Doug began taking piano lessons in the 4th grade, and started playing oboe in 5th grade. As a self-taught bassist he played in rock-n-roll bands during and after high school. After graduating from high school in 1970 he continued to study oboe and electric & acoustic bass as a music major at North Dakota State University. A low draft lottery number and no apparent concern for grades or class attendance led to the loss of his student deferment, after which Doug was drafted and served 3 years in the US Army. While in the Army Doug was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division Band at Fort Hood, TX, performing on a variety of instruments until his discharge from active duty in 1975.
He began his work in audio as a front-of-house audio mixer for local bands, transitioning into studio recording work in late 1977. In 1978 he returned to NDSU to study electrical engineering and got his first location recording job working for Don Geiken, a founding member of the original Westmark consortium. In June of 1979 Doug and Mary Kay Pearson were married and remain so to this day.
Doug graduated from NDSU in the spring of 1983 with a BSEE degree and began working for Honeywell Military Avionics in St. Louis Park, MN where he held a variety of engineering positions. During his time at Honeywell, Doug did freelance location recording work for Dewey Kloos, the Westmark affiliate located in Golden Valley, MN, and earned an MSEE degree from the University of Minnesota in 1988.
In 1989, he and Mary Kay and their two young children moved to Boulder, CO where Mary Kay began her doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Colorado. Doug purchased his first DAT machine and microphones and did independent location recording in and around Boulder when not working at his day job as an engineer and manager at Storage Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of enterprise-level data storage & retrieval systems.
In 1995 the Gestons moved to Aberdeen, SD, where Mary Kay had been appointed Director of Choral Activities at Northern State University. Doug accepted a job as Engineering Manager at the K.O. Lee Company, a small manufacturer of industrial machine tools. He continued to do occasional recording work, and in 1998 entered into an agreement to buy Westmark Productions from Dewey Kloos.
Mary Kay and Doug moved back to the Twin Cities in the summer of 1999 and assumed ownership of Westmark in September of that year. During his tenure, Westmark expanded its services beyond audio recording & production to include video recording and post-production, and most recently live streaming.
Doug and Mary Kay continue to live in Golden Valley, MN and are delighted to be “Nana and Baba” to their two young grandchildren who reside in nearby Minnetonka with their mom & dad.