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Doug McCullough named 2020 Distinguished Dairy Science Alumnus in Industry

Doug McCullough

Professional photo of Doug McCullough

Doug McCullough is this year’s Distinguished Alumni from the Department of Dairy Science, and is an inspiring and incredibly deserving recipient. Doug is a supply chain professional entering his 20th year at Johnson and Johnson (and its subsidiaries) in Program Management, Supplier Management, Materials Management, and Procurement and Planning. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Pennsylvania, graduated from Virginia Tech in 1988 and went on to earn his MS from the University of Florida and his MBA from Duke University. He has had an incredible career, first in the dairy industry as an educator and consultant, and then in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a team builder who has moved through several divisions at Johnson and Johnson, always excelling as a people leader, communicator and problem solver. Doug combines a farmer’s work ethic and integrity with (in his words) a disabled person’s grit and creativity and a Virginia Tech and Duke University graduate’s intelligence.

Doug has been a department favorite since his days on our dairy judging team and as president of the Dairy Club. His annual Christmas letters are full of his adventures skydiving, speaking to a variety of groups, and hosting special events for people with physical or mental challenges. Reading those, you’d think his biggest life challenge is his lead foot combined with an uber-powerful sports car. In fact, that’s probably what he would say. (Some people tithe to their church. Doug tithes a portion of HIS income to the traffic division of his local police department.)

But another part of Doug’s story is that he was diagnosed as a child with a progressive form of muscular dystrophy, a diagnosis he hid from others as long as he could. And while I used the word ‘inspiring’ in the opening sentence of this letter, Doug would challenge me on that. If I were to call him inspiring, he’d flip the script and ask me what he’s inspired me to DO. He says “Inspiration is an action word.”.1 His point is that being called ‘inspiring’ implies that his disability is a shortcoming, something he’s needed to overcome. He doesn’t see it that way. He’s a professional who lives his life and strives for his best with the selection of genes he inherited and talents he possesses. It’s easy to ‘be inspired’ by someone in the passive sense. What matters is what we do in response to that inspiration.

And what HE does is incredible. In addition to his full-time job managing a global supply chain, Doug is the global leader for his company’s Alliance for Diverse Abilities employee group focusing on education, career development, marketplace initiatives and community service. He is a motivational speaker, giving TED talks2 and keynote speeches around the world. He co-owns and is the financial manager for a family dairy farm and is active in adaptive sports, recreation and travel. Doug is a soon-to-be-published author, and is a member of the National Community Advisory Committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We’re proud to claim him as our Distinguished Alumni.