Field Note #14: An Interview with Ed Doughty


How did you become involved with WTW?

I actually saw an article on Doc Hendley and Wine to Water in “Epicurean Charlotte”, a free magazine, while waiting for my car at Auto Bell last summer. I was blown away by the work he was doing, and the number of lives he was impacting. He was a bartender back in the day, so was I. I could relate, but he was doing incredible things, and I didn’t feel like I was. He was a huge inspiration to me. So I immediately reached out someone at WTW and ended up throwing my hat in the ring to start a chapter here in Charlotte.

What are your goals for the chapter in the next year? 5 years?

My end-goal is to have Wine to Water be one of the most recognized non-profits in Charlotte. And I believe we can accomplish this because there is such an amazing attraction to WTW from the millennial generation who are really having a big impact here in Charlotte. This would be accomplished through “fun”-raisers, combining fundraising with simply having fun in community. Whether it’s wine socials, brewery crawls, sporting events, or music and other entertainment venues. I think there is tremendous opportunities to partner Wine to Water with local happenings and established businesses in and around Charlotte.

What's the most rewarding thing about leading the chapter?

It’s two-fold, both revolving around the people. First, it’s the feeling that you are really a part of the Wine to Water team. My admiration for the staff at Wine to Water is extraordinary. Each and every one of them. They’re just incredibly selfless, and so passionate. What they do is extraordinary, and they all have a hand in literally saving lives through the work they do. The inclusiveness is so special. Second, it’s the people that our chapter is attracting. They too are incredible people, genuinely caring people who want to serve others. And their coming out of the wood-work! We have close to 300 people on our site! After our first WTW Intro Social, a woman walked up to me and handed me a check for $1,000. I tell you, incredible people. That’s definitely the most rewarding things. It’s the relationships with extraordinary people.

What's been your favorite experience so far as a chapter leader?

Hands down, going on a volunteer trip back in January with the WTW executive team and several other chapter leaders to Uganda. It was a game changer for me. To be able to see, first hand, the boots on the ground work they are doing was incredible. Words can’t really describe it. It was a very special group, and I think many of us will remain close friends for a long time. I actually wrote a blog post about it entitled “A Lessons from Uganda” which talks about my experience and my biggest takeaways ( I think there is a lot to learn from how the locals live there, and contrast it from how we live our lives here in the US. I could go on and on about that trip, but again, it comes back to the people, the locals, the staff at Connect Africa, our group. It was special, it really was. I’ll never forget it. And I do plan to go back!