My greatest reward was experiencing and sharing the successes in business with the people I worked with and all of us realizing that without each other it would not be possible. There was no greater reward than knowing the“puzzle of people” I had become responsible for were all completely different from each other, yet together we became recognized as the most successful company in our industry.
Don’t be afraid to fail! You have to try and do things differently if you want to create something new.
Hire those who have the required education, training, enthusiasm, and a willingness to work. You will quickly know when an employee does not fit into your organization; it is painful, but be prepared to terminate them if they do not fit your vision for the company.
Just do it! Planning is important, but even more important is the execution of the plan, the vision. You won’t have all the answers, you won’t even know all the questions, and it will take patience and hard work, but don’t plan it to death, just do it.
-Mary McDonaldLearn More
Carolyn Hardy is a serial entrepreneur and an amazing leader. If leadership is best measured in times of adversity, Hardy’s finest hour to date may have been in 2005 when she and her staff were notified that the local Coors plant would be closed at the end of 2006. With morale understandably in the tank, Hardy gathered her 400 employees and delivered a new mission: win Coors’ prestigious Environmental Health and Safety Award. If the plant was to be closed, Hardy was determined her staff would go out on top. Accumulating points for safety, health, and waste controls, the Memphis plant indeed finished atop the Coors charts on December 31, 2005. Coors management called Hardy, flummoxed. They couldn’t announce that a plant they were closing was the most efficiently run. Hardy is the only Coors employee to receive a personalized (smaller) version of this trophy. This is the attitude Carolyn adopted when she bought that same brewery and founded Hardy Bottling Company.
Hardy started Hardy Bottling in August 2006. Carolyn Hardy was majority owner in Hardy Bottling. A 5% owner was a silent partner who was given the 5% for helping her secure the loan. He did not contribute any cash. First year sales were just over $1 million and exceeded $10 million annually by 2009. In May 2011, Carolyn sold the contract beverage manufacturing facility for $30 million dollars. At the time of the sale, Hardy Bottling Company employed over 200 people.
After selling Hardy Bottling in May 2011, she began her transloading business, Henderson Worldwide Investments. Henderson Worldwide Investments, LLC (DBA Henderson Transloading Services) has attracted the largest grain companies outside of Memphis to source grains in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Missouri “boot heel” into Memphis. This business model uses Memphis’ proximity to 13 million acres of 6 major crops, excess supply of containers and five Class I railroads to create this new business in Memphis.
Carolyn is currently involved with partners to develop HTWO, a metabolic drink of molecular hydrogen water designed to boost metabolism, detox the body, reduce stress on the cellular level, relieve soreness and fatigue and protect the body & mind. HTWO Beverage Company plans to move its manufacturing operations from Arkansas to Memphis to capitalize on our natural resources– the artesian water supply and the advanced distribution network.
Carolyn is currently Chairman of the Federal Reserve- Memphis Branch, 2012 to present, New Memphis Institute, Greater Memphis Chamber, Soulsville/Stax Foundation, University of Memphis, Methodist LeBonheur Hospital Systems, Mayor Action Committee, Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis, and Crews Venture Lab. Carolyn is the Founder of Industrial Readiness Training program at Southwest Tennessee Community College to support Memphis manufacturing companies.
Carolyn’s family of companies has invested over $5 million dollars since 2011 in the Hickory Hill community with the hopes of revitalizing this very important community while providing employment in an area with high unemployment.Learn More
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
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