About Don

 Earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1982 at Iowa State, and later an MBA from UW-Madison as a full-time, “non-traditional adult student” in the early 90’s.



Worked for John Deere for a total of 25 years in a variety of engineering, recruiting, marketing, sales and training management roles. Started as a somewhat quiet engineering intern (see picture at left) in the summer of 1979 at their diesel engine manufacturing plant in Waterloo, Iowa.




Ran my own engineering recruiting firm for almost three years in the mid 90’s after finishing graduate school. Also recruited engineering college grads and mid-career engineers, while in a technical recruiting role at John Deere Corporate Staffing. These recruiting experiences allowed me to help hundreds of engineers improve their people and career development skills as they transitioned to new and better jobs. It was satisfying work, and a catalyst for the development of this site.


Trained to coach others
Was first introduced to coaching in 2000 while at John Deere. Participation in their voluntary program provided me with coaching training, mentoring by seasoned coaches, and the ongoing opportunity to coach co-workers at various levels in the organization.

I began doing external coaching in 2008, while participating in the professional Coach Certification Program at the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara.



In mid-2010, I began providing speaking, training, and consulting to individuals, teams and organizations that are committed to ratcheting up their effectiveness, productivity and profitability. All of my business offerings are delivered under the umbrella of Don Gallagher LLC.



Started ENGINEERINGCAREERLAUNCHER.COM in 2014 to provide “straight talk, soft skills and support for aspiring engineers” (and other STEM students). This seemed like a good avenue to share much of what I’ve learned during the past 35+ years as an engineer, a project manager, a trainer and an engineering recruiter. My passions around engineering, STEM, and people development are revealed on the Start Here page.

CountryRoadGrew up in rural eastern Iowa. I didn’t realize it then, but growing up in the country was special, and it left its positive mark on me.




DadShopMy dad is a hands-on guy and an engineer’s engineer (BSEE, MSEE). I became an engineer because of him. At 91, he still works in his shop everyday.




LindaWeddingMet my best friend and wife, Linda, during our years at Iowa State. Celebrated 30 years of marriage in 2013. I’m a lucky guy to be with her.




BoysWeddingAlso lucky to be the father of three AWESOME young men: Dan (and his May’14 bride, Lauren), Patrick and Ryan (and his June’13 bride, Jessie). I couldn’t be prouder.


KC Mural


Raised our family in and around Madison, Wisconsin, (gotta love Madtown) until 2001. Today we live in Olathe, KS, near Kansas City.



A Few Final Quirky Facts



Got hooked on semi-trucks by making 1/25th scale plastic models as a kid. Took a semi-truck driving class after high school before leaving the farm for college. I’m still fascinated by big trucks today. Driving a semi-truck across the country is still on my “bucket list”.

UPDATE: In October of 2015, I took on a full-time local truck driving role with a KC-based, non-profit food bank, Harvesters. It’s been a great move, especially since serving others is important to me. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in the Experience section of my LinkedIn Profile HERE




Ran my first half marathon in KC in October 2011. Photo is courtesy of my excellent one-person support team, Linda, my wife.


BooksAddicted to non-fiction books. Mostly in these categories: personal effectiveness and productivity, public speaking, coaching and leadership, conversations and relationships, small business.