The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business are excited to honor Megan Lynch, Director of Corporate Relations at North Central College, as a 2020 Woman of the Quarter.
Woman of the Quarter Q&A
Q: Describe your current position and what your typical work day looks like.
As the Director of Corporate Relations at North Central College here in Naperville, I build mutually beneficial relationships with the business community and help connect companies to campus. One of the things I love about my job is that no two days are exactly alike. A “typical” work day, though, might include meeting with a corporate partner (over Zoom at the moment!), connecting with a faculty member, discussing employer needs and student opportunities with Career Development, and representing North Central at a Chamber or community event.
Q: What do you love most about your work?
North Central College is dedicated “to preparing students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts.” I love the opportunity to support our students as they exceed their personal best and make a difference in the world. Approximately 40 percent of North Central students identify as first-generation, which is defined as neither parent having a four-year degree. Through the involvement of our corporate partners, our first-generation students and all North Central students have the opportunity to connect with leading local employers, gain hands-on experience, and learn from industry and community leaders.
Q: What led you to your position at North Central College?
Five years ago, I was commuting into downtown Chicago and spending almost 3.5 hours a day getting to and from work. I enjoyed my job managing corporate partner relationships for The Chicago Council on Global Affairs but wanted to find an opportunity closer to home. That’s when I learned about the Director of Corporate Relations opening at North Central. I was immediately excited about the opportunity to work in Naperville, support students, and continue to build bridges between the nonprofit and business sectors. It’s been a fun journey!
Q: What advice do you have for other women in business?
My advice is to find ways to get plugged into the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce community. Consider joining a committee or TEAM, volunteering for a leadership role, or even just attending an event and introducing yourself to someone new. By getting involved in smaller group settings at the Chamber, I’ve been able to build great relationships, grow my network, and develop as a professional.
Q: Name someone in your life who inspires you and tell me why.
My almost four-year-old son has significant developmental delays and is visually impaired due to a congenital brain condition. Despite the major challenges that he faces on a daily basis, my son inspires me with his great sense of humor, sweet personality, and stubborn persistence. He keeps going even when things are hard and, after daily practice and years of working with therapists, he is learning to walk with a walker and use an assistive speech device to communicate. He also loves his newest role — being a wonderful big brother to our new little guy, who is almost six months old.
Q: What other passions or hobbies do you have?
I enjoy running, biking, and hiking – really any excuse to be outside! I’m also a fan of podcasts, and I love reading and listening to audiobooks.
Q: Aside from the Chamber, how do you stay connected within the Naperville community?
First, the NACC really is my go-to resource for staying connected within the Naperville community. In addition to serving on the NACC board of directors, I also chair the Chamber’s new Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Our committee partners with for-purpose business and community leaders in the Naperville area to elevate the importance of corporate citizenship and highlight stories of how local companies are making a positive impact. Stay tuned for information about our next program in the fall!
I also enjoy serving on the DuPage Foundation’s Next Generation Initiative (NGI) Steering Committee. As the county’s philanthropic leader, the DuPage Foundation seeks to raise the quality of life throughout DuPage County. The Next Generation Initiative is all about engaging and empowering the next generation of philanthropic leaders and volunteers by offering opportunities to connect, learn, and give back.
I’m grateful to be part of such an engaged community here in the Naperville area!
Woman of the Quarter Bio
Director of Corporate Relations at North Central College
Megan is the director of corporate relations at North Central College. In this role, she collaborates with business leaders in Naperville and the broader Chicagoland area to build mutually beneficial partnerships that match North Central resources to company needs and objectives.
Prior to joining North Central, Megan managed corporate partner relationships for two leading global policy think tanks — The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. She began her career at the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where she negotiated UN General Assembly resolutions on education and sustainable development.
Megan is also active at the DuPage Foundation, where she serves on the Next Generation Initiative advisory board. She earned her MA in Politics and a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University. Megan lives in Winfield with her husband, Greg, and two sons.