Marypat Mulholland is a member of the Board of Trustees at The Academy and the mother of Visual Arts Department senior Olivia. A few years ago, she created the Windy City Women's Network through her role at Wells Fargo. See below for an interview with Marypat, and details about the network's next event on February 21st!
What is the Windy City Women’s Network and how did it begin?
The Windy City Women’s Network was created in 2014 almost accidentally. A colleague at Wells Fargo and I were asked to host a reception for our Global Head of Research, who is female. Having grown up on Wall Street at a time when women had to ignore their femininity in order to succeed, I admittedly rolled my eyes when I was asked to host this inaugural event. But like with most things, it ended up being a pivotal stage of growth for me, both personally and professionally. Since then, my co-founder and I have hosted 14 networking events featuring both traditional female business leaders as well as female success stories from all walks of life. I’ve also been asked to join our Diversity & Inclusion Council. I am now much more comfortable always being the only female in the room!
What are the short- and long-term goals of the WCWN?
We host events three times a year with the goal of bringing senior-level professional women from a multitude of industries together. We also strongly encourage attendees to bring a mentee along as a way to pay it forward. We find that having the diversity in the room (diversity of industry and title versus just being female) creates vibrant dialogue and connections that might otherwise be more difficult. Longer term, our goal is to continue to broaden our audience and provide successful females the opportunity to share their journey, their story, and invite others to take a chance.
The next event is February 21st. How do you register and what can participants expect from the evening?
Our next event is incredibly special as our speaker is Gail Rousseau, MD. Dr. Rosseau, one of only 300 female neurosurgeons in the United States, is known both nationally and internationally for the endoscopic surgical techniques she pioneered to treat pituitary tumors and other cranial base disorders. As a leader in her field, Dr. Rosseau travels extensively for her work and chairs the neurosurgical liaison committee with the World Health Organization. Aside from medicine, Dr. Rosseau is a passionate supporter of the arts, a lifetime advocate of religious pluralism, and the proud mother of two college-aged children. Dr. Rosseau is also a history aficionado and recently visited The Academy to speak to our AP students about Winston Churchill.
WCWN events are open to female professionals. We start with an hour of networking at 4:30 p.m., followed by our speaker’s story with Q&A, and close with another hour of networking from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Events are held at the Wells Fargo offices at 10 South Wacker Drive. If you are interested in attending, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell us a bit about your role at Wells Fargo and your career up to this point.
In my current role, I am a Managing Director with Wells Fargo Securities and I run our Midwest Institutional Equity Sales team. If I had to reduce it to one sentence, I am the conduit between the portfolio managers at the large money management and hedge fund institutions of the Midwest and the respective counterparts at Wells Fargo. I’ve spent the majority of my career as an Institutional Equity salesperson and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m a native New Yorker and moved to Chicago in 1993 for “a couple of years”. I married a Midwesterner and we have 3 children. So, 25 years later, Chicago is our home! I majored in English and Economics from Manhattan College – a small Christian Brothers Academy in New York. Secretly, I always wanted to be a TV anchorperson, and I still want to be an author one day!
How are you currently involved at The Academy? What do you hope to achieve in that position and what has your relationship with the school meant to you?
Wow, I’m not even sure where to begin with this one. We started “shadowing” (perhaps stalking) The Academy when Olivia (now a senior in the Visual Arts Department) was in 6th grade. I was invited to join the Board of Trustees during her freshman year and I immediately accepted. I had never said “yes” to joining a board, but The Academy was different. I saw a school where I could help make a difference, and I saw people who were already doing so. I wanted to be a part of such a special place.
My relationship with The Academy has truly been one of the greatest parts of my life, and I’m not just saying that because you are asking me! Whether it is Jason’s [Patera, Head of School] undying energy, the incredible talents of the students, the passionate teachers, the busy parents who never stop helping, or the support that each student receives as an individual—the school is mind-blowing. I also cherish the close friendships I have made with other parents and the entire Academy community. I always knew our senior year would be a bag of mixed emotions because it would mean the end of a very special era in our lives. I’m beyond thrilled at what Olivia has gotten from her time at The Academy, and I can’t imagine a time when our family won’t be eternally grateful.