Mongolia, January-March 2009
Donald (Mac) McCreary volunteered for a three month VIP assignment in Mongolia from January 2009 to March 2009. Mac had previously worked in community development in the San Francisco area. As a former CEO of the California Community Housing in Oakland, California, he helped develop and manage affordable housing for the low income families and seniors in the Bay area. In addition, Don is trustee emeritus on the CHF board.
Mac arrived in Mongolia in January 2009 at the city of Ulan Bator. Mongolia gained independence in 1911 from China and, except for a brief time after independence, embraced communism for most of the 20th century. After the fall of communist regime in 1990, Mongolia became a democracy. Today, it is still learning about free market and is making the transition from agriculture to industrial based economy.
McCreary was invited to share his community building skills with the CHF’s new Mongolian partner, Development Solutions (DS). He assisted the local team with developing their organizational, managerial, and business capacity and visited sites. He specifically worked with the new executive director, Ms. Serjmaa Buvadorj, providing her with mentorship on her new position.
Serjmaa is relatively new to the role of Executive Director and many members of the DS Board did not have prior board experience. As such, Mac has had to cover a number of fundamental NGO management topics. Working with Serjmaa, he focused on her role as Executive Director and has helped her develop an effective relationship with the DS Board Chair and the Board Members. With the Board, Mac helped with the review and preparation of various Board level committees including Finance and Business Plan Committee.
Mac’s work also included helping the new DS director in creation of organizational materials, establishment of best practices training of staff, and review of bank contracts. In all these areas Mac laid out the ground work for the future CHF-DS partnership. Glenn Moller, CHF-Mongolia Country Director commented that “CHF will continue to provide training to DS under the new USDA program, building on the groundwork laid out by Mr. McCreary.”