Co-President, Becker Ventures
Founder, Jackson Chance Foundation
I never expect more from anyone than I expect from myself.”
Carrie Meghie takes family matters to a new level. She and her sister Jill Mast are co-presidents of Becker Ventures, the real estate investment holding company their father started. The company now owns the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago and a 41-story luxury apartment building at 200 N. Michigan Ave. Meghie and her husband, Terry, extended the family business connections by co-founding the offshoot Becker Entertainment group, which has developed three brands, one of which—the Jamaican restaurant Mr. Brown’s Lounge—is embedded in Terry’s Caribbean roots and features his brother as executive chef.
Yet the family matter dearest to her heart is the Jackson Chance Foundation, a nonprofit she and Terry launched to provide free parking at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the families of babies in 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. Meghie chairs the board of the foundation, carving out time she would have spent with Jackson “to care for his memory” by helping other families facing similar hardships.
For her leadership of the foundation she earned honors as a CNN Hero and a Chicago Magazine Chicagoan of the Year in 2016. In 2017, the program will expand to Northwestern Medicine/Prentice Women’s Hospital.
Meghie is a decisive woman who knows how to lead, from managing 200 employees at the Hard Rock Hotel to performing the ownership representative role at her new residential development. “I lead by example,” she says. “I never expect more from anyone than I expect from myself. I believe people are the most important asset in any company and in every industry,” she notes, adding that they must be valued, appreciated and recognized.
Because her entry into the business came as the owner’s daughter, she found some people underestimated her abilities. “It was challenging, and I felt like I had more to prove. It gave me greater determination to do a good job.”
Twenty years later, after netting their own business successes, Meghie and her sister work on balancing their families and careers. “There’s a lot of talk about doing it all or having it all. I don’t think that’s possible. Something has to give, and it’s going to change over time,” Meghie says.
Due to their young families, Meghie and her sister are in a business maintenance stage, foregoing certain opportunities now and scheduling growth in the future when they anticipate a better work-life balance.
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