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The Homer Horizon 012518

8 | January 25, 2018 |

8 | January 25, 2018 | The Homer Horizon news homerhorizon.com Homer Glen woman named to editorial, university boards Murer shares thoughts on her career, advice for other women F. Amanda Tugade Freelance Reporter Throughout the years, Cherilyn Murer has accepted different roles and titles under her name. First and foremost, she is devoted to her family. She is a wife, a mother of two and a grandmother of three. In her professional circle, she is a distinguished, trusted colleague and a businesswoman who has advocated for quality, cost-effective health care through her consulting firm. For Murer, that firm pushed her career forward, which blossomed into nearly 32 years of service and gained clientele across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. But that path did not present itself to the Homer Glen woman, who graduated with a law degree. It was her interest in operations and experience at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that planted a seed of opportunity, and she saw a need to help and care for people. Murer sold her firm last January, only to launch a new endeavor, CGM Advisory Group LLC, a few months later. And her efforts to share her knowledge and create awareness about the issues that mean the most to her have not stopped. Last year, Murer became the newest member of the executive editorial board of Chicago Woman magazine and an officer for Lebanese American University’s Board of Trustees. In both roles, Murer hopes to tap into her own experiences and build a platform for other women, so they can achieve and be successful in their all sectors of their lives. In an interview with The Homer Horizon, Murer candidly opens up about her positions, reflects on her experience as a woman in the workforce, and shares lessons on her personal and professional growth. The Homer Horizon: You have been named to the executive editorial board of Chicago Woman magazine. What does that nomination mean to you? Cherilyn Murer: I’m very excited about that. I’m very impressed with the direction of the magazine. Kendra Chaplain is the founder of the magazine, and this is certainly a very important time for women. It is a time for us to deal with issues that we’ve had for decades. I’m very optimistic. I think it’s a great opportunity for leadership for women, and I think Chicago Woman magazine is the voice of women from all different sectors dealing with multiple issues, both positive and difficult. It’s the era of the woman, and I think this is a great vehicle for discussion. Homer Glen resident Cherilyn Murer was named the newest member of the executive editorial board of Chicago Woman magazine and an officer for Lebanese American University’s Board of Trustees. Photo submitted HH: What challenges do you think that the women of today face, especially in the workforce? CM: I think we’re facing a lot of the things that we’ve been facing, and that is striving for true equality, that women should be treated no differently than men, with flaws and issues and strengths and assets. But we haven’t gotten there yet. I hope we don’t get too reactionary; there’s a lot of pressure right now. This is a good time. We’re talking about issues of discrimination and harassment. We’ve been talking about this for a long time, but we’re really coming to a head right now. And I think this is a time for women to take a leadership role to bring some balance back because we cannot really thrive in our environment of negativity. I think that’s very important. We don’t thrive in negativity. So, what we have to do, is we have to turn things around. I’d like to see women on boards; I’ve been an advocate for that for a long, long time. I think some of the European countries — Germany and France — have taken a much stronger stance on mandating the percentage of women to be on corporate boards. I think, perhaps, we might not have had these issues of harassment if there had been a great balance of women on boards. So, this is an opportunity, and what we need to do is turn this into something very positive and help women not only address the difficulties that they’re facing but use this to be able to make change. And I hope we have a great deal of change. I think this is important: We have to do it in partnership with men — with our husbands, our sons, our brothers. And our bosses — whether a man is a boss or people report to you — we need to come together and address these problems, not just as men and women, but we need to do it together. HH: I appreciate that you say women work together with men to create change, but I think there’s something to be said about women supporting other women, as well. CM: Listen! Oh, absolutely! I think that it is a responsibility and an obligation that women help and support each other. That’s why being on the editorial board of the Chicago Women is very important to me because I’ll be writing a column for the magazine on leadership, for women on leadership. So, absolutely. I think that has to be something that goes through generation after generation. It has to be practiced. My daughter is an anesthesiologist, and I’ve always said to her, ‘You’ve had great opportunities and great successes. Put your hand down and help someone else.’… I think women need to support each other. That doesn’t mean that we can’t disagree, that we can’t be competitive, but we need to be supportive. HH: You are also the first woman officer recently elected to the Board of Trustees of Lebanese American University. What does that accomplishment mean to you? CM: I’m very excited about that. This is a university that was founded in 1865 as a women’s college in Beirut. It’s charted in New York, so it’s an American university … The campuses are in New York, Beirut and Byblos. I think that this is just very important, and I don’t think it was anything deliberate in not having a woman officer before. It had always been and continues to be predominantly men on a 24-member board. It is a wonderful university; it is one that is sensitive to women’s issues. … It does wonderful work around the work, and I think this is just a reflection of how LAU continues to be forward thinking and working diligently to ensure equality in the truest sense of the word. HH: What advice do you have for professional women, both young and seasoned, on cultivating their careers or confronting hardships? CM: I smile when you say that because that’s so important to me. I think it is very important to look at life as the glass half-full and to have a passion and to have an energy and to look at things, like what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong. And understand that it’s hard work, and sometimes life’s not fair, but rather on focusing on that, make life a little more fair. I have always loved what I do. I love what I do today. I love what I did with my firm. It’s an energy that I think transcends to other people, and I think it’s also very important that there’s a consciousness of responsibility to family. We have two children. We have a son and a daughter. I mentioned my daughter’s an anesthesiologist. Our son is a professor of political science at [the University of] St Andrews in Scotland. We have three grandchildren. I think, you know, that how you live your day, every day, will help the next generation determine how they will live their day, every day. So, if they see respect, if they see joy, if they see when you have difficulties, well how do you deal with that? Do you take it one step at a time? And some things are more difficult than others. Hopefully, you have a really strong support system. Call on that support system. Don’t try and do everything yourself. Those things are really keys to not only being successful, but being happy. HH: And if you could give your former self some advice, what would you say? CM: I’d probably surprise you with this answer. If I look back, I think that I’ve learned from every- Please see Murer, 13

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