Published on January 29th, 2010 | by thevyne4
Spotlight On: Connie Lindsey
“Find where your passion, your gifts, and your talent connect. Maybe it’s something that was born out of your youth or a business issue, but once you connect those things together…you can have such a large impact.”Connie Lindsey
Forty years ago, not even Connie Lindsey could have imagined that she would one day lead the organization she had just joined. A successful businesswoman and the highest ranking volunteer of the Girl Scouts of America, Connie has proven what can happen when you’re disciplined, confident, and use your gifts to make a difference.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Connie came from humble beginnings. Though she grew up in an inner city housing project, she was taught strong values from her family, church members, and community. It was through her church that she became involved with the Girl Scouts. Though her family could not afford the uniform required from the troop organized by her church, neither the church nor the troop leader would let that become an inhibitor to her joining the organization. So at 11 years old, Connie became a Girl Scout. She remembers, “our troop leader, instilled confidence in me, saying, “Young lady, YOU MATTER. And don’t let anybody tell you that you don’t.” It was this strong foundation that never left her, and she never left the Girl Scouts either.
After high school, Connie attended the University of Wisconsin where she obtained a B.A. in finance. She started her career in the telecommunications industry with Wisconsin Bell. From there she went to Ameritech where she worked in several finance and accounting roles including working as an Assistant Treasurer for the Ameritech Foundation. In 1993 she joined The Northern Trust Company of Chicago. Over the past nearly 17 years with Northern Trust, Connie has moved up the ranks, making a tremendous impact along the way. She became the first African American female to reach the Executive Vice President level in 2006 and, in 2009, became the EVP of Corporate Sustainability. In this newly created role she is responsible for creating and executing the company’s global Social Responsibility efforts.
While Connie was climbing the corporate ladder, she did not stop serving her community. She has volunteered with and served on boards of several non-profit organizations. In 2008 she was elected President of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of America, where she is responsible for strategic guidance on policy direction, management and fundraising for this 98-year-old organization with over 3 million members.
With a resume like hers, it’s not surprising that she has received countless honors. Her awards and accolades include Chicago United’s Business Leaders of Color Award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Women Changing the World Award, Northern Trust’s Chairman’s Diversity Award, the YWCA Leaders of Color Award, Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award, and Ebony magazine’s 2010 “Power 150” list of influential African Americans. Just recently, the N’Digo Foundation also recognized her for making a positive impact in the community and the world. But through it all, Connie remains humble and focused on serving her community.
Connie Lindsey shows us the possibilities of working with purpose. We can’t help but look forward to more great things to come from her career and community leadership.