Doug Stern is an award-winning freelance writer and marketing strategist, helping businesses and institutions world wide. His clients have included leading...

  • Law firms
  • Legal marketing and business development consultants
  • Real estate and land conservation interests
  • Hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, and
  • Urban designers, planners, architects and engineers

From 1998 to 2005, Doug was the marketing director for a regional law firm with offices in eight cities in four states. While at Stites & Harbison, he managed a coordinated marketing and business development program that saw a doubling of the number of attorneys and of the firm's geographic footprint.

"Doug not only is a superb editor and communicator, he is a pleasure to work with. He quickly discerns the key points in any communication, understands our audience, preserves the writer's voice, hones in on the important concepts, and skillfully adds interest and punch. In short, he makes us all look brilliant! Additionally, Doug consistently meets tight deadlines without complaint."

Susan Post Munafo

He joined Stites & Harbison after having owned and managed a full-service marketing communications agency from 1989 to 1998, working mostly on public policy issues and the marketing of professional services. Doug's clients back then included...

  • Louisville regional airport authority and its $800-plus million expansion and improvement program for Standiford Field, and
  • Park DuValle neighborhood revitalization, a HUD-assisted transformation of long-outmoded public housing projects into a New Urbanism success story, for the Louisville housing authority.

He also helped develop communications leading to an increase in the fuel tax for the Michigan Department of Transporation.

Before that, Doug was a political speech-writer and handler. His boss, County Judge-Executive Harvey Sloane, M.D., was the top elected exec in metro Louisville and the Democratic nominee for one of Kentucky's United States Senate seats.

Doug's first career was in historic preservation. He ran two award-winning historic preservation programs right after grad school. One was in Evansville, Ind., and the other was in Louisville (his hometown). This is where Doug learned the basics of marketing and PR...and discovered his knack for engaging writing.


University of Virginia, Master of Architectural History, 1981

University of London, Bedford College, Certificate through the Victorian Society in America, Summer 1977

University of Louisville, Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (Urban Affairs), 1974

Used to be somebody

Doug is a past-chair of the Butchertown Architectural Review Committee and a former member of Louisville's Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.  He also served as chair of the Kentucky Oral History Commission and was Recording Clerk of Louisville Friends Meeting (Quakers).  "I was a volunteer ESL tutor for a couple of years, too."

He is past-president of Interfaith Paths to Peace, Inc. Doug also served for years on the board of the St. John Center, Inc., a day shelter for homeless men near downtown Louisville.

"I'm a do-gooder. Practicing what Jews call Tikkun Olam...literally repair of the universe."

Besides work

"I've been a regular lap swimmer for years at Louisville's Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center.  It's an awesome, 50-meter facility just on the other side of Cherokee Park from where I live.

"I've also been involved in men's work since 2004 through ManKind Project.  That's an international philanthropic and educational organization partly inspired by the mythopoetic work of Robert Bly."

Daughter Leah, DVM, is a surgeon in Cheshire, Conn., and daughter Margaret is a community activist, professional cook and caterer in Louisville.  “My son, Henry, puts a twinkle in my eye.”

My first job

"The summer I was 13, my mother suggested that I get out of the house...and it wouldn't hurt if I made some money while I was at it. I hated the idea of mowing lawns and didn't want the responsibility of a paper route.

"So, one hot and muggy day, I rode my bike to the nearest golf course–-the one at Big Spring Country Club--where I quickly discovered my natural gift for caddying. Eventually, I rose through the ranks and became the #2-ranked caddy in the whole club. (Back before carts, when being a caddy really meant something.) I believe I would have been #1, too...except that I heard that Tommy Knadler had told the pro, Jack Ryan, that young Tommy planned to enter the priesthood.

"Anyway, I caddied for years, even into college. The money was OK, I liked the game, and the caddy shack was where I learned to drink, gamble, smoke and swear–-skills I had trouble pursuing at home."

Here's a PDF of Doug's current bio.