Dream Big: Q&A with LynchMykins CEO Anna Lynch

This Women’s History Month, we spoke to LynchMykins CEO Anna Lynch, whom we sought for engineering expertise on some of our projects, including Duke University Medical Sciences Research Building III, 203 Carrboro Development, Durham Station Transit Center Improvements, Cherry Hospital, and Broughton Hospital. We’re proud to be able to partner with women-led firms on our projects.

Lynch describes the experience of growing her business as a CEO and co-founder of LynchMykins. Read more about how Lynch is inspiring women across the AEC industry.

 

What were some challenges you faced at the start of Lynch Mykins?

Our story is a little bit different. We didn’t start the company from scratch. We actually acquired a company that had been around since 1974, called Stroud Pence. I had worked for Stroud Pence since I was hired by Dave Mykins, fresh out of college.

Fast forward to 2017 and we acquired the company that we worked for. The acquisition happened pretty fast. So, it felt like I got an MBA from the “School of Life” in about three months! So, that was a challenge.

The company was a very traditional engineering firm with a deep history. My vision for it was a complete refresh—a pivot to a business model that would focus on people, client relationships, and the powerful soft skills we know are critical to our future success.

How did you overcome these challenges?

I leaned on expert mentors during the acquisition and in the months following. I had incredible advisors, mentors, and friends who owned businesses that allowed me to call on them anytime with questions or requests for advice.

It was a challenge to get some of the Stroud Pence folks on board with my vision out of the gate. Some people didn’t want or understand it. And, some people took some time to embrace it. In the long run, it all worked out and Lynch Mykins delivers on this vision and the brand promises I made back then, today. It took commitment, perseverance, and a lot of communication and training. It worked and I’m so glad I did it.

What brings you the most excitement or joy about your work or being the CEO of LynchMykins?

Growing the people. There’s nothing that excites me more. Nothing is more fulfilling than to help people grow, learn, and become the best version of themselves. To see the transformation in a young engineer after years of being part of the Lynch Mykins family means the world to me. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

In fact, we have a young engineer who started working with us over three years ago. She told me recently that if her younger self had met herself today, she wouldn’t even recognize the confident, intelligent engineering leader she has become. That’s why I do this. That’s it!

What advice would you give to other women who are looking to start their own business?

Follow your gut. Women have good instincts. Trust in them. If others doubt your ideas or abilities, go with your intuition and stay centered. Dream big and take action towards your dreams. If you fall, get up and try again a different way. And, most importantly, take care of your total health! If you don’t, no one will.