Southern Construction Industry Leader Dennis Donahou Retires

After a successful 47-year career in the Southern USA’s construction industry, Dennis Donahou has retired. He leaves his post as District Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) Southern District. There he oversaw more than 20,000 union carpenters and millwrights working and living in the country’s 11 southern states.

The UBC Southern District covers Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is one of five districts of the UBC, the others being the Eastern, Canadian, Mid-Western, and Western Districts. 

Mr. Donahou’s expectation of success fueled his natural leadership on the job site, in the union hall, and in the community almost immediately upon joining the UBC in 1976. He worked as a millwright, foreman, general foreman, and superintendent on many nuclear and coal-burning power plants and paper mills throughout the United States.

His rise to leadership started in 1991 as a Business Representative for Russellville, AR, Local 1836. In 1997 he was named Executive Secretary-Treasurer (EST) of the Arkansas Regional Council and then as EST of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Regional Council. In 2010, Mr. Donahou was named as the founding EST of a new 11-state Southern States Millwright Regional Council. In 2015 he was unanimously elected as the UBC Southern District Vice-President at the UBC’s General Convention, and then again earned unanimous re-election at 2020 UBC General Convention.

Many of Mr. Donahou’s accomplishments centered on training. He attributes his career success to being grounded in consistent personal and professional learning opportunities. One of his key accomplishments was to implement standardized training throughout the UBC’s Southern District training centers, enabling any member to access the same training at any Center throughout the 11 states.

Mr. Donahou also successfully built lasting relationships with decision-makers on many levels of the Southern USA’s construction industry. His goal was to promote economic development across the South and create work opportunities for union carpenters and millwrights that would enable them to achieve a good quality of life for themselves and their families.

Mr. Donahou is a lifelong resident of Arkansas. He lives in Combs, AR, with his wife, Dollie. They are the parents of two daughters and a son and have four grandchildren.

This story is from the UBC Southern District.