Diane E. McGarry
Doctor of Commerce
A native of Oakland, California, Ms. McGarry earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, California in 1980. The Ryerson School of Business Management bestowed an honorary Doctor of Science degree on Ms. McGarry earlier this year.
Currently, she is Chairperson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox, Canada Inc. having joined Xerox in 1973, as a Sales Representative in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She notes that this first appointment occurred three months after her initial interview and twelve meetings later. She indicated that there "were very few women at the time. I am sure that they worried about the reputation of the Company or whatever." She soon allayed her employer's fears and began her continuous ascent through the all important sales end of the business: Vice President and Regional Manager for the Eastern United States Region and then, Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Xerox, Paul Allair, two years later. In 1991, she was named Director of Sales Operations for the United Kingdom in Rank Xerox, a joint venture between Xerox and the Rank Organization, marketing Xerox products throughout Europe and parts of Asia. She indicated that "I'm not sure what they liked least, the fact that I was a woman or the fact that I was an American." However, her success in that area resulted in her being named, three years later, to her current position.
Dr. McGarry is a Director of the C.D. Howe Institute and is on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Institute. She serves on the Dean's Advisory Council of the Faculty of Management, University of Toronto and the Board of Directors of The Conference Board of Canada. She is also a member of the Business Council on National Issues in Canada; the Board of Governors, Canada Post Learning Institute; and the Honorary Advisory Board of Earth day Canada. She is an avid Formula 2000 race car fanatic.
In reading articles and short biographies which have been written on Dr. McGarry. There is tremendous emphasis on the fabric of teamwork, which her and her colleagues have brought to Xerox Canada Inc. Employees indicate that they enjoy being together and working together. "There is a team-spirit at Xerox that other companies can only dream about." It has been suggested that if there is a single factor that accounts for the remarkable employee loyalty and enthusiasm, it may well be the company's total dedication to the principles of quality. It has been noted that quality emphasis within the organization is engrained in everything the employees do. There is tremendous respect for the individual and for what the individual needs. For example, the company will pay 50% of the cost of completing an M.B.A. and will give students paid time off to study. The best single comment came from one employee who indicated "When I got my job at Xerox twelve years ago, I thought I had died and gone to heaven."
Dr. McGarry indicated that family is all important to her. She is the first daughter and second of seven children born to "double degreed" parents who pushed each of their children to be the best they could be. To this day, she holds her mother up as a role model. "She is the only person I know, who at 71 sent her resume out to see if she could get more music students." These days, the 77 year old grandmother has her own swing band and teaches music. McGarry indicates that her parents had three rules which provided a good formula for all six of her siblings - you will go to college; you will pay for it yourself; and the college will be 1000 miles away from home. Notwithstanding the fact that she began her work at Xerox in 1973, as a twenty-three year old newly-divorced single mother, McGarry regards her greatest single accomplishment as her daughter, Rachel, now 26, and a dancer in New York City. She embraces quality and change as a means for growth both at Xerox and in her personal life.