Lynn Baran McCarthy is a local fundraiser extraordinaire

| July 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

The granddaughter of Croatian immigrants, Lynn Baran McCarthy grew up in Palos Verdes, but she has lived in the Larchmont area for the past 25 years with her husband Ted (Theodore) Leary, Jr.

McCarthy attended USC and then transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design. She has a degree in interior architecture. Coming back to the West Coast after school, she worked for an architect in Palos Verdes before switching to working at a commercial real estate firm.

Though McCarthy took a four-year hiatus from work after her daughter, Veronica, was born, she soon was back in the game buying and leasing with various companies, including Grubb & Ellis, First Interstate Bank and CBRE.

Veronica entered Marlborough School in the 7th grade, close to the time McCarthy and Leary were married. (It’s her second marriage.) Feeling ready for a change in career, McCarthy was pleased to learn from Veronica’s godfather, who was on Marlborough’s board of trustees, that the school needed to build up its alumnae office. She became the associate director of alumnae relations at Marlborough.

During the 16 years that McCarthy worked at Marlborough, she was promoted many times. When she retired two years ago, she held the title of director of advancement.

McCarthy seems to have lived up to that title. She was involved in three major school fundraising projects during her time at Marlborough.

Money from the Leadership and Learning Project was put toward taking down the library and arts building that was on the corner of Third Street and Rossmore Avenue so that builders could create two levels of underground parking, new administrative offices, an arts area and an active resource center with additional offices and creative space.

The Rise and Rally project focused on renovating Caswell Hall, and the Arden Project enabled the school to build a new soccer field and an aquatics center and to increase available parking.
“I loved making money for the school,” said McCarthy when we spoke. She helped the institution raise more than $12 million. But McCarthy also found great value in the relationships she made over her years there. She developed deep friendships and said she gained an “appreciation of what these women are doing or will do.”

Lynn McCarthy seems to be drawn to helping schools thrive. Though neither Veronica, nor this fundraiser extraordinaire’s stepdaughter, Kathryn Leary, went to St. James’ School, the mom of two served on the St. James’ Episcopal School board for four years raising money and supporting the head of school, the employees, parents and students. She has been a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church for 25 years.

The civic-minded woman has also been involved with the Junior League of Los Angeles. She has co-chaired the group’s Legacy Leadership Circle for the past three years. “I think it’s important for people to give back,” she said.

Retired from Marlborough, McCarthy now works as an executive assistant for a family office in the Hancock Park neighborhood. When she’s not working, you might find her walking the neighborhood she so loves with her 3-year-old golden retriever, Theo. She and Ted enjoy frequenting local restaurants — especially Angelini on Saturday nights. She also loves to make use of the pool at their historic apartment building, which is now a condo.

If she could go back in time, she would have got into swimming or volleyball as a sport. Her love of sports wasn’t encouraged when she was growing up. But McCarthy doesn’t look backward. She moves forward. “I’m learning to golf now. You can golf forever,” she said.

What else is on the list of things to do? “I want to go to the Super Bowl,” McCarthy said. She’s also determined to get through the books on her bedside table and to learn the art of calligraphy. Looking at the things she’s accomplished already, there seems to be little doubt that her most recent list of things to learn and do will soon be completed.

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Category: People

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