Lyn McDermid is senior vice president and chief information officer of Dominion, one of the nation's largest power companies. She also is a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and was named to Computerworld's list of "Premier 100 IT Leaders" in 2004 — not bad for someone who earned her M.B.A. only nine years ago.
"College was not as accessible when I graduated from high school" in the early 1970s, McDermid explains. So she became the first woman to join the apprentice program at Newport News Shipbuilding. Next she took a job at Stone and Webster Engineering Corp. as a building planning engineer for nuclear power plants. And in 1982, she joined Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion. She continued to work for Dominion while earning a business degree from Mary Baldwin College and an M.B.A. from Richmond.
As Dominion's chief information officer, McDermid leads an organization of 1,200 people who design, build and maintain the company’s information technology infrastructure. She thinks of Dominion as an IT company because it requires so many networks and systems to generate and transmit electric power.
McDermid serves on the board of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and next year she will chair Mary Baldwin’s board and lead its fundraising campaign.
As a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, McDermid has met on several occasions with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and its chairman, Ben Bernanke.
"Not being an economist … it has been a tremendous learning experience to be part of the Federal Reserve," she says. "Oftentimes getting an education affords you these other unique experiences. It all ties back to getting an M.B.A. at U of R. … It has exposed me to other opportunities in the business community."
The mother of three and grandmother of four sums up her experience with higher education by saying, "It's never too late."
This article by Richard Foster originally appeared in the spring 2009 issue of the University of Richmond’s alumni magazine.