Gary MacDougal

Author, former CEO of Mark Controls, former advisor to Illinois governor's office

Mr. MacDougal became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mark Controls Corporation in September 1969 when he and a group of venture capital investors assumed control of the company. Mark Controls has been a leading manufacturer and installer of building management systems and services, and a manufacturer of flow control equipment for the petroleum, process and power industries.

During Mr. MacDougal’s tenure as CEO, investors achieved more than a sixteen-fold increase, with the stock rising from $10 per share in 1969 to more than $160 per share in October 1987 (adjusted for splits). Investors experienced growth of over 17% per year compounded (including dividends) over the eighteen-year period. Prior to Mr. MacDougal’s joining the company, Mark Controls lost money in six of the ten preceding years (1960-1969), but then grew to be ranked #687 in the “Fortune 1000” and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1987, he turned over CEO responsibilities to a long-time partner and became Honorary Chairman of the Board of Mark Controls.

From 1993 to 1997, Mr. MacDougal chaired the Illinois Governor’s Task Force on Human Services Reform, which developed and implemented a major reform and reorganization of the $10 billion human services systems. This largest reorganization of Illinois State government since 1900 moved human services and welfare toward integration of services, involvement of communities and measured outcomes. Illinois now leads the other big-city states in moving people into self-sufficiency, with the number of recipients reduced 86% statewide since August 1996.

He is the author of Make A Difference (St. Martin’s Press – 2000, paperback – 2005), a book describing the Illinois reform and making the case for Illinois as a model for the nation. Mr. MacDougal has spoken about lessons learned and challenges ahead in welfare reform at numerous major policy organizations including the Brookings Institute, the Hudson Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute. His work on welfare reform has been the subject of syndicated columns by David Broder of the Washington Post and Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. Mr. MacDougal has been assisting governors and legislatures in several states including Alabama, Florida and Michigan on welfare reform and ex-offender re-entry policies and practices.

Mr. MacDougal served in Washington as Senior Advisor and Assistant Campaign Manager in the 1988 Bush Presidential Campaign, with responsibility in the areas of policy, management and finance. In 1989, at the suggestion of a former Illinois governor, he was an exploratory candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois spending 6 months on the campaign trail, but withdrawing from the race in August at the request of President Bush. He also served as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party in 2002 where he rebuilt party finances and gained a reputation for attacking Illinois “bipartisan sleaze.”

In September 1989, President Bush appointed Mr. MacDougal a Public Delegate and Alternate Representative of the United States to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The U.S. Senate confirmed him in December 1989, and his U.N. responsibilities included Eastern Europe, the environment, and U.S. strategy and organization at the U.N. In March 1992, President Bush appointed Mr. MacDougal to the United States Commission on the Effectiveness of the United Nations, established to evaluate the U.S. position and recommend an appropriate U.S. strategy for participation in the United Nations.

In November 1991, Mr. MacDougal was chosen by President Bush to be Chairman of the $55 million Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund (BAEF), established to invest in and encourage entrepreneurship and free markets in Bulgaria. The BAEF created thousands of jobs for Bulgarians, opened up new markets, and grew at a rate in excess of 17% per year to a value of more than $400 million. Mr. MacDougal is currently Co-Chairman of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, which assumed the BAEF assets, and is now thought to be the largest foundation in Eastern Europe. The ABF, based in Chicago and Sofia, has a mission of strengthening U.S. Bulgaria relations through grants in the arts; education; archeology; anti-corruption efforts; Roma education and employment and agricultural productivity.

Mr. MacDougal is a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation (New York), which conducts and funds social science research with a major emphasis on poverty problems. From 1986 to 2006 Mr. MacDougal served as a trustee of the Casey Foundation (Baltimore) which has a mission of helping to move disadvantaged families and children from dependency to self-sufficiency. He is also a former Trustee of the W.T. Grant Foundation (New York), an organization with a primary focus on child development and the problems of disadvantaged children.

Prior to joining Mark Controls, Mr. MacDougal was a partner of McKinsey & Company, an international management-consulting firm, working primarily in Los Angeles and New York. He was with McKinsey for over six years where, together with another partner, he was responsible for McKinsey’s worldwide finance and merger/acquisition practice. While at McKinsey he wrote articles on financial strategy and mergers and acquisitions published in the Harvard Business Review and reprinted in several books. He has also contributed Op-Ed’s published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times on welfare reform and other subjects.

Mr. MacDougal served for 32 years on the board of United Parcel Service of America (Atlanta, GA), a company with $47 billion in sales and more than 428,000 employees, where he has been Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He currently serves on the advisory board of Saratoga Partners, L.P. (New York) a venture capital fund.

Mr. MacDougal is a former director of the following New York Stock Exchange listed corporations: Union Camp Corporation (forest products), AM International (printing equipment), CBI Industries (industrial construction and commercial gases), Sargent Welch Scientific Company (scientific equipment), Maremont Corporation (automotive equipment) and The France Fund (mutual fund).

He was appointed a Commissioner of the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Workforce Quality and Productivity, serving in 1988 and 1989. Mr. MacDougal was General Director of the New York City Ballet in 1993 and 1994 where he developed a long-range strategic plan and established a marketing department for the company. He is a former director of the Economic Club of Chicago, and is a member of the Chicago Club, the Harvard Club of New York, the Author’s Guild and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Mr. MacDougal received his Master’s Degree in Business with distinction in June 1963 from Harvard University. In June 1958, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from UCLA, and subsequently served in the Navy as a destroyer Chief Engineer, leaving the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant. Mr. MacDougal is a former trustee of the UCLA Foundation (University of California at Los Angeles) and was named “Alumnus of the Year” by the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science. He also received the outstanding leadership award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Mr. MacDougal was born in Chicago and brought up in Westfield, NJ and Los Angeles. He is married to Charlene Gehm who had a career as a ballerina and who has a BA from New York University and an MA (Medieval Studies) from Columbia University and now serves as a director of foundations. He has two sons, Gary Jr., and Michael both owners and managers of private companies.

Gary MacDougal Contributions

January 13, 2016
  • Taxes
  • Law
  • Environment & Energy
  • Government & Liberty
  • Education
  • FIRE
  • Health Care
  • Economy
  • Government Spending
March 28, 2015
  • Taxes
  • Economy
  • Government Spending
March 19, 2015
  • Taxes
  • Entitlements
  • Economy
  • Government Spending