Terrence R. (Terry) McDonald is the entrepreneurial-minded executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. (SVdP) who has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for innovations not just in reuse and recycling enterprises, but also for the programs that serve the disenfranchised in Oregon.
Terry’s passion is creating avenues out of poverty through a unique kind of reclamation: finding new uses for consumers’ “useless” discards, creating new strategies and community coalitions to deal with old problems, and giving low-income and homeless people a chance to reclaim their dignity through employment and self-sufficiency.
His agency operates multiple social enterprises including mattress recycling facilities, a fashion upcycling workshop, used bookstores, retail thrift stores, a used car lot, an appliance repair and recycling operation and reverse logistics contracting that aids retailers dealing with returns, and warehouse damaged materials.
Terry also oversees the Cascade Alliance – a national network of 14 nonprofits in 13 states developing socially responsible diversion of useable materials from the waste stream, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that to date has created hundreds of sustainable jobs, annually diverts millions of pounds of materials and generates millions in annual revenue that add resilience to the nonprofit agencies, allowing them to serve more needs in their communities.
Among the awards recognizing his work:
• U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Excellence in Economic Development award
• Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum Entrepreneurship Award for Nonprofit Organizations
• First Citizen, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
• Association of Oregon Recyclers Innovation Award
• University of Oregon School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, Outstanding Service to Oregon Award