The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia has unanimously approved Commissioner Ron Jackson’s recommendation of Pete McDonald to be the next president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).
The board endorsed the selection of McDonald as the next GNTC president during their monthly meeting in Atlanta on September 5.
Mr. McDonald has been serving as the acting president of GNTC since last April, following the retirement of Dr. Craig McDaniel.
“I know that Pete McDonald is one of the very best economic development professionals in the state,” said Mr. Jackson. “He’s also a top-notch administrator who has made many valuable contributions to Georgia Northwestern Technical College and the people of the region it serves. He understands the business of education, where students are always his focus and workforce development is his aim. I’m very confident in his excellent skills and abilities and I know that he’ll prove to be a great president.”
Mr. McDonald has been associated with GNTC since he joined the college as vice president of economic development in April 1995. He has been responsible for the economic development activities of the college in the nine-county service delivery area, including all non-credit programs offered by the college through continuing education, business and industry training and the Certified Work Ready program. He also oversaw the management of GNTC’s Business Expansion Center.
Mr. McDonald was instrumental in coordinating the TCSG’s Quick Start training programs that helped to bring new industries into the region, including Pirelli Tire North America, Neaton Rome, F&P Georgia, Jefferson Southern Corporation, and Suzuki Manufacturing of America, and helped established industries like The Hon Company, Mohawk Industries, Kellogg Snacks, STEMCO, and LG Hausys, expand.
From 1989-1995, Mr. McDonald worked in the Coated Board Division of the Mead Corporation in both Atlanta and Columbus, GA, where he was the director of production planning and the director of information technology. Prior to his work with Mead, he was a program manager for Digital Equipment Corporation in Atlanta.
Mr. McDonald has an extensive information technology background, including employment as a computer programmer with Georgia Kraft Company in Rome, GA, (where he was also a project leader and software development manager) as well as Savannah Foods and Industries in Savannah, the University System of Georgia, and Blue Cross-Blue Shield in Columbus.
He earned his Master of Business Administration from Berry College and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. He attended the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is a Certified Economic Development Trainer through the Technical College System of Georgia.
Mr. McDonald has been involved in a number of community and civic activities. He was the former chairman of Floyd County Elections and Voter Registration Board. He served as a member of the Rome Historic Preservation Commission and as a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, where he was chairman of the Education/Workforce Committee from 2003-2004. McDonald was the chairman of the Vice President’s Economic Development Council for the Technical College System of Georgia.
He is active in the Rome Rotary Club, where he served as president from 2012-2013, and was also a director, Literacy Committee chair, and trustee of the Georgia Rotary Student Program. He has had a long history of serving in various capacities for area chambers of commerce. He was a member of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2010 and served as the chairman of the board in 2005 and 2010. He was also a member of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee and a graduate of Leadership Rome in 1987. Mr. McDonald was a member of the Existing Industry Committees of both the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. McDonald volunteers his time for agencies in the Rome and Floyd County area. He was a past president for Habitat for Humanity of Rome-Floyd County. He was also a member of the United Way of Rome-Floyd County’s Board of Directors for two terms and served as the 2004 chairman of the fundraising campaign.
Born in Greensboro, GA, and a Rome resident since 1977, he is married to Jane Norment McDonald and they have two children, Austen McDonald and Elizabeth McCorkle.