Dagostino Electronic Services System Engineer Doyle Hawk is retiring after more than 30 years in telecommunications.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh native and longtime Dagostino Electronic Services System Engineer Doyle Hawk ends his successful three-decade career this month.
Hawk, the youngest of three children, grew up on Pittsburgh’s east side. He attended Edinboro University and later the University of Pittsburgh.
He is retiring to travel and spend more time with family, including his six nieces and nephews and eight great-nieces and nephews.
Hawk began his career in telecommunications in 1986 working in the warehouse at the now-defunct Nortel.
Doyle Hawk was featured on the cover of Northern Telcom’s Universe magazine in June 1988. Northern Telcom became Nortel in the mid-1990s.
After just eight short months, he moved into a system design, programming and training role for Nortel, a role that he would continue on and off for the better part of his 30-year career.
In the early 1990s, Hawk took a position at Bell Atlantic as a manager of the mail and distribution facility in Monroeville but it wasn’t his passion and after a year, he returned to a design, programming and training role for Bell Atlantic Meriden Systems.
For a time, Hawk worked as a major project implementer at Bell Atlantic, installing digital Centrex solutions at companies such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, before settling into a design and programming role at Williams Communications which later became NextiraOne.
Hawk began working at Dagostino Electronic Services in 2004 but his first stint with the company only lasted a year.
“I left just to better where I was at,” he recalled. “It was strictly monetary.”
Before returning to DES in 2009, Hawk worked as a telecom leader at UPMC’s Passavant Hospital and Cranberry Hospital and then spent about a year at Ronco Communications installing solutions at three new VA hospitals.
When the time came, the decision to return to DES was an easy one.
“I came back [to Dagostino] because of the family feeling,” he said, adding, “People is my biggest part about being here.”
Looking back on his career, Hawk’s proudest accomplishment was learning the Alcatel system once hired at DES. At the time, he had only worked with Nortel systems.
“My first day [at DES] I was sent to Slippery Rock University to install their phone system and I had no idea how to install this phone system. But we got it in installed and [DES Director of Operations] Bob Weiss didn’t wring my neck,” he joked.
Hawk quickly became a vital asset at DES.
He would meet with customers to determine how their current communication system worked, program their new system so they could take advantage of the latest technology and then provide training and support.
“His role was very intricate in the acceptance of these new systems by our customers,” DES Vice President Chuck Roberts explained. “Without him, user acceptance would’ve been [poor], they would’ve been frustrated with the technology and our customers would not have had the same connection with the system.”
With his great successes, also came some heartache.
“The hardest thing I faced was in ’92 when I was let go,” Hawk said. “That was one of the hardest things for me because when you put your heart into what you’re doing you don’t think [you’re going to lose your job.]”
The evolution of the industry throughout his career is one that continues to impress him.
“The industry sure has evolved back from when it was tip and ring and everything was punched down and you had a punch tool and you had to fill a wall with wires,” he recalled. “To think that you can have one jack on that wall now and come out into your phone and into your PC and everything works and if you don’t have that you have the wireless… it wasn’t like that back in the 80s and 90s.”
DES has evolved as well.
“To think that this company, that really started out as a cabling company, and then did phones [is now doing] security, video…. It’s a one-stop-shop and it’s pretty neat seeing that,” he said.
Hawk’s last day is November 10.
“He will definitely be missed,” said Roberts. “[The role] he served here at Dagostino and his legacy will be remembered for many years to come.”
Congratulations, Doyle! We wish you all the best in your newfound retirement!