Melissa Donaldson is the first chief diversity officer at Wintrust, where she partners with leadership to establish diversity and inclusion strategies for business success, employee engagement, and positioning Wintrust as an employer of choice and responsible corporate citizen. Prior to joining Wintrust, Melissa was director of diversity networks and communication for Walgreens, where she implemented regional diversity councils, set strategies to enhance employee engagement, spearheaded the award-winning Walgreens Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report, and produced the inaugural WBA Global Executive Women’s Conference. Previously, she served as CDW Corporation’s first director of inclusion practices and led the company to earn the Exemplary Voluntary Efforts Award from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2008.
She has published work in Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Executive, and Workforce Management magazines and is a frequent speaker for numerous organizations and conferences, including the “Northwestern Intersections” podcast and “Career Mix” on SiriusXM satellite radio. Her accolades include being named one of the Most Influential Women in Commercial Banking by Crain’s Chicago Business, being highlighted in the Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its Women Worth Watching, earning a Diversity Officer Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices, and receiving the Rising Star Diversity Leadership Peer Award from Diversity Woman Magazine.
Melissa has a Master of Science in communication from Northwestern University, a Master of Science in administration from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science in management science from Wright State University. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Northwestern University Master of Science in Communication program and serves on a variety of boards and councils including Chicago Sinfonietta, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Financial Services Pipeline Steering Committee, Chicago United Leadership Council, and UCAN Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. She is a Leadership Greater Chicago Daniel Burnham Fellowship fellow, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Links, Incorporated.