Published On Mar 31, 2021
in Leadership & Development and PECO Culture
Cherilyn Megill joined PECO in 2013 and currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications. Under Cherilyn’s leadership, the PECO Marketing & Communications team plans and executes initiatives designed to tie directly into the company’s overall mission and goals, supporting and generating bottom line results. They work closely with every department in the company to develop internal and external marketing and communications programs – everything from corporate ad campaigns and digital media, public relations and trade shows, to employment branding and internal communications such as newsletters and associate events.
Committed to developing the next generation of leaders, Cherilyn is not only a mentor to associates, she also co-founded PECO NOW (Networking Opportunities for Women), the company’s associate-led program dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for females at Phillips Edison. This award-winning initiative has become a cornerstone of the PECO culture, helping to develop leaders and address concerns that women face in the workplace. Dedicated to community service, Cherilyn is also active in PECO Community Partnership, the company’s community service initiative. She gives her time and resources to multiple organizations both as part of PECO Community Partnership and in her personal time.
Cherilyn contributes her time and expertise to the commercial real estate industry outside of PECO. She serves on the CREW Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Task Force. She has been active for 30+ years with ICSC and was recently awarded the ICSC Trustees Distinguished Service Award. She is a member of the ICSC MAXI Committee and serves on the judging panel. She has also been a contributing writer on books about social media and public relations and has taught at MOCIAL and the JTR School of Real Estate. She was named a “2019 Marketing & Communication Influencer” and a “2018 Woman of Influence” by GlobeSt’s Real Estate Forum magazine and “Women Leading the Change in CRE” by The Content Funnel. Since 2016, Cherilyn’s team has won six gold and eight silver MAXI awards, and the advertising campaign that she spearheaded was named in the Communicator Awards, the Fourteener Awards and the Hermes Creative Awards primarily because of its fresh look, unlike any other campaign in the industry.
With such a wealth of experience and passion for helping develop future leaders, Cherilyn is a perfect interview for Women’s History month! Here’s what she shared with us.
What obstacles have you encountered over the years in your career and how did you overcome them?
As an Asian-American woman in this industry, I remember often being not only the only female - but the only minority in the room. When I first started in this business, I didn’t have the confidence to always speak up and voice my opinion. My tendency was to lean back - instead of leaning in to provide my point of view. I have been fortunate to have amazing female and male mentors throughout my career, who taught me that my voice is important and helped me to gain the confidence that I needed to be successful.
Thirty years later, I’m pleased to say that this is changing as more women are entering the C-suite and the industry is actively promoting diversity. I’m excited about the steps that CRE organizations have been taking to promote diversity. I am also proud to be a co-founder of PECO NOW (Networking Opportunities for Women), whose goal is to provide educational and development opportunities for women.
How did you get to your leadership role?
When I was in college, I served an internship in the marketing department at a mall. Until then, I never realized that there was an industry that focused on shopping centers. My marketing internship included everything that I loved – advertising, special events, public relations… and shopping! From day one, I knew that I had found the career path that I had been looking for. Since that time, I have been fortunate to work at some of the best shopping centers in the country as well as with some of the most talented CRE professionals. Approximately 15 years ago, I moved into a corporate role. I am grateful to be in an industry that I still feel as passionate about today as I did 30+ years ago as a mall intern.
What advice would you give to working women?
- Discover your passion and use that drive to exceed the expectations in whatever role you are given.
- Be a good communicator - this is so important in all aspects of being a good leader. You must be able to communicate clearly and know your audience.
- Ask for what you want. You also need to be willing to learn and work hard for whatever you are striving for.
- Find a mentor who will provide career advice and support, and also be willing to be honest about things that you need to work on.
- Finally, I am often asked about work life balance. Find a company that has a culture that supports working moms. Be fully present when you’re with your child(ren) – they will remember those special moments more than the times that you have to be away. Use your career to inspire your child(ren) – show how hard work and dedication can lead to success.