Dr. Mary Crowley McDonald is the Founder and CEO of MCD Partners, a national consulting company that provides a broad range of services for educational consulting and models for success. MCD Partners is a vehicle for providing education consulting, leadership mentoring, leadership retreats, Foundation training for grantee accountability, motivational speeches, and faith-based inspirational presentations. Dr. McDonald has received national acclaim as an innovative educator, author, and public speaker. She has been a professional educator for thirty-six years as a teacher, principal, and most recently, as Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Memphis for fourteen years. She retired from this position in June 2012, in order to continue in the field of education as a Consultant, and public speaker. Mary also hosts a talk radio show, Seize the Day, on CBS Affiliate KWAM 990.
As Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Memphis, Dr. McDonald was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the system of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Memphis, as well as for the creation of the Jubilee Catholic Schools, eight long-closed Catholic schools that were reopened in the inner city of Memphis under her leadership. As the architect of the Jubilee Schools, her responsibility included the development of the infrastructure and governance model, as well as ongoing oversight, and ensuring academic excellence and accountability for the schools. During her tenure the Catholic schools experienced unprecedented growth, expanding in number from 14 to 29, including new schools in urban, as well as suburban, areas, and the highest enrollment since the 1970’s.
Dr. McDonald is very involved in the community, locally as well as nationally. She is an advisor to The Education Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), a graduate of Leadership Memphis, the Regional Representative of National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), served on the ACE University of Notre Dame’s Task Force for Catholic Identity, The Governor’s (TN) Task Force on Opportunity Scholarships (Vouchers), The Mayor’s (Memphis) Advisory Council on Education, the Secretary of the National Black Catholic Congress, Education Board, and is a member of the Society of Entrepreneurs. She has served as a member of the White House Summit on Urban Education, the National Catholic Educational Association Strategic Planning Task Force, The Governors’ Alliance for Regional Excellence, (TN., MS., AK); Gateway Technology Inc., National Advisory Board Member; Rotary Club of Memphis, Board Member; Facing History and Ourselves, Board Member; Diversity Memphis, Board member and past President; Serra Club of Memphis, Past President; and a member of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher. Mary serves of the Boards of The Society of Entrepreneurs, Theatre Memphis and Immaculata University.
Dr. McDonald was a featured speaker at the White House Summit on Urban Education, and the Keynote speaker at the 2012 National Catholic Educational Association Convention. She is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work including; the Notre Dame Exemplar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education; the Humanitarian of the Year Award given by the National Council for Community and Justice, Christian Brothers University Carroll T. Dozier Humanitarian Award for Peace and Justice; Facing History and Ourselves Award for Making a Positive Difference in the Community; Who’s Who in American Education; Kappa Delta Pi Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education; Educational Courage Award ; Immaculata College Amethyst Award for outstanding contributions in community service and education; the UNICO and St. Thomas Humanitarian of the Year Awards; and the Memphis Theological Seminary Humanitarian Award.
Dr. McDonald is an accomplished author. Her first book, A Light Reflected was published in 2003, and her second book, A History with God, published by Notre Dame ACE Press, was released in April 2011. She has written numerous columns, and articles, for several local and national publications. Dr. McDonald, an accomplished public speaker, gives seminars, speeches, and workshops in numerous areas of faculty and staff development, leadership, parenting, urban education, successful model in education, and various other topics at the local and national levels.
Dr. McDonald leads by example and works to make education a vehicle for understanding diversity, promoting unity, and making the future brighter for all children. Dr. McDonald and her husband, Joe, have two adult children and six grandchildren.Learn More
In 1974, Richard Gadomski bid for and was awarded his first contract-a $50 million corn processing plant for Cargill before his company was even founded. After successfully building his company around that first job he proceeded to buy out his original backers so that he could continue to build the company as he saw fit. PSI, an engineering and construction contracting firm, built international recognition in processing food, chemicals and package handling. In 1998, Gadomski sold PSI to the German corporation Lurgi and retired from the merged companies in 2001. Richard’s vision for PSI, from inception, was to build an industry-leading company that spearheaded innovation in the food processing industry. PSI became that industry leader, engineering and constructing projects for Cargill, FedEx, and all the major processors of corn, soybeans, sugars, vegetable oils, and ethanol. These projects were built in 35 states, Canada, France, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Netherlands, China, Mexico, and other foreign locations.
Active in the Memphis community, Gadomski has been involved with Christian Brothers University, Catholic Diocese of Memphis, United Way, Church of the Holy Spirit, March of Dimes, Memphis Regional Chamber, Renewable Fuels Association, Memphis Bioworks Foundation and a variety of youth sports programs. He has served three different terms on the CBU Board of Trustees.Learn More
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Robert and Susan Wang are living proof of the true spirit of entrepreneurship, starting small and working to realize a dream larger than they ever could have imagined. Founded in 1976 in the back of a van, Wang’s International, dedicated to selling crafts and home decor merchandise to wholesalers and retail stores, grew to become a powerhouse with annual revenues of more than $150 million.
The entrepreneurial spirit that the Wangs embody is something that they are constantly working to recognize and ignite in others. In 1989, they established at the University of Memphis the Robert Wang Center for Education and Research. The International Business center serves as a catalyst and a forum for ongoing analysis, training and discourse on the global economy and the challenges of global competition for American business and higher education.
In addition to a 1995 induction into the Society of Entrepreneurs, the Wangs have enjoyed much accolade throughout their career. Mr. Wang received the Memphis Business Journal’s first ever Executive of the Year Award. In 1992, he was awarded by Junior Achievement of Greater Memphis, and the Master of Free Enterprise Award.
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