NLPeople: Mary Lynn Hickey, senior vice president of administration
Mary Lynn Hickey
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
This is part of a series that introduces you to the people of NLP.
1. Can you tell us a little about your background and what brought you to NLP?
As a nonprofit administrator for over 20 years, I have always gravitated toward career opportunities with mission-driven organizations. When I saw the job posting for a program administrator at NLP back in the fall of 2011, I knew this would be a truly unique opportunity to be part of what was then a very small nonprofit but one with such an impressively ambitious mission.
2. You were one of NLP founder Alan Miller’s first hires. What has it been like to be with NLP through its rapid growth and evolution?
Bearing witness to the stunning trajectory of Alan’s bold vision, which has evolved perhaps beyond our imagination way back when, has me feeling more than a little bit awestruck. When I started working at NLP, Checkology®, the virtual platform that allowed NLP to grow to scale was still in the planning stage, and we had classroom programs in Chicago, New York City and DC. Eleven years later, NLP is now reaching an audience across all 50 states and over 100 countries!
3. Since joining NLP, what has been your most satisfying or surprising experience?
It’s hard to pick a single moment because there have been so many celebratory milestones over the years that we can all be very proud of. Looking back though, I would say that being able to contribute so substantially in earlier years when there were so few of us, and we were all working so hard in service to a such a timely and critical mission was an experience that I was so honored to have been a part of. It is enormously satisfying to look back and appreciate NLP’s larger and ever-growing audience who value our mission and work as much as we always did. I well know what a rare and treasured opportunity I’ve had to work here.
4. What news literacy tip, tool or guidance do you most often use?
I value and use them all! I do love and most often the geolocation tool. Reverse image search is a good one too.
5. Aside from fighting for facts, what else are you passionate about?
I have three sons who are my heart and of whom I am enormously proud. Their more conventionally defined successes aside, they have grown up to be thoughtful and kind young men whose company I enjoy beyond measure. I’m also passionate about the healing arts and am dedicated to making more space these days for my Reiki practice.
6. Are you on team dog, team cat, team wombat?
Hard stop for team dog! Ahh, my fourth “son” is Luke! He almost got washed away in the hurricanes in Puerto Rico back in 2017 but due to his amazing chi, he was instead rescued and sent up north where he eventually ended up at the local shelter in Loudoun County, Virginia. I met him the very morning he had been released from his medical hold and committed on the spot to take him home with me. He was my first, my last and likely my only pet ever because, well, he is irreplaceable!
7. What one item do you always have in your fridge?
Organic creamer for my morning tea. At the start every day, I enjoy a large mug of tea in the early morning stillness before all the noise and busyness of my day.