MCC Hall of Fame Honoree: David C. Garner

David C. Garner knows dollars and sense. 

As the associate chief financial officer for the District of Columbia's Public Safety and Justice division, Garner helps to oversee 25 agencies with a financial staff of 80 and an operating budget of $1.4 billion. Those duties also include assisting with the $1.2 billion six-year capital improvement plan as a part of the District of Columbia’s $19.5 billion annual budget. He's also been instrumental in earning a clean audit opinion on the District’s financial statements for 27 consecutive years. 

Garner also knows his college alma mater, Meridian Community College, was instrumental in his career.  

"I'd like to thank MCC for laying a solid framework for my education, which helped me to advance in the business world as a successful chief financial officer," Garner noted. 

Garner is one of three MCCers who will be added to the College's Hall of Fame roster on Wednesday, March 6, during a ceremony spotlighting the honorees' achievements. Hosted by the MCC Foundation, the induction ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the McCain Theater, with a reception in the College's PTK Courtyard of Scholars, adjacent to Ivy-Scaggs Hall. Other Class of 2024 Hall of Fame members include Dr. Sarah Abernathy and David Quave. 

This year’s ceremony marks the first time a brother and sister (Dr. Abernathy and Garner) will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

After high school, Garner weighed his educational options, and coming to MCC was based on a few reasons: It was close to home, he could work and go to school, and the school's reputation. "MCC was highly ranked among other two-year colleges in the University Transfer Program, and I believed that the education I would receive would give me the foundation to be successful at a four-year university." 

"Looking back, I made the right decision," he said. 

Remembering his days at MCC, Garner experienced two life-changing events, which included the death of his father and a fire that destroyed the family home. "MCC's instructional staff and my guidance counselor, Ms. Mary Fleming, were very supportive and kind to me during those challenging times." 

Specifically, Fleming was "very supportive, caring, provided encouragement, coaching, and mentoring when I, along with other students, needed it the most. She would always have time for me and other students, no matter how late in the day," Garner said. But she was no pushover, he added. "She would challenge me to do my best and persevere through the classes and life challenges in general." 

After MCC, Garner earned his bachelor's degree in professional accountancy and Master of Business Administration in economics and finance from Mississippi State University, Starkville. He was also selected as a member of Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities. In addition, he was a member of Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting & Business Honorary Society). 

Earlier in his career, Garner advanced rapidly through increasingly responsible roles. Among his positions include senior finance director for Kellogg's Morning Foods Division with eight plants and a $1.2 billion cost of goods sold budget, the chief financial officer of Kashi Company (a division of Kellogg Company) in which he was responsible for an operating budget of $1 billion, a chief financial officer for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in which he oversaw an operating budget of $3 billion, and senior finance director for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. 

 "Success to me is getting out of one's comfort zone to explore new ideas, taking on new challenges, and/or finding that passion that brings deep meaning to one's life," said Garner.   

And passing on the torch of success, Garner set up the Delois Walker Garner's Good Samaritan Fund to honor his late mother, who, as he described, was a cheerful giver and loved helping others in need. Established in 2013, the fund provides financial assistance to the Pentecostal Church of God's members who may be on the verge of destitute or experiencing a catastrophic, life-changing event. "This brings a sense of pride and joy to me by assisting others," he said. 

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