Doug Merrill is the founder of Virginia for USA, a multimedia outreach program designed to inform and engage fellow Virginians on state and national issues. Leveraging social media and the internet, Doug intends to explore the current state of the union and is inviting as many citizens as possible into the conversation. Doug’s life of selfless service to the community and devotion to his family and friends reflects in his unique perspectives on politics, the economy, and world affairs.
As a volunteer for Bacon Street, a non-profit substance abuse agency, Doug counsels adolescents who are challenged with addiction. Fundraising for Bacon Street, Doug promotes Bacon Street’s services to young people and families affected by drug dependency or mental health issues. Doug’s most rewarding experience recently has been volunteering with the many wonderful people at Hospice House of Williamsburg.
As a high school and college athlete, Doug personified the values of discipline, competition, and teamwork. He seized the opportunity to pass it on when he earned his title as “Coach” in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he was the head baseball coach for Bowling Green High School. Doug reached the pinnacle of a lifelong devotion to sports and athletics when he became the host of “The Coach Merrill Radio Program” based in Hampton Roads on 102.1 FM and 1490 AM “The Game”.
In 2009, Doug founded the Power Up Foundation which advocated for mental health and improved physical fitness. Leading by example, Doug spent almost six months running from Boston, Massachusetts to Key West, Florida, averaging a half marathon per day. Running down the Eastern Coast of the United States, Doug logged over 1,900 miles, stopping to speak with schools, colleges, city officials, mental health organizations, community organizations, and military members.
Doug is the author of the book Fighting the Demon of Suicide, based on his experiences with friends, athletes, and students facing mental illness and depression. Doug continues to speak with various organizations and our country’s youth about the dangers of mental illness and the rewards of improved physical health.
When he was a citizen of Bowling Green, Doug stimulated his interest in civics by becoming an active member on several city government boards such as the Zoning Board of Appeals, City Parks and Recreation, and Bowling Green Little League Advisory Board.
Doug earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Bowling Green State University and is in his last year of academics pursuing his Master of Science degree in Social Work (M.S.W.) from Walden University.
Doug met and fell in love with his wife, Lisa, in their home town of Bowling Green, Ohio. They have been married for 19 years and are raising their two school-aged children, Andrew and Taylor. Doug and Lisa moved to Williamsburg five years ago, having vacationed in Hampton Roads for the previous ten years. During Lisa’s training in medical school, Doug devoted the majority of his time to raising their two children and volunteering in the community. Lisa currently practices medicine as a hospitalist at Sentara Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Doug winds down from his busy volunteer schedule by training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at Bushin Martial Arts Academy in Williamsburg, running, playing chess, and walking his two miniature dachshunds, Mary and Ellie. Doug and Lisa indulge their passion for history and politics by visiting and studying the local, historical sites at Jamestown, Yorktown, and Colonial Williamsburg