Celebrating our CEO’s personal achievements during Women’s History Month

Originally Posted on Our Blog

Women’s History Month is recognized an international celebration of the contributions women have made to the events in history as well as contemporary society.

As we conclude this month-long celebration, Millennium Communications would be remiss if we didn’t recognize a woman who embodies the very spirit and meaning of achievement, our co-founder and current CEO, Theresa Macri. The following is a short excerpt of her life journey, which we hope will inspire all that read it!

As Theresa was finishing high school, she was encouraged by her teachers to consider a secretarial job path, as opposed to attending college. Being a consistent above average student, this insinuation that she was not “college capable” struck a sour note and in turn fueled her determination to prove her teachers wrong. Not only did she prepare for and ultimately score highly on her SAT’s, but she also received the prestigious and difficult to achieve, Regents Diploma and Regents Scholarship.

While at SUNY Oneonta College she studied Physics and quickly realized she had a passion for engineering. It was then that she requested admittance to their highly competitive “3/2 program”, a five-year course of study that would help her simultaneously achieve not one but two college degrees. Theresa was indeed accepted, and of note during her tenure, the program had a total of 36 students — 35 males and, Theresa. After her five years of college, she graduated with dual degrees; a B.S. in Physics from her three years at Oneonta, as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from her two years at Clarkson University.

With college sucessfully behind her, she entered the workforce in 1983 as a Software Engineer, working at two of Long Island’s more reputable Aerospace/Defense companies. At each, Theresa found herself as one of the only women in a male dominated workforce. As defense spending began to dry up during the latter part of the decade she saw the writing on the wall and enlisted a technical recruiter to help her find a new job. That company, after interviewing her for several opportunities, decided to hire her — as a recruiter based upon her technical engineering experience. Once again Theresa found herself as the only woman in her sales office, and a clear monority in yet another male-dominated industry.

A few years into that position, she made a change and took on one of the most challenging assignments — motherhood! For the next four years she worked random part time jobs to help the family financially while she raised her son, Max. This extra income was needed while her husband, Patrick, worked as a partner in a fledging Advertising start up. Three years later, all was going well for the family, when they learned they would be expecting their second child. What they didn’t realize is that this next chapter of life would also come with an unexpected development; Patrick wanted to start a new company based upon an emerging “new media” concept. Doing this meant he would have to leave his current agency and more concerningly, leave the young family of four without predictable future income. Together they weighed up the challenges and decided to follow through on Patrick’s vision. Together they co-founded Millennium Communications, with Patrick working the day to day to establish the company, and Theresa serving as CFO — while also raising their two young children.

As with any new company money was tight, the family now faced an additional pressure — securing family healthcare coverage. And so Theresa decided, while still working part time as Millennium’s CFO, to secure a full-time position to help support the family, . This move also required enrolling the children in daycare programs, a decision that weighed heavily on her heart. Nevertheless, it was the only solution that made sense, and so she began her search to secure employment.

Her job search efforts paid off as she was hired by Hofstra University two months after the birth of her daughter, Aila. For the next six years, Theresa flourished in her role as Manager of End-User Computing. The family now had healthcare coverage, her salary and enough revenue generated by Millennium to ease many of the young family’s worries.

As 1999 began, once again Patrick had another idea. Millennium was finally gaining momentum and as such, he asked Theresa to leave her position at Hofstra and come onboard full-time as CFO and the head of Account Services. Although not classically trained in finance, and without a deep knowledge of the advertising industry, Theresa made the jump to become a full-time member of the Millennium team.

Over the course of the next 20 years, Theresa helped make Millennium the company we are today. Under her financial leadership the company survived several recessionary periods when many similar sized companies had succumbed to external economic pressures. In addition, under her Account Services team leadership, the company grew their client base with a Who’s Who of nationally and internationally known ‘blue-chip’ companies.

In December of 2019 just before the pandemic hit New York, Millennium reorganized its top leadership and ownership status. That saw Theresa become majority owner of Millennium, assuming the CEO role, while still retaining her CFO responsibilities. This change of corporate ownership afforded the company “Woman-owned business status”, which allowed them to join the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the gold standard for woman-owned businesses in the U.S.

Over the last 3 years while many companies had experienced setbacks due to Covid-related issues, under Theresa’s guidance, Millennium didn’t miss a beat. In fact, the company posted the two most successful years in their 29-year history, with increases in both annualized billings and as well as profitability.

While we at Millennium are all very proud of Theresa’s accomplishments as cited, that was not the full intent in sharing her story. The goal was to inspire all woman to realize that gender inequality, as well as societal perceptions of women ascending to leadership roles within the workplace, can be overcome. For Theresa, her belief in herself fueled her growth, allowing her to overcome many challenges in her personal as well as professional life journey.