William F. MacDonald Jr. OPC ’62 understands about strategic planning. As CEO of Houghton International Inc., a global manufacturer and supplier of industrial fluids and chemical management services, he had what he calls a eureka moment. “We were not making enough money to compete for people and capital,” MacDonald said. “We needed to do different things in different ways in order to become a modern company.” He repositioned the company, oversaw its merger with a newly formed affiliate, and left the business prosperous and growing when he retired in 2008.
When Head of School Darryl J. Ford asked him to make a gift to launch a strategic planning process for Penn Charter, the venture made perfect sense to MacDonald. “I totally endorsed the project,” said MacDonald, now retired from Houghton. For the past year, supported by his gift, Penn Charter has been in an intense process to develop a strategic plan: The school has surveyed alumni, parents, students, teachers and staff; interviewed key stakeholders; and involved more than 100 people in a two-day conference in April to explore all the collected data and ideas. (Student representatives at conference shown here.) Overseers plan to meet in December to approve goals and strategies, then an implementation process will begin.
“I think the process will rejuvenate and renew the school,” MacDonald said. “The process of
rethinking what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we can do it better will make us better.