Gary MacDougal

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. Through acquisitions and internal growth, Mr. MacDougal and his management team built Mark Controls into 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.

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” with 5,000 employees and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. During Mr. MacDougal’s tenure as CEO, investors achieved more than a seventeen-fold increase, with the stock rising from $10 per share in 1969 to more than $170 per share in October 1987 (adjusted for splits). Investors experienced growth of over 17% per year compounded (including dividends) over the eighteen-year period. In 1987, he turned over CEO responsibilities to a long-time partner and became Honorary Chairman of the Board of Mark Controls.

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.

In recent years Mr. MacDougal has been working with governors, legislators, non-profits and community leaders to assist the economically disadvantaged move from dependency to self sufficiency.  He has also been an active speaker at commencements and other academic and public policy venues.  (Selected video available on this site.) He has written extensively on public policy, business and politics with Op-Eds published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. He has written a book "Make A Difference - A Spectacular Breakthrough in the Fight Against Poverty (St. Martin's Press).


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 97% statewide since August 1996. (See Performancs Data) His book describing the Illinois reform and making the case for Illinois as a model for the nation sold 10,000 copies in hardcover and 5,000 in paperback. Mr. MacDougal has spoken about lessons learned and challenges ahead in welfare reform at numerous major policy organizations including the Brookings Institute, Hudson Institute, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, the State Policy Network and the Manhattan Institute, and at universities including UCLA, Harvard's Kennedy School, Princeton and Georgetown. His work on welfare reform has been the subject of syndicated columns by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnists 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, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Virginia on welfare reform and ex-offender re-entry policies and practices.

Mr. MacDougal served in Washington as Senior Adviser and Assistant Campaign Manager in the 1988 GHW Bush Presidential Campaign, with responsibility in the areas of policy, management and finance. Assuming these responsibilities when the campaign was 10 points behind, he initiated a restructuring of the organization, meetings and systems and, with help from the opponent, the campaign moved to a commanding lead. In 1989, at the suggestion of the chairman of the Republican National Committee, 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 GHW 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 liaison, the environment, and U.S. strategy and organization at the U.N. He worked with then Ambassador Tom Pickering to lead a restructuring of the management of teh U.S. mission. 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, after the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain came down, Mr. MacDougal was chosen by President George HW 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. On May 16th, 1990, he was the first speaker from the West at Karl Marx University in Sofia, Bulgaria when he spoke on "Introducing Free Markets and Capitalism" to an overflow crowd of students and faculty.  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 founded and is Co-Chairman Emeritus of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (, which in 2008 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 education; anti-corruption efforts; Roma education and employment, entrepreneurship, tourism, arts and archeology. Mr. MacDougal was honored with the Presidential Medal by the President of Bulgaria for his contribution "creating thousands of jobs" and "strengthening the ties between Bulgaria and America".

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.


Mr. MacDougal served for 34 years on the board of United Parcel Service of America (Atlanta, GA), a company with now over $70 billion in sales and more than 495,000 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, primarily deployed in the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.  He left 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).  Through the MacDougal Family Foundation, he has supported scholarships for economically disadvantaged students to UCLA and other colleges.  The Foundation also has supported other non-profits focused on helping the economically disadvantaged move from dependency to self-sufficiency as well as several arts organizations.  Mr. MacDougal is an avid tennis player and has climbed the Matterhorn and Grand Teton mountains.


Mr. MacDougal was born in Chicago and brought up in Westfield, NJ and Los Angeles. He is married to Charlene Gehm who had an international career as a ballerina, primarily with the Joffrey Ballet in New York (see You Tube), but also toured extensively as Rudolph Nureyev's partner  in Diaghilev's "Afternoon of the Faun". Charlene performed on Broadway including Westside Story where she was Clarice in the Jets, working with Leonard Bernstein and Jerry Robbins.  Charlene has a BA with honors from New York University and an MA (medieval studies) from Columbia University. Mr. MacDougal has two sons, Gary Jr., (B.S. Electrical Engineering - Stanford) and Michael (AB Economics - UCLA) both owners and managers of private companies.  Gary's wife, Pamela is an artist and lawyer and they have daughters Kenzie and Eden.  Mike's wife, Jan, is a community leader and they have daughters Brooke and Ashley.

June 2020