Empowered: Attendees At Women’s Leadership Conference Urged To Take Risks

May 2, 2019 GMT

PLAINS TWP. — Clarks Summit native Lucy O’Malley Brady has helped global fast food chain McDonald’s transition from a rough patch three years ago to growth.

Brady, senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development for McDonald’s, was hired in 2016 to work with the world’s largest restaurant company’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook and team to complete a turnaround to get customers coming back. Since then, McDonald’s has been modernizing restaurants globally with new designs, self-order kiosks, table service and digital menu boards. Customers now can get McDonald’s food delivered through Uber Eats.


Brady said the changes helped make McDonald’s relevant for today’s customers.

“I’m proud to say the plan is working,” she said. “Over the last three years, the stock has risen dramatically, three times the level of the S&P 500, so we’re on a good run and hopefully we’ll continue.”

Brady was the keynote breakfast speaker at the fifth annual Northeast Pennsylvania Women’s Leadership Conference called “Empower” Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Twp.

About 600 people, mostly women, attended the regional day-long conference presented by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Greater Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Hazleton and Back Mountain Chambers of Commerce.

Mari Potis, director of membership and events for the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, said the conference was sold out.

“It’s just amazing when this many women come together,” Potis said. “It’s very empowering. That’s why we call it ‘Empower’.”

She said a goal of the conference is to help women further develop their leadership skills.

Brady told attendees the lessons she learned from her leadership journey include having a bold ambition and challenging the status quo as well as figuring out what makes you happy and finding ways to do more of it.

She encouraged women to take risks and she said it’s also important to know and use your superpower and to “be your authentic self.”

“If you try to be someone you’re not, you’re not going to be happy. It’s too exhausting,” she said. “That’s something I learned over and over. Despite the different situations I was in or the different people I was interacting with, I was always who I was and that was OK.”

Brady formerly worked for the Boston Consulting Group, where she was a senior partner and an active member of the marketing, sales and pricing practices. She said she decided to take the job with McDonald’s because she wanted to work with a great team in a business she believes in and where she could make a difference.


She stressed the importance of building and running in teams in which everyone contributes and seeking out diversity.

“The strength of the most successful teams that I’ve been part of is the diversity of the people who are engaged in those teams and being able to cultivate an environment where everybody can contribute,” she said. “We should recognize that everybody, no matter what their background is and no matter what their education level and experience level is, has something to add.”

The lunch keynote speaker at the conference was Sharon Delaney McCloud, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and partner and vice president of professional development at Walk West. Other speakers included entrepreneurs Loryn Copley and Amanda Faneck, Attorney Judith G. Price, Quest Studio owner Talia Walsh and educator and published freelance writer Caroline Williams.

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