Doug is a 1979 graduate of Belmont where he earned a double major in music business and business management. He also has degrees from the Owen School at Vanderbilt (MBA) and the George Washington University School of Law (JD). In 1981, Doug was hired by publishing legends Bill Hall and Roger Sovine at the Welk Music Group, where he was shortly promoted to senior professional manager/song plugger and studio manager. During the Welk years he worked with many future Hall of Fame writers and artists including Bob McDill, Dickey Lee, Wayland Holyfield, Don Williams, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and the Skagg's writers, Jim Rushing, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, and Peter Rowan. In 1992, Doug was named Vice President/General Manager of PolyGram Music Publishing/Nashville. He was responsible for overseeing a staff of 45 to 90 writers and artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Radney Foster, Toby Keith, Gordon Kennedy, Randy Thomas, Kostas, and Angelo. In 1997, Doug left PolyGram to take the position of Senior Vice President of A&R for Walt Disney-owned Lyric Street records working with many artists including Rascal Flatts, Aaron Tippin, Love and Theft, SHeDAISY, and on various Disney soundtracks and special projects. Howard served in this position from the label's inception until its closing in 2010. Post Disney, Doug started his own company, The Vandermont Music Group, with a focus on both music publishing and artist development. He is the current Chair of the advisory board of the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, and is also on the Nashville board of governors of the Recording Academy and the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival. In the past he has been elected president and vice-president of the Nashville board of the Recording Academy and served as a national trustee. Howard has served on the boards of the Academy of Country Music, the Nashville Vanderbilt Club, and Historic Carnton Plantation and attended Leadership Music and the Center for Creative Leadership.