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30 Women to Watch 2024

Aimee J. Daily, PhD | 30 Women to Watch 2024

30 Women to Watch 2024
Aimee J. Daily | Photographed by Beka Price Photography

President & CEO | Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

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Every step of Aimee J. Daily’s career has been guided by a passion for transformation and a relentless commitment to making a difference in health care. Before joining Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), she served as the SVP and chief transformation officer at Memorial Health in central Illinois. She earned a PhD in organization development from Benedictine University and engaged with professional associations like the Association of Talent Development, the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Since assuming the role of CEO at CMN Hospitals, Aimee has embarked on a 100-day listening and learning tour across the country, meeting with team members and stakeholders to gain insights and chart a course for the organization’s future. She is determined to drive meaningful change in the challenges facing children’s health today, from rising rates of pre-term births to mental health disorders.

What is an accomplishment you’re very proud of?

One significant milestone that I’m particularly proud of is my ability to navigate the complexities of work-life integration while pursuing my PhD. Through planning and prioritization, I set clear goals to ensure that I could complete my studies before my children reached high school. This required immense dedication and discipline as I balanced the demands of academia with the responsibilities of motherhood and leadership. This accomplishment symbolizes my resilience and determination and serves as a testament to the importance of self-awareness and open dialogue in managing the inherent tensions between professional and personal life. By embracing the concept of integration rather than perfection, I’ve learned to thrive amidst the ebbs and flows of life, both personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to young women looking to succeed in your field?

The advice I would offer is rooted in the fundamental principle of focusing on excelling in your current role. This principle, if adopted universally, has the power to enhance organizational effectiveness and drive individual success. Too often, individuals become fixated on advancing to the next job or securing the next promotion, neglecting to prioritize the development of essential skills and the achievement of tangible outcomes in their current role. I’ve observed that those who adopt this career-building mentality often fall into the trap of limiting their own potential. Instead, I encourage aspiring professionals to concentrate on mastering their current responsibilities and delivering exceptional results. I advocate for viewing one’s career not as a ladder to climb linearly but as a jungle gym, where each experience, challenge and opportunity contributes to personal growth and development.

Mekenna is the editor of Utah Business magazine and a graduate of the print journalism program at Utah State University. She has written about business, music and culture for publications like Business Insider, Time Out, SLUG Magazine, Visit Salt Lake and the Standard-Examiner. She loves hiking, thrifting, reading and going on camping trips with her partner in their 1986 Land Cruiser.