Melissa Donaldson - YWCA Lake County

Melissa Donaldson

Melissa Donaldson is a strategic change agent, first to be appointed Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Wintrust Financial Corporation, a commercial banking and specialty financial service company with over $24 billion in assets. In this new role, Melissa works with the CEO, senior leadership, and other key stakeholders to establish diversity and inclusion priorities and initiatives.

Prior to joining Wintrust, Melissa was Director of Diversity Networks and Communication for Walgreens, part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Retail Pharmacy USA Division. In that upstart role, she developed strategies and initiatives that enhanced Walgreens standing as an employer of choice, and responsible corporate citizen. Her many achievements include developing the award-winning Walgreens Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report, and producing the inaugural WBA Global Executive Women’s Conference for the company’s top 250 global women leaders.

Melissa’s journey as a corporate diversity and inclusion strategist began at technology solutions firm CDW, where she served as the company’s first-ever Director of Inclusion Practices. She branded the diversity and inclusion strategy as Connections@CDW, and lead CDW to earn the prestigious Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2008.

Her thought-leadership has been published in Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Executive, and Workforce Management magazines, and shared  through numerous speaking engagements. Accolades include: Women Worth Watching (Profiles in Diversity Journal), Diversity Officer Leadership Award (Diversity Best Practices), and Rising Star Diversity Leadership Peer Award (Diversity Woman Magazine).

Melissa holds an MS in Communication (Northwestern University), an MS in Administration (Central Michigan University), and a BS in Management Science (Wright State University). She serves on the YWCA Lake County Board of Directors, the Executive’s Club of Chicago Diversity Leadership Council, and Financial Services Pipeline Initiative Steering Committee.

She and her husband Kevin are proud parents to two amazing adult children.

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and YWCA Lake County have merged operations under the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago banner, paving the way for more comprehensive direct services across the region.

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