Doug Sterbenz is the recently retired Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Westar Energy. Now Doug takes his safety and leadership experiences and helps organizations reach their goals.
Doug never imagined himself as a speaker, but has a passion for sharing the lessons he has learned along the way. He has stories to tell because he has lived them, and he has a proven track record of leading people to achieve success. He is often called to speak on safety and leadership, and he has a message that will personally inspire and challenge any audience.
Doug has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University, holds a Professional Engineering license, and has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Doug has serious credibility on the topic of safety from the shop floor to the executive suite. Having worked as a shift supervisor in a power plant to launching his company’s power marketing business and going on to lead the operating activities for the largest electric provider in Kansas.
Workplace accidents are far too common. Doug believes that all accidents and injuries are preventable and that it us up to the leaders to make zero accidents and injuries a reality. Recently, Doug authored the book The Secret Ingredient to Safety Excellence.
He is a graduate of Leadership Topeka and Leadership Kansas, and he serves on many non-profit boards and university academic advisory councils.
Doug and his wife Connie have three grown children and live in Topeka, Kansas.
"We invited Doug to share his presentation. As I looked around the room, I could see that everyone was paying attention and listening. It was emotional and as a result, I am seeing a greater commitment by our employees to own safety."
“Doug is a dynamic speaker who connects with his audience on an individual level through timeless stories and practical illustrations.”
“His key leadership principles got my mind turning and kept me captivated the entire time.”
“Doug’s Keynote address really made a large impact and his message helped get the conference kicked off in the right direction. Doug’s delivery and message was excellent – people internalized every word he said. Personally, I have now found myself making decisions everyday based on Doug’s question."