Meet Doug Medbury
Serves up learning opportunities to all
At Renton Technical College, Doug Medbury is opening doors to help more people see their potential.
Doug is dean of the school’s culinary program, plus food service director, facility rental manager and now continuing education director. He is most enthused about the new continuing education position.
“We’re looking out to the community, to reach people who are hesitant to attend college, then help them once they’re in the door,” Doug said.
One example is the new “Try a Trade” program. Individuals can take a class in a trade for a minimal fee to see if it’s a good fit for a potential career. If they decide to pursue that trade, they can transfer into the RTC curriculum and receive credit for the Try a Trade course.
Doug also is working to find industry partners to offer training for commercial driver licenses, forklift operators and flaggers.
“Schools help meet the demands of industries,” Doug said. “Continuing education has so much potential. We want to offer more short-term training and get people started on a career.”
“Continuing education has so much potential. We want to help people get started on a career.”
RTC’s culinary program offers several learning and working opportunities. In the professional baking program, 12 students learn all aspects of the craft on their way to certification. The school’s catering program supplies food and staff for events year-round.
Doug was an experienced chef and single parent with two young kids when he took the job as RTC’s catering event manager. Thirty-two years later, “every day is a fun-filled day” as he helps students pursue their careers—and their passion.
“We can teach people how to cook, but for a chef it comes from the heart. It takes hard work and dedication,” he said. “You’re not just cooking a meal. Put the love into the bread.”
Doug loves seeing his students move on to become well-known chefs across the country. He’s just as pleased when students find work in the local area.
“I love Renton. There’s a strong community feel and natural beauty. We’re close enough to the big city yet still have a comfortable home environment,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be moving anytime soon.”