Molly Hyland honored by Stl Business Journal, highlights Mosaic

Molly Hyland works behind the scenes to foster St. Louis’ image and improve its future.

Hyland, 53, is senior vice president and director of community and government relations for Commerce Bank, where she leads a team that researches community needs and develops recommendations for Commerce’s charitable contributions and community investments. 

Key to that is her work with the St. Louis Mosaic Project, whose goal is to make St. Louis the fastest-growing metro for foreign born workers by 2020 by adding 25,000 of those workers, from low- to high-skilled, between 2016 and 2025.

“We were among the fastest growing for immigrants in 2017, with about 4,000 workers added,” Hyland said. “Recently our numbers are down because the numbers of those workers has been limited.”

Hyland also works closely with Betsy Cohen, Mosaic’s executive director, to combat what is called “brain waste” — foreign workers who come to the U.S. but have to take lesser skilled jobs because they are not credentialed here. “For example,” Hyland said, “a doctor in his or her previous country but not in the U.S. We can help them get closer to that.”

Hyland also serves on the public policy committee for the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

You might say Hyland comes by her St. Louis boosterism genetically. Her father, the late Robert Hyland, did much of the same from his perch atop KMOX, which he led for many years. 

She grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Villa Duchesne High School in 1983 and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, in 1987.

She started her career at Fleishman-Hillard, where she worked with local clients and media for more than five years before taking 10 years off to raise her family, while still freelancing and doing special events. Then she spent two years at KMOX doing part-time editing and reporting.

Hyland was recruited to Commerce in 2007 to do government relations work after the financial crisis. She had worked on Capitol Hill in the office of U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth and knew the lay of the land.

Who or what is your inspiration? My father. He taught me to support our community and not to dwell on my mistakes.

How do you inspire others? I tell people all the time at Commerce: Don’t make change just for the sake of change. But don’t continue to do things the same way just because they have always done it that way.


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