Building a human-first culture, with CEO of the Year Anna Lynch

Lynch Mykins’ Anna Lynch was named 2021 CEO of the Year by Triangle Business Journal. Today, she shares her journey from Iowa to Wyoming to Austin to Raleigh, being a woman in a field of almost exclusively men, how she formed Lynch Mykins, her radically honest interview process, and building a human-first culture.

Anna Lynch CEO of the Year Hustle + Gather Podcast Dana Kadwell Courtney Hopper


Anna Lynch: What value we bring is the human side. Okay, so I’m like, what if I built a company that was focused on the human side. So then if AI comes in and can do structural engineering, we were still in business. Right, but then I look at all the other engineering firms and I’m like, all they care about is the analytical side. So what are they going to do? They’re not going to be in business.

Dana Kadwell: Welcome everyone to Hustle and Gather, a podcast by inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana 

Courtney Hopper: and I’m Courtney. 

Dana: And we are two sisters who love business. On this show, we talk about the ups and downs to the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey. 

Courtney: And we know all the challenges that come with starting a business. Between operating our wedding venue, doing speaking and consulting, and starting our luxury wedding planning company, we wake up and hustle every day 

Dana: But we love what we do. And today we’re talking with Anna Lynch, CEO of Lynch Mykins, a full-service structural engineering firm. Anna leads with a clear mission, commitment to hard work and strong dedication to client service excellence. Since 2004, she has served as a successful project manager and engineer in practically all public and private market sectors. Anna, welcome to Hustle and Gather. 

Anna: Thanks for having me. 

Courtney: Yeah. Thanks for being here. Glad you made it. 

Dana: After that journey down Harrington. 

Anna: That’s right. Life is a journey. 

Courtney: All right. So we’d love to start out with a little bit of your background before we dive too much into your journey, not the one from today, but the life one in general. So you are originally from North Carolina?

Anna: I’m from Iowa. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. My parents are a bunch of hippies and I grew up very healthy, growing everything, eating what we made on the farm. Then I went to University of Wyoming for architectural engineering for my undergrad. I chose that school because it was the cheapest engineering school in the US. Kind of summarizes me, that’s age of 17, right? Yeah, finished my degree at the university of Wyoming and then decided that I was going to live somewhere outside of the Midwest.

And I just knew I couldn’t handle the cold anymore and I just love people. And in the Midwest, you know, Wyoming, Iowa, there’s just not a lot of people. So I interned in Austin, Texas for a summer. Hated it there, was too hot. my sister, my older sister lived in Boston, didn’t like it there for many reasons, too big of a city, too scary for someone my age from Iowa. And so there’s this pocket of area that I had never been in the US and it was North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia. and I just sent my resume out and back then it was faxing, I’m that old. and Dave Mykins actually got my resume. And so I flew out spring break of senior year, my college, and flew into Charlotte, rented a car and went door to door to everywhere I sent resumes. 

I only had one interview actually lined up and I just went door to door and one of them was Dave Mykins, I went to his door and, you know, he was like, we’re not hiring. And he had about three employees and I said, well, I’m here from Wyoming. So maybe just lunch, you know?

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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