THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING ABLE TO HAVE DREAMS, IDEAS AND GOALS COME TO FRUITION, IS THE CORE OF WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOMS THAT ARE OURS IN AMERICA.

- Denise Burnett Stewart

SMALL BUSINESS DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. IT THRIVES AND SURVIVES NO MATTER WHAT MAY BE GOING ON IN THE MAIN ECONOMY.

- Dick Gadomski

UNLESS WE PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, WE WILL NOT HAVE AN EXCITING BUSINESS ATMOSPHERE IN OUR COUNTRY.

- Allen B. Morgan, Jr.

DR. MARY MCDONALD

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FOR THE DIOCESE OF MEMPHIS
RETIRED SECRETARY OF EDUCATION AND SUPERINTENDENT

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.

Description of Business:

National consulting company that provides a broad range of services for educational consulting and models for success.

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship:

“‘Being an entrepreneur is a way of life, a way of approaching opportunities and challenges, and seeing the potential in all situations. It is a way of empowering others to use new ways of seeing and thinking to make life better for all. The entrepreneurial leader works to create a culture of vision, focus and execution that promotes the talents and contributions of others, while pacing the environment through change and continuous improvement. Entrepreneurial growth comes from building on strengths, not focusing on weaknesses. It thrives by executing plans that will deliver strategies, clarifying priorities, and keep all eyes on the prize. The entrepreneur has a fluid leadership, and an ability to read people, situations, and the signs of things to come. This is important in today’s business world because it prepares people, and organizations, to respond quickly and decisively to new paradigms in an ever-changing marketplace. An Entrepreneur’s passion grows not only by what you do, but also by what you do next. There is always an urge to invent, to create, to renew and to climb another mountain with endless ideas for passionate productivity and excellence. “