The Ronald J. and Deborah A. Monark Endowment

Researchers in the library with books and manuscriptsIn 2011, former Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board Chair Ron Monark founded the Ronald J. and Deborah A. Monark Endowment Fund. These funds are discretionary funds and support the Libraries in serving the information needs of the Smithsonian and beyond.

Although retired, Ron dealt primarily with information products and the technology for managing information and knowledge during his business career. He admits he is fascinated by the upsurge of information.

"Most people today fail to realize the extent of the knowledge explosion and the challenge it presents to library professionals. When you have libraries as diverse as the Smithsonian Libraries, the complexities of that challenge increase exponentially. To me, the excitement is in defining the role of the combined libraries and conceptually understanding what needs to be added, how it should be catalogued and cross-referenced and combined with other materials to accomplish the objectives of all constituencies,” says Ron.Librarian Shelving books

When asked why he finds volunteer work so rewarding, Ron says, “I have been very blessed in my life, starting with the fact that I was the only person of my generation on either side of the family to go to college. I enjoy giving back and always love the moment when I can contribute an idea or inspire someone else to contribute to a worthy effort.”

Ron is the immediate past Chair of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board (2009-2012) former president and CEO of Mitchell International, the former president and COO of ATE Enterprises, the former president and CEO of KLM, and the former executive vice-president and COO of Morgan Yacht.