Meredith Ryan-Reid, MBA ’07, receives the 2011 Robert J. Swieringa Young Alumni Service Award
“Simply by attending Johnson, you will be able to say that you have friends all over the world and at some of the largest global companies,” says Ryan-Reid, a vice president at Marsh and McLennan Companies, focusing on business development in the commercial and private client segments.
Ryan-Reid was elected alumni president of her Executive MBA class, a tight-knit group whom she managed to effectively lead to a 100 percent-participation rate for their class gift to the Cornell Annual Fund. She also serves as one of the few Executive MBA representatives on the Johnson Advisory Council — a unique experience which she says has helped her build her identity as a Cornellian. In recognition of her exemplary commitment to Johnson and its alumni, and her continued engagement with Johnson through volunteer activities, Ryan-Reid received the 2011 Robert J. Swieringa Young Alumni Service Award at the 5TH Annual Alumni Recognition and Celebration Dinner in New York City on January 19, 2012.
“Getting to know the members of the Advisory Council and the faculty and staff at Johnson has been wonderful,” Ryan-Reid said. “It was very rewarding learning more about the history and traditions at Cornell and meeting so many wonderful Johnson alumni who have graduated over the past 50 years.”
Ryan-Reid got her first taste of Cornell in high school, when Big Red recruited her to play lacrosse. Though she would eventually attend the University of Richmond on a full athletic scholarship, she remembered her Cornell recruiting experience when looking at Executive MBA programs, and eventually identified Johnson as her top choice.
Ryan-Reid continued her work at AIG during her Johnson education, eventually serving as vice president of business development. Ryan-Reid was caught in a “surreal moment” in 2008, however, when the markets collapsed and public perception for companies like AIG foundered. Ryan-Reid decided to “step over to the other side” and work for insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan — a decision she said her strong Cornell network helped facilitate.
“So many of the people I spoke to were empathetic and informed about the situation and offered excellent advice and support,” Ryan-Reid said. “I'm not sure where I would have begun my new job search without their guidance. I've always been a person who enjoyed networking but that particular experience showed me how critical it was to long-term success. I was able to make more informed decisions with multiple inputs.”
In her current role at Marsh & McLennan, Ryan-Reid works with middle market clients as well as multi-national clients, helping them navigate complicated issues to buy the best insurance coverage for their commercial interest. She also serves as secretary on the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Ryan-Reid says she hopes to continue expanding her network and strengthening her connection to Cornell. “My goal is to continue to have a bigger impact for the people I care about, and continue to grow my world so I can have a bigger impact.”
Brendan Doyle '12 is an intern in Marketing and Communications at Johnson.