It took about one hour on campus to know that this was the place where I could grow and develop the skills that would allow me to succeed the rest of my life
A trip to Adrian for the 55th Anniversary of Theta Chi in October 2019 led Doug Miller, a 1990 Adrian College graduate, to his latest career move — accepting the positions of chief operating officer and chief of staff at the newly created Wildcat Brothers Distilling company, located in Lafayette, LA.
A friend, and fellow member of the Grand Chapter of Theta Chi, Tait Martin, shared that he was joining David Meaux, another fraternity brother, in the creation of a craft rum distillery in Louisiana. After discussing the potential of the business and many weeks of planning, Miller left his 20-plus year career as an energy commodity trader and joined Wildcat Brothers Distilling.
“This is an exciting time for this company as we expand across the nation, including into Michigan,” Miller said. “Our rums have now won national awards and we have increased our size in a tough economy for small business.”
Miller said half of the company’s employees and all eight of its board members are fraternity brothers from across the country, and many of its investors include brothers from Adrian College.
“When you find something that means a lot to you, continue to be involved with it,” Miller said. “Adrian College and Theta Chi are those things for me. I feel a sense of duty and pride to try to give back to both groups as often and in any way that I can. Above all I appreciate the lifelong friendships I have made along the way, in many cases with people I never went to school with.”
Adrian College was the only school Miller ever applied to.
“It took about one hour on campus to know that this was the place where I could grow and develop the skills that would allow me to succeed the rest of my life,” Miller said. “I think that is the reason I come back as often as I can. Adrian College continues to be a positive influence in my life.
“I enjoyed being a business major, the support I received from professors Pat Quinlan and William Bachman has stayed with me to this day. My favorite class was Professor Bachman’s Production and Operation Management class. It forced me to look at so many aspects of business operations and how one aspect effects the other. I also appreciated how he challenged each student to go beyond the easy answers and look deeper at a problem or solution. I use these skills every day in my current job.”
Doug and his wife, Michell, reside in Spring, Texas. His advice for current and future alumni is to “always work hard at what you love — and if you do not love what you are doing find something you do love. Take time to celebrate all your accomplishments, not just the big ones and never stop trying to give back more than you receive.”