Ed Miniat, Inc.Share your story
“I think it is so important for students to approach their education with an open mind. When you think you are going into one field, there may be an aspect of something else that intrigues you.”
There is very little Shawna Lecuyer will allow to stand in the way of any goal she plans to achieve. After sixteen years with Ed Miniat, Inc., a meat processing conglomerate in South Holland, she is executive vice president for Human Resources and Litigation – and getting to that position has required a carefully planned combination of education and experience that provided a ladder to her success. Completing her bachelor’s degree at RMU was an important rung as she advanced in her career.
“I knew that Robert Morris had a reputation for a business program that catered to the working adult,” she explained. “RMU understood that I didn’t want to go to school and graduate ten years later. The location of the campus and the convenience was an easy fit, and the educational experience – well, RMU did a phenomenal job.”
Shawna’s expectations for a program that would bring real business experiences into the classroom were easily met. “I was putting concepts from my human resources classes into practice every day at work,” she continued. “When people teach what they are doing, it makes all the difference.”
Another priority for Shawna was a wholistic approach to education. “You can’t be siloed in business and it is the same for education,” she said. She feels the broader the program with more exposure to different areas of business, the better you can develop an understanding of how a corporation should operate. A number her courses also exposed her to the cultural and social side of Chicago that she rarely had time for on her own. “It was such a welcome reprieve – I’d find myself with a real reason to go to the Art Institute and thoroughly enjoying doing research for a class.”
Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, the President of Miniat saw that she was able to take on more and more responsibility. “I was becoming more involved in coordinating insurance policies and contracts that included a certain aspect of risk management,” she explained. Miniat encouraged her to go even further in her education. “I wanted more ownership of what I was doing and completed a master’s in juris prudence.”
In addition to her duties as vice president, she is chair for the company’s charitable efforts for Juvenile Diabetes Research and an avid golfer. Shawna also oversees a growing internship program at Miniat. She serves as a mentor to many of them and encourages them to educate and help one another as they learn on the job. Miniat plans to develop the internship program as part of a corporate succession plan, looking to successful interns as possible new hires.
“I think it is so important for students to approach their education with an open mind. When you think you are going into one field, there may be an aspect of something else that intrigues you. I go back to that wholistic approach. It is so critical that you have a broad perspective and flexibility – you can’t expect employers to train you – taste everything even if you don’t plan to use it.”
It is obvious that Shawna found a career and a college that match her enthusiasm, dedication and determination to succeed. She’s proud of Miniat and the more than 500 employees who help make it successful. “They’re good people,” she says. “I really enjoy what I do.”