March is Women’s History Month, and we get the opportunity to run across plenty of powerful women, right in the Chicago area. Connie Lindsey, a native of Milwaukee, Wis., is one of the most amazing women currently gracing the highways and byways of Chicago. Lindsey is a huge advocate of education; she received her BA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Certificate from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Corporate Social Responsibility Program.
Her education and her general business savvy has afforded her such opportunities as currently holding the title of the Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust in Chicago. She is the first African-American woman in the history of the firm to be named Executive Vice President, and with such an accomplishment comes much responsibility. Prior to her EVP position, she held a number of leadership roles within the firm including Deputy Business Head in Operations and Technology, Group Head in Northern Trust’s Wealth Management business, Director of Enterprise Relationship Management, and Manager in Treasury Management Consulting and Product Management. She also holds the Certified Treasury Professional designation.
Lindsey attributes much of her success to the lessons she learned from her mother, who is no longer physically present. Lindsey said her mother taught her resilience, self-reliance, and unconditional love–all of which are very important to a progressive mindset and being able to make those power moves.
What many may or may not know is that Connie Lindsey is heavily involved with Girl Scouts of America. She became a Girl Scout in her hometown of Milwaukee by joining her church’s troop. She remained with the Girl Scouts through Junior High School as a Cadet. As life and love would have it, she was recruited to join the National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA in 2005 and was elected National Board President, (the highest-ranking volunteer of this 2.7 million-member organization), in 2008 for a three-year term.
She was re-elected to the role of National Board President at the 2011 convention for another three-year term. In this role she provided guidance in three vital areas—policy, fund-raising, and leadership, as well as being an integral part of the Girl Scouts transformation; committed to building and sustaining membership growth and ensuring girls received a premier leadership development experience.
She continues to work with local Girl Scout Council-Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, in support of their programs and fundraising efforts with special emphasis on ensuring girls in underserved communities have access to the Girl Scouts experience. Mrs. Lindsey reports that she is a life-long Girl Scout, and that this has informed her approach to leadership, advocacy and community engagement. As a result of her dedication to service, she has served on several non-profit boards currently, Friends of Prentice Board at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Board Chair of Leadership Greater Chicago (Fellow); Board Member of the National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; McCormick Theological Seminary (Trustee); Co-Chair of the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council and Board Member of YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
She said one of her most memorable moments with the Girl Scouts was taking girls to meet President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. First Lady Michelle Obama was the Honorary President of Girl Scouts of the USA, as has been the custom of Girl Scouts since the organization’s founding in 1912.
Lindsey hopes that the ladies in the Girl Scouts will remember the Girl Scout Promise and Law, as it will serve them well. She has never forgotten what her troop leader in Milwaukee told her as a young girl, and that was “Connie you matter, and don’t you let anyone tell you that you don’t! You are not what IS the matter, you matter!” and she proudly tells every young girl she meets: “you matter, be courageous, think boldly and believe you are worthy of achieving your biggest goals and dreams. You are enough!”
With all of Connie’s accomplishments and service, one might wonder how she has down time. But Lindsey says she enjoys reading and spending quality time with the people she loves in her “spare time.”