Alum named Romain Executive in Residence

Zackary Willem

The Romain College of Business has invited Doug Joest to serve as its new Executive in Residence. He leads the business of the Evansville Regional Airport, for 10 years.

Joest discovered his passion for aviation in his younger years while building models of rockets and airplanes.

“Most people played sports as a hobby, but I wanted something different, so I decided I wanted to be a pilot,” Joest said.

Joest attended William Henry Harrison High School. Between his junior and senior year he obtained his pilot’s license at Tri-State Air.

“It was an enormous and lengthy challenge, but it gave me a great sense of accomplishment,” Joest said.

After receiving his license Joest said he wanted to become a commercial airline pilot.

“The flying part was what I enjoyed, but the rest was just very unappealing,” he said. “Most of the time was spent waiting.”

Joest attended USI and majored in accounting.

After he graduated, he moved to Texas to work as an accountant for El Paso Natural Gas for 10 years.

Joest returned to Evansville to become the CFO of Tri-State Air.

“Evansville has a lot to offer a person, but you don’t realize it until you move away and don’t have it anymore,” he said.

Joest quickly moved up the ranks to a position on the airport authority board as chief financial officer and eventually to executive director of the Evansville Vanderburgh Airport Authority District.

“I was lucky to be able to fill the position of executive director after the previous one retired,” he said.

Joest was invited to serve as executive in residence director of the Romain College of Business through the resident executive program.

“It is a once-a-year program where I am invited to serve for one day,” he said. “I will be giving a speech and advice sessions to both students and faculty.”

Nancy Bizal, coordinator of External Relations, said the program gives students an example of a hardworking person.

“We do this for our business students,” said Nancy Bizal, coordinator of External Relations. “This way our students can get a first hand view of the look, walk and talk of a successful businessman.”

Bizal said the university doesn’t want to waste any of the executive’s time.

“The dean and I choose who to invite to the college,” Bizal said. “We chose Joest because he is the perfect example of what an alum can accomplish with a persistent and consistent passion.”

The business college holds this event up to twice a year. It happens once in the fall where they invite someone to serve as Executive in Residence. Then in the spring, they invite someone to serve as Executive in Alumni.

“The dean and I attempted to work around class schedules,” Bizal said, “to give all of our students a chance to come hear the stories of a successful businessman.”