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Board Member Profile - Mary McDonnell

mary-mChair elect Mary McDonnell is founder and CEO of McDonnell & Associates, a consulting firm that serves the capital markets and derivatives industry. Mary has been involved in the trading industry for over 30 years, spending most of her career in and around the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She had two stints at the CBOT; right out of college as an auditor, and then 20 years later as the leader of the Exchange's initiative to develop an electronic marketplace.

Mary also ran a brokerage firm for many years and was President and CEO of Geneva Trading, a privately held proprietary trading firm. She has established and run offices in both London and Dublin and also spent 3 years living in Bermuda, running the Bermuda Commodities Exchange Clearing House.

It was during her time in Bermuda when, as a single mom, Mary adopted her two children from Russia. Andy, now 20 and Maggie, now 18, were toddlers and infants at the time and had significant delays in the cognitive and physical development. Life took on a whole new dimension with multi-tasking being of the utmost importance in those early days.

When the new family moved back to Chicago in 2000 they settled in the Bucktown neighborhood and drove past the Anixter Center on a daily basis. Life was very busy over the next 10 years with Mary travelling internationally extensively. When Andy was starting high school in 2010 Mary decided it was time to cut back from her hectic professional life and start her own consulting firm so she could be a bit a closer to home.

Around that time, Mary had dinner with a former Anixter Center Board Chair, who knew of Mary's extensive financial background and asked if she would consider joining the Board. The timing was good as Mary wanted to start being more involved in the non-profit area and give back to the community. After observing the environment her children had come from, Mary experienced firsthand how time and therapy can make such a difference in a child's development.

Mary has served on the Finance Committee of Anixter since 2011 and has Chaired the Investment Sub Committee since 2014. Besides Mary's business experience she earned a BS in Accounting from Marquette and holds an MS in Management from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business.

With Mary's daughter Maggie heading off to college this fall she will be an empty nester, so the timing was again right for Mary to become more involved with Anixter Center in a leadership role. With the continuing struggle of funding from the government, fiscal acumen is more important than ever to assist Anixter Center in continuing its mission to serve those with disabilities.



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