Having graduated from law school in the early ’70s, she was faced with what has been historically referred to as the “glass ceiling.” This meant, of course, positions on boards and upper echelon employment opportunities in the business world weren’t then open to women in general, and Italian-American women in particular. Mary Ann has not only demonstrated a career of climbing the ladder of success and shattering that glass ceiling but also assisting and opening the way for other women and folks from our community to have similar opportunities. In recognition of her efforts, the ABA Section of Business Law honored Mary Ann with its prestigious Glass Cutter Award.
Mary Ann is recognized in the business world and legal profession as a seasoned strategist, and is believed to be the first female general counsel of a Fortune 500 company back in 1979 when the board of directors of CCH Inc. elected her to that position, as well as vice president. Since then she has served as general counsel, board member, officer and participant of the executive committees of various international Fortune 500 corporations, including Wolters Kluwer U.S., the survivor of CCH (1971-1995). She also worked as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Sundstrand Corp., a global supplier of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products; as senior vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer for IMC Global Inc., a leader in agricultural fertilizers and animal feed, oil and gas, salt and specialty chemicals, and sulfur; and as a consultant with the Mosaic Co., a leading producer and marketer of nitrogen, phosphate and potash crop nutrients for the ag market. In 2006, she joined her present company, Corn Products International Inc., as vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. Corn Products International is a leading provider of ag-based ingredients to 70 countries and 60 industries, including food, beverage, animal feed, health, pharmaceuticals, brewing, paper and textiles. Responsibilities for these major international corporations are no small job but the talented and accomplished Hynes is up for the task.
Hynes received her undergraduate degree from Loyola University and her juris doctorate and L.L.M. from the John Marshall Law School, where she presently serves as a member of its board of trustees, chairman of its Audit/Budget Committee, and chairman of its foundation board. She received an executive M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Business in 1993. Characteristically, Mary Ann gives back to the community, serving on the board of the Women’s Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois; a member of the board of the Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago; director of the eleemosynary Dr. Scholl Foundation; and member of the Board of the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce. Her professional associations read as a ‘what’s what’ in the business world, including the Conference Board, Economic Club of Chicago, Executives’ Club of Chicago, Commercial Club of Chicago and Chicago Network, to mention a few.
Hynes is very active in the Italian legal community. As a leader and role model in the Justinian Society of Lawyers she is always helping female lawyers of Italian ancestry as a mentor, friend and supporter.
Mary Ann has been married for 41 years to attorney Jim Hynes, and they reside in Niles. They are the parents of Christina Hynes Kline and Nick, also an attorney, who, like his parents, is a JMLS graduate.