Carrie Meghie (BUS ’96)
Co-President, Becker Ventures
Founder, Jackson Chance Foundation
This academic year marks the 100th
anniversary of women enrolling at the Driehaus College of Business. To
commemorate this milestone, we cast a spotlight on successful alumnae who are making meaningful contributions in the world of business and leading the way for future graduates.
As a business leader, Carrie
Meghie wears many hats. She is co-president of the real estate holding company
Becker Ventures and co-founder of Becker Entertainment group, which has
developed three brands including the Jamaican restaurant Mr. Brown’s
Lounge in Chicago.
In 2015, Carrie Meghie and her husband Terry launched
Jackson Chance Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free parking at Lurie
Children’s Hospital of Chicago for families of babies on the neonatal intensive
care unit. Their late son, Jackson, spent 10 months fighting a devastating lung
condition at the hospital, where nearby parking can cost more than $50 a day.
In the Q&A, Meghie talks about her evolving career and leadership style.
What is the path you took to get where you are today,
including what happened that was planned and what was serendipitous?
Great question, and
I’m amazed to say not much was planned. All my current roles go back to family.
Mr. Brown’s Lounge was
created by me, my husband and his brother. Becker Ventures is a family company
that my father drafted me into years ago when he invested in Hard Rock Hotel
Chicago (scheduled to reopen as the St. Jane Chicago in 2018) and is currently
run by me and my sister, Jill. The Jackson Chance Foundation was founded by me
and my husband in honor of our son Jackson, who passed away in 2012.
They say women lead differently. How do you lead, and can
you share an anecdote about your leadership style?
I always try to lead
by example. I never expect more from anyone than I expect from myself. I
strongly believe in holding people accountable for their failures and rewarding
successes. As a leader I believe it’s my job to take responsibility and be
accountable for all failures. I believe people are the most important asset in
any company and in every industry. They must be valued, appreciated and
recognized. One of the many key things I learned from my father and greatest
mentor is that it’s better to be effective than right. People can get lost in
trying to prove their position and then forget what the intended goal was.
Do you have any advice for young women seeking to get
where you are now?
Success takes hard work and commitment. If you don’t have a
passion for your business, then it will be very hard to have great success.
Businesses that are derived from passion or that have a soul tend to have the
greatest impact. I strongly believe in taking calculated risks and being
willing and open to failure. Failures are key to learning and growing and often
just detours on your path to success. I believe one of my greatest strengths is
the ability to prioritize and be decisive. I can make decisions quickly and
don’t get stuck trying to be “right,” but rather effective. I don’t believe you
can have it all. It’s about making choices about what’s important and when.
Interested in developing your leadership? Learn more about majoring in business and graduate programs in business at DePaul.
Read more about Meghie
and other DePaul business alumnae in Business Exchange, the alumni and friends
magazine of the Driehaus College of Business.