May 26, 2016

Donor Spotlight: Edward Machir

With an impressive tenure as a CPA and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers spanning 35 years, Edward Machir joined the Tiger Woods Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2013, where he currently serves on the Audit Committee. A graduate of Georgetown University and an ardent supporter of the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, Machir has dedicated much of his time over the years as an EWSP mentor to two fellow Georgetown University students. Recently retired, he continues to share his wealth of knowledge and years of expertise in auditing and accounting with students as a professor in practice at the McDonough School of Business at his alma mater. In a Q&A with TWF, Machir offers a glimpse into his world and the people and experiences that have shaped him.

How did you get involved with the Tiger Woods Foundation? 

One of my passions is to help young, talented men and women who do not have all the advantages of life succeed. I became very impressed with the work of the Tiger Woods Foundation. As I was getting to know the foundation, I also met and developed a friendship with former TWF CEO Greg McLaughlin. He saw the intersection and asked me to consider Board membership. Luckily I was asked to join after the nomination process.

What’s the best advice you’ve received and given? 

I learned early in my professional career to deliver over and above what was expected. And to communicate articulately and candidly in a very timely manner.

I certainly passed on what I thought was the outstanding advice I was given above. Also, while it is very important to work hard and deliver above expectations, it is also important to have a balanced life because someone with a strong personal life will also have a strong professional life. If one aspect of life is failing, it will impact the other aspect of life.

Tell us about someone or something that has inspired you greatly.  

I was and continue to be educated by the Jesuits. Since I first encountered them in seventh grade, they have emphasized the importance of thinking. They did not teach you the answer, rather they gave you the problem and asked you to figure out the answer, or one of many answers. They also inspired me with two mottos, the first being ‘Curas Personalis,’ which calls for the care of the entire person, offering individual attention to the needs of others, a respect for the unique circumstances of others and the appreciation for their particular gifts or insights. The second motto, ‘Women and Men for Others,’ reinforces that our life should not be self-centered but one which is dedicated to the care of others, particularly those less fortune than oneself.

Describe yourself in 10 words or less. 

Father, teacher, dedicated to young people, lover of life, sports and music fanatic.

There are several common traits our staff and scholars possess — traits we believe lead to success. Which trait do you identify with and why?

When mentoring young people, I am UNDETERRED! Whether it is for the foundation or in other walks of life. There will always be challenges. It is my role to help the person understand their challenge and try to help them see a path to overcome it. It is not necessarily about telling them the solution, of which I am not always aware, but to help them learn to cope and how to figure out solutions to life’s road bumps. These lessons can come in the form of tangible and intangible solutions but also simply be through encouragement and support.

How/Why did you choose your profession? 

I chose to work as a CPA for a large international accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). I had a long career there. They provided me with numerous opportunities where I constantly learned and was challenged, always growing, literally until the day I retired. But the most important aspect of my career was the way in which I was cared for as a human being. I was mentored and taught, I was allowed to reach my full potential and I was cared for, not as an employee, but as a person. I chose this profession for these reasons. PwC embodied the characteristics that I believe all people should have in leading their life. 

Tiger says the staff is TWF’s biggest strength. What’s the greatest strength of your organization?  

First and foremost, the care of its people and the strength of the people who make the organization so great. A desire to be a world-class organization which is a leader in its field and be recognized as such. To always deliver a quality product, while serving its clients, whether external or internal.

Champions of the unexpected for 20 years.