We are so excited to introduce our new Operations Director, Megan Milar! Megan brings twenty years of entrepreneurial business experience focused in operations and project management. She enjoys collaborating across teams to build efficiencies and systems that work well within an entrepreneurial culture. She naturally takes a big vision and breaks it down into achievable steps with appropriate action items while continually strengthening the springboard for sustainable growth. Glad to have you on the team, Megan!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally from Ironton, a small river town in the southern point of Ohio. It was there that I met my soulmate at church youth group at the age of nine. After completing a B.S. in Biology from Marshall University, I moved to Cincinnati to marry my soulmate and have been on an amazing life journey together ever since. Initially, I worked at P&G as a consumer researcher, then left to complete the Executive MBA from Xavier University. For the past 16 years, I have been an entrepreneur gaining expertise in business operations management. Over the past few years, I have been active in the Social Enterprise space, including being a member of the local board for the Social Enterprise Alliance. I have a huge heart for children, marginalized people, and God. I have three sons and one daughter between the ages of 6 and 11 years old. We are an adventurous family that loves to play, travel and serve.
Something interesting people might not know about you?
I’m passionate about experiencing different cultures and exposing my kids to them, too! I’ve traveled to 19 countries, hosted many cultural exchange participants, served on the sister city Board for Kharkiv, Ukraine, and lived in India for 3 years.
So, you jumped into The Garage Group. What made you decide to join us?
The people. I love working alongside a team of humble people that are passionate about what they do and hold a high standard for delivering with excellence. After working as a contractor for a few months, I could see opportunities to implement systems to enable The Garage Group to succeed in their fast growth plan. I was honored when the offer came to join the team on a more permanent basis, which was great timing as my youngest was fully settled into Kindergarten.
What does an “entrepreneurial approach to research and innovation” mean to you?
It means to fail fast, continually learn and improve, be scrappy to get greatness done quickly with limited resources, ideate without boundaries, and to be bold. It’s best done in a culture of collaboration, transparency, and with a humble heart. It’s often about getting into the shoes of the end user or consumer by embracing technology to get relevant feedback in a short time period to drive the best products/services forward.
What trends do you see in marketing, branding, or innovation at large companies that lend well to a more entrepreneurial approach?
Big companies have been embracing the “intrapreneurial” mindset over the past few years, yet they don’t always have the right tools in their belt or understand how to use them. It’s exciting to see them prioritize consumer data and user experience, often moving into the field to see how others are innovating or partnering with experts in the space, and using those learnings to enable strategic decisions.
What’s inspiring you right now?
Social Enterprise – business for the purpose of creating positive social impact. My personal mission is to improve people’s lives, and I love seeing businesses embrace this concept at a deeper level. My prayer is that someday, humanity will become the heart of capitalism.
What is your spirit animal?
Elephants. I relate to them because they represent opposites. They are graceful, yet powerful. They are protectors, yet playful. They represent so many traits I value: maternal, cooperative, mental keenness, devotion and endurance.
What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I have a firm belief that Red Bull is a healthy drink that should be consumed daily. I first tried the drink when my husband and I met some locals while traveling in Austria before it was even in the US market. Such a great memory! Once it arrived in the US, I was elated. While I was pregnant, I researched each ingredient to understand its effects. At the time, I owned 4 GNC stores, so I was deeply entrenched in nutrition. I “pitched” the idea that I should still consume one can a day to my doc, and she agreed! (Just in case you are wondering–no, my kids are not hyper.) 🙂
What’s your favorite innovation that’s come out in the past year?
I have a lot of compassion for marginalized people around the world, so my heart beats a little faster when innovation is used to make life easier for those in need. One of the coolest products I heard about last year was an edible drone. It’s featured in this article along with other products making a social impact.
Tell me two truths and a lie about yourself.
I have deep Irish roots.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is on my bucket list.
Paris is in my top five favorite places to visit.