Inc.
2008-2015- Certified Business Technical Assistance Consultant Certification Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
2008-2012- Community Transportation Association of America, Easter Seals Project Action Transportation Resource Coordination, Instructor Certification