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Episode 026 – Chandra Brown, CEO, MxD

On this episode of the Executives’ Exchange, Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD, joins Margaret Mueller, The Executives’ Club of Chicago’s President & CEO to discuss her experiences as a female who has been a leader and transformer in the supply chain and manufacturing sectors. Tune in to hear about Chandra’s lessons learned moving through her career, including during her tenure as the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing, reshoring opportunities for those in manufacturing, and increasing diversity in the field.

0:45 – Introductions
1:40 – Chandra shares about her early life and growing up in a family of tradespeople
4:58 – Chandra discusses a potential shift of focus to trades and the concept of continuous learning
7:01 – Chandra discusses the best advice her parents gave her
7:44 – Chandra discusses her impactful post-college move to Oregon and the impacts it had on her life and leadership style
10:46 – Chandra describes the two companies that helped define her and set her on her path in manufacturing: Oregon Iron Works and United Streetcar
14:10 – Lessons learned from and experience of being appointed by President Obama to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing
25:20 – Chandra describes the creation of MxD & its impact on American manufacturing
29:13 – The inevitability of reshoring
36:15 – Chandra discusses environmental concerns
37:28 – Comparing being a woman in tech then and now
39:04 – Questions to ask about diversity in tech
44:10 – How other people can learn the lessons Chandra has
45:22 – “The kitchen cabinet” — surrounding yourself with a diverse group of people
48:27 – Discussing Chandra’s retirement from role with MxD
51:55 – Discussing empathy and new leaders
53:45 – Chandra’s plan for life after stepping down
56:35 – Parting words for the Chicago business community

Episode link: MxD

Host: Margaret Mueller, CEO & President, The Executives’ Club of Chicago
Producer: Eva Penar, Chief Content & Communications Officer, The Executives’ Club of Chicago

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