Doug Brown does more than just skateboard.
Sure, the professional skater turned his childhood passion, which began during the summers he spent visiting family in Mount Gilead, into a full-fledged career.
But to him, the board seems as though it was merely a vehicle to begin making an impact in communities throughout the country.
“My focus is really just reaching people, inspiring and giving back,” he explains.
Since the days he spent shredding the streets of Morrow County in the ‘80’s, Brown has appeared at such events as the Gravity Games, the AST Dew Tour and Vans Warped Tour just to name a few.
“I’ve been a professional skateboarder for 15 years now. Hard to believe,” Brown says. “I figured the ride would last one or two years and now here I am. My first event I did in Cardington was at the Jubilee Festival. Both sets of grandparents were there along with the rest of my family. They never saw me skate or do any skateboard events so this was huge for me.”
During the decade and a half Brown has been a pro, he has spent his time off the pavement authoring five books and touring the globe as a motivational speaker.
Brown’s creation, known as Dream Big, is a inspirational speaking program designed to promote a positive message wherever Doug is speaking.
The professional skater has taken his positivity campaign to schools, libraries, camps and commencement ceremonies throughout the country.
As Brown’s program has grown to include bookings throughout the US, he credits his Morrow County roots for helping him launch Dream Big.
“I owe my upbringing,” he says. “I could easily just skateboard but that’s not enough for me. I embraced being a role model and saw the inspiration I brought others and I fully embraced it. Nothing is more important to me than bringing inspiration and hope to others.”
Aside from Dream Big, Brown works with Athletes For Hope, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, American Red Cross, St. Baldrick’s Foundation and SADD to fully round out his volunteer efforts.
“I encourage the youth to never ever let anyone take away your dreams,” he continues. “To believe in yourself. I assure them that hard times are ahead but with courage, heart, and education anything is possible. Adversity makes strong people. If I didn’t go through all the hard times in my life I never would’ve ended up where I am. I kept going, I never stopped believing that anything was possible.”
The boarder recently visited the county appearing at the Cardington Library, as well as the village’s annual street fair.
“Every time I visit I have a flood of memories of my family,” he says. “I also feel pride that I’m still able to come back and share inspiration to people in that area.”
Brown currently resides in Wooster when he isn’t touring or visiting Morrow County as often as his schedule allows.
Reach Jones at 419-946-3010 or on Twitter @zJones_1239