The Optimist Daily welcomes Summers McKay as its new CEO

The Optimist Daily welcomes Summers McKay as its new CEO
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A positive-news media production and publishing organization, The Optimist Daily is a perfect fit for McKay, a genuinely upbeat person who remarkably has taken on her new role as CEO at the same time she’s taken on another role of a lifetime: first-time motherhood.

The UC Berkeley (BA) and UCLA (MBA) educated McKay had been building successful “do-good do-well” businesses for 20 years and was a consultant with The Optimist Daily when she was invited last year to take the leadership reins on the online publication.

“In a twist of fate, I discovered my surprise pregnancy just as I began this exciting career opportunity,” McKay wrote in a moving essay about her experience, which ran in October in The Optimist Daily.

“My husband and I had been told by our doctor that we could not conceive without expensive fertility treatments,” she wrote. “We had accepted that having our own child wasn’t our path. We are full-time parents to two children from his previous relationship and while I was sad not to be able to have a baby, I loved being a parent to our two brilliant and powerful teenagers. I was happy with my family and ready to conquer the world. I took on a consulting opportunity at The Optimist Daily (TOD) and threw myself into the project. Three months later, I learned I was expecting a child and promptly underwent an emergency appendectomy, all to celebrate the New Year.”

Ultimately, her beautiful daughter, Brennan, was born last year into the lap of her momma’s work, and they’re making it work! With the support you’d expect from the staff of a positive publication like The Optimist Daily, and with her own natural, seemingly boundless enthusiasm and energy, McKay – a marathoner, Kilimanjaro climber and Olympic-distance triathlete – has jumped into her role with both feet, planning big things for the future of the popular publication.

A reader-funded project, TOD exists in a simple online format, without pop-up ads, clickbait or any other e-zine annoyances. It’s free for most subscribers; from its perch in upbeat, influential Santa Barbara, it exists through the generosity of readers who are willing and able to support it.

“People who become financial backers of this service (we call them Emissaries) make a very affordable monthly payment – equivalent to one monthly drink at a coffee shop,” it states on “We are funded ONLY by our readers – not advertisers; we don’t track you and sell your data, like most other websites, nor are there annoying, spammy ads and deceptive headlines that try and trick you into clicking.”

Incubated by the nonprofit World Business Academy, The Optimist Daily has been delivering over 50 positive, solution-based news stories each week to an avid audience of over 20,000 daily email subscribers, with the mission “to accelerate the shift in human consciousness by catalyzing 100 million people to start each day with a positive solutions mindset.” 

Impact Investor Rinaldo Brutoco (UCLA LAW) has shepherded the business from an offline magazine to an online publication over the past three years.

“The Optimist Daily is a burgeoning business in a world of opportunity for positive change,” Brutoco said. “We recognize that in order to usher in a good next chapter for humanity, we must invest in a positive perspective on solutions for the biggest problems facing our world. Summers is a passionate leader, committed to the business’ mission. Bringing her in to lead our global team to effect worldwide positive change is extremely exciting.”

In addition to Brutoco, The Optimist Daily has some serious support, by the likes of noted author Deepak Chopra, who wrote a testimonial: “Everyone should start their day thinking about at least one positive, solutions-oriented fact. I urge you to join The Optimist Daily today.”

Based on her experience, McKay sees The Optimist Daily as a growth project with great promise. “It’s a truly scalable and impactful business,” she said. “With marketing development and continued commitment, it will continue to succeed, as more and more readers flock to it. A chance to be more optimistic at the start of each day is what the vast majority of us seek – and this is its time.”

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