What is Black?

Reflections on Fatherhood Part 1

Episode Summary

In this episode, we pay tribute to Black fathers in celebration of Father's Day. I speak with Max Douge, my husband, Pierre Douge, brother in-law, and Wayne Abbott, family friend. This episode is an excerpt of a conversation they had after the interview I had with them about fatherhood. During their conversation share reflections of their youth, how their father's influenced their parenting, Black culture then and now, racism and how they help their children deal with negative perceptions about their children based on race. It's a great conversation! This episode is dedicated to Max Douge, my father-in-law, and Liston Abbott, Wayne's father. Their legacy lives on.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we pay tribute to Black fathers in celebration of Father's Day. I speak with Max Douge, my husband, Pierre Douge, brother in-law, and Wayne Abbott, family friend. This episode is an excerpt of a conversation they had after the interview I had with them about fatherhood. During their conversation share reflections of their youth, how their father's influenced their parenting, Black culture then and now, racism and how they help their children deal with negative perceptions about their children based on race. It's a great conversation!

This episode is dedicated to Max Douge, my father-in-law, and Liston Abbott, Wayne's father. Their legacy lives on.

Bios:
Wayne Abbott grew up in East Windsor, NJ and attended Hightstown HS. He graduated from Rutgers School of Engineering in 1990 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Wayne joined VCE (now the Modern Data Center division within Dell EMC) in December 2012 as a Senior vArchitect. He was recently was promoted to the role of Principal Systems Engineer and has been the Chief Architect for the New York Metro and Mid-Atlantic regions for 3 years helping drive more than $500M in revenue. Wayne was the Americas vArchitect of the year for 2014 for being the technical anchor on complex revenue generating accounts as well as for his development of several tools that have been extensively used by the vArchitect community. He also serves on the Global vArchitect Council that helps set standards for pre-sales activities and represents the field in interactions with the office of CTO, Architecture, and Product Management & Engineering.

Prior to joining Dell EMC he was a pre-sales systems engineer for 15 years at Oracle/Sun Microsystems helping drive more than $1 billion in revenues during his tenure. His background ranges from technical sales of hardware and software to defining mission critical systems for data center and telco operations. He also has experience in the full development cycle of UNIX applications (development, test, documentation, and training), a variety of programming languages, web server deployment, and system administration.

Outside of his professional life Wayne has been involved in community service by organizing technology days for high school students, mentoring students at his alma mater Rutgers School of Engineering as well as local high schools, and coaching basketball. He is also has obtained his 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He has been married to his college sweetheart for 22 years and has two teenagers in high school accelerating the pace of his graying hair.

Pierre Douge grew up in Piscataway, NJ and attended Bishop Ahr High School. He attended George Washington University and studied Engineering Management and Applied Science with an applied minor in Business Management. In 2014, Pierre began working in IT Security for T. Rowe Price. In 2016, he moved to Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center as a Support Engineer for the Firepower Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System. Recently, he moved into a new role working as a software engineer in feature development for the Next Generation Firewall and Threat Defense as part of the Cisco Security Business Group. His role there is as a System Integration Lead focusing on network lab infrastructure for feature testing and automation development.

Prior to moving into IT full-time, he worked in real estate both as a sales agent and property manager for almost 15 years. He owned his own property management company servicing properties in Maryland and DC. He was part of the Million Dollar Sales Club and had a team of 7 agents.

In his personal life, Pierre has been involved in coaching youth sports for both soccer and basketball at both the recreation level and AAU level for both girls and boys. He enjoys working with kids as they progress into competitive sports and try to reach higher levels in their respective sports. His greatest pleasure and accomplishment is his family and spending time with them. He has been married for 13 years to Patricia and has two children, ages 11 and 5.

Max Douge is a Business and Employment Consultant with Frederick County Workforce Services (FCWS). Max has over 20 years of experience in career and workforce development. His career in the field began in New Jersey with an international nonprofit organization, called INROADS, where he worked as a Manager of Recruitment Services for 2+ years, then as an Accounts Manager for 8+ years. Upon moving to Maryland, he spent 2½ years as the Internship Coordinator at the University of Baltimore’s Career Center before joining FCWS 9 years ago.

Max’s primary focus is assisting the business community with their workforce needs: recruitment, hiring, job descriptions, job posting, training, assessments, labor market information and more. He has partnered and collaborated with a variety of businesses, from small startups to major corporations, like Merrill Lynch and Johnson & Johnson. He has also presented industry relevant workshops for job seekers, employers, students and parents at colleges/universities, community organizations and companies.

Some of Max’s knowledge and expertise include understanding local labor market information, hiring trends, the value of internships and resume writing. Max has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Mini-MBA Certificate from Rutgers University, along with industry related certifications, like resume writing and consultative sales.

Max, his wife and two sons are members of the Frederick County community. He and his family have been actively involved with local schools, United Way, Frederick County Public School’s Eliminating the Achievement Gap and the youth soccer community.

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