Finally, in 2005 as Gillette was being sold and Mack was offered new career decisions, he hearkened back to the guidance his father had given him when faced with an academic career that didn’t revolve around basketball - be true to yourself, and play to your strengths. He stepped away from Gillette and founded Ciara Enterprises LLC, a company bearing a granddaughter’s middle name, which provides franchise ownership and development. He oversees nearly three dozen franchises. Mack was brought into the Middlesex picture in 2007, when President Carole Cowan was working with Governor Deval Patrick’s office regarding new trustee appointments. “Royall came to us with terrific credentials, that much was obvious, but it was his passion for workforce development that made him so attractive as a new trustee for the college,” said Cowan. “We have had long-standing relationships with many terrific business partners, but clearly Royall was someone who would help us focus our efforts into expanding that reach.” As a trustee prior to being named the latest board chairman, Mack helped create the Merrimack Valley Partners for Progress, a partnership between Middlesex and Northern Essex Community College that targets business training along the Merrimack River corridor. Ask Chairman Mack what he sees as his chief priority as leader of the college’s volunteer board, and for him, the answer is an easy one. 4 Merrimack Valley Partners for Progress (left to right): Lane Glenn, NECC President; Royall M. Mack Sr., Chairman, MCC Board of Trustees; Dan Ryan, Vice President of Operations, Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems; and Carole Cowan, MCC President. “I call it the elevator talk – if I happened to get onto an elevator on the 10th floor with Governor Patrick or President Obama or anybody who asked me what the key priorities of Middlesex Community College were, I’ve got until the elevator gets to the first floor to tell our story,” Mack said. “I want myself and all of our trustees to be able to explain what institutional planning is, what our diversity efforts are like, what’s our financial status, what our student success measures are, the key issues that define this college. We have to be ambassadors, advisors and advocates of this great school, and if that means taking a minimal amount of time to produce maximum results, then so be it!” Mack cautioned students that “anything that’s given to you can be taken away, but anything that’s earned, you keep things like an education, a degree, a job or promotions. Our students have to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead of them. “Their future is now and tomorrow, and it’s our job as trustees and leaders of this college to help make sure they get there successfully.” Looking back, Chairman Mack thinks more than half a century of life experience, whether working with Fortune 100 businesses or tilling soil on his grandfather’s farm, helped prepare him to helm the MCC Board of Trustees. “All the discipline, all the failures, the successes, everything has helped me reach this point in my life where I am right now, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and Chairman of the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees. Not only am I ready for the challenge, I welcome it.” • Patrick Cook 4 Profiles Mack family photos (left to right): Chairman Mack’s parents on their wedding day; Royall Mack (left) and his brother Ernie (right) in front of the family smokehouse; Ernest Mack holding his sons Royall (left) and Ernie (right). [5]