Founder and President of Alison Victoria Interiors with offices in Chicago and Las Vegas, Alison Victoria is known for creating glamorous, modern interiors with a client list that includes high-end boutiques, resorts and private residences. AS a culmination of her design vision, Alison introduced the Alison Victoria Collection, a line of luxury furniture for the home. She went on to host Kitchen Crashers on HGTV and DIY Network, becoming the first female lead in the popular Crashers franchise. Her new show, Windy City Flip , follows Alison in her role as developer and designer, renovating properties in her hometown of Chicago. The show is set to air in 2017 on HGTV.
Micae Brown is the host of WVON 1690AM’s The Urban Business Roundtable, creator and host of The Micae Brown Report, and philanthropist. Micae’s media career began at the Chicago Sun-Times where she served as the National Business Development Manager, specializing in constructing advertising strategies for clients including Comcast, Macy’s and the Chicago White Sox. While holding this position, she conceptualized and hosted the “Minority Report” video series with the Chicago Sun-Times to showcase the city’s vibrant community of entrepreneurs and professionals of color. Micae conducted interviews with acclaimed guests as diverse as Chicago’s former Treasurer Stephanie Neely, advertising executive Sherman Wright, and NFL star Israel Idonije.
Special Guest Speakers
Her additional interests include: public health, policy, big data, machine learning, and predictive modeling in health information technology. Dr. Rao has published several articles on neurological disease and public health outcomes, and served as an Advisor for the American Geriatrics Society and The American Academy of Neurology.
In addition to being a seasoned expert in PR and Marketing Strategy, she is also a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Meditation Guide, Reiki Energy Healer and Intuitive Guide. Sydney is also a Marketing Advisor to the hottest travel startup on the scene, SkyHi, which offers a subscription flight platform for the masses.
Sydney is an avid adventurer who can be found traveling between exotic retreats she hosts around the world throughout the year while having her home base in Ubud, Bali.
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More Speakers + Coaches!
With an extensive background in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and Pilates, she is known for her contagious energy and for making women both sweat and laugh alike in class. She strives to create an environment where women can let go of every day stresses–a place where they can take pleasure in themselves, the beauty of fitness, and feel strong and sexy.
When not dancing, Mel also works as a producer for A Drink With, DAYBREAKER and as the Director of Booking for Chicago Ideas, curating stage programming, speakers and community activations for the world’s largest accessible ideas festival. She is inspired most by kindness, people watching, belly laughs, early mornings, late nights, loud music, cheat days and her mother — she’s brilliant.
In 2002 Noeleen left TV news and began to focus on corporate communications and coaching. Three years later, she founded McGrath Comm. Noeleen tailors media training, spokesperson coaching and presentation skills training programs to fit an individual’s needs and style. She has coached people from a variety of backgrounds: corporate executives, professional athletes, attorneys, authors, doctors, sales executives, politicians, research scientists, fitness experts, school officials and mining industry spokespeople.
Specialties: Media Training, Presentation Skills Coaching, Spokesperson Training, Crisis Communications, Message Development.
What sets me apart from many media trainers or presentation skills coaches is my ability to quickly assess a person’s strengths and teach them how to make the most of them.
By the time I’m done working with someone, they’ll not only have new skills, but the confidence to use them.
Luxury Garage Sale
Kellogg School of Management
investing wealth expert, writer, public speaker and TV personality.
Charisse is the creator of the Charisse Says platform, where she
actively blogs and has also produced the Charisse Says Show and
Charisse Says Online Academy, where she makes investing simple,
easy, and fun. Charisse has also been featured as a financial expert
on FOX News and Experian. Charisse is a financial contributor to the
Huffington Post and American Express OPEN Forum. She has
pursued a life of purpose by investing in financial markets, teaching,
building businesses, and stepping out on faith.
In addition to her work on Charisse Says, Charisse is currently a
Partner and Head of the Chicago office at Next Street Financial,
which provides financial and strategic advice to small businesses
and the organizations that support them.
Charisse is also a General Partner for the Bulldog Innovation Group,
a venture fund focused on Yale alums investing in entrepreneurs
with a Yale affiliation.
Prior to launching the Charisse Says platform, Charisse was
Founder and CEO of www.smarteys.com, a web-app that helped
college grads manage their finances. Prior to building Smarteys,
Charisse was a Vice President at JPMorgan Asset Management in
New York City. She conducted stock market research as a
generalist, and her research covered 18% of the $10billion
JPMorgan Mid Cap Value Fund.
Charisse is also a graduate of Yale University and the University of
Chicago Booth School of Business. She loves building relationships,
traveling, sports, and exploring the world through international
cuisine. Charisse resides in Hyde Park with her husband.
Vunzai is innovative teacher and experienced business consultant who thinks outside conventional text. Her business, professional, and personal mission is
As a pioneer in content strategy, Ms. Logan works alongside her clients to
generate leads, increase revenue and reach the right people. As experts in blog writing, website content, video marketing, branding, e-newsletters and beyond, Yakkety Yak takes the mystery out of marketing in the digital age.
Ms. Logan has a proven track record in business, and unparalleled creative drive—a combination that has continued to drive results for her clients. An avid supporter of women in business, philanthropy and startup organizations, she believes in making a difference, a value that is built into the culture of Yakkety Yak.
Ms. Logan is a native Chicagoan, and a most-of- the-time fan of the Chicago Bears. She has a master’s of science in journalism from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in creative writing
from University of Tennessee.
With her knowledge of the fashion marketplace, Corri has appeared on Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, WCIU’s “You and Me This Morning”, and starred in her own reality series on VH1 “House of Consignment,” which followed her every day life as an entrepreneur. Corri has also worked with a number of brands including Coach, Farfetch, Eileen Fisher, Ted Baker and Ulta as a Brand Ambassador, Event Host, and Spokesperson.
Most recently Corri was inspired by the birth of her daughter Zelda to launch a second site, Glitter and Bubbles. The modern-day Moms guide targets those looking for inspiration through fashion, décor, and food. With the launch of Glitter and Bubbles, Corri also introduced the Mom’s Crew, an invite-only club created exclusively for the non-traditional moms of Chicago who are always on the search for unexpected events and outings to do with their babes. In addition, Glitter and Bubbles features exclusive interview profiles with from coveted Mom’s such as Taylor Sterling from Glitter Guide, Molly Mesnick of The Bachelor, and Jen Garcia of The Kardashians, among others.
Corri’s keen business sense and smart strategies have made her the true pioneer of luxury consignment and a popular Mommy Blogger that is sought after by many. Corri’s coveted and emerging style, in addition to her large outreach, continues to make her a major influencer in business, fashion and motherhood!
Dr. Judith Wright
Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer
Wright Graduate University
multiple books including Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living, There Must Be More Than This, The One Decision, The Soft Addiction Solution, and The Heart of the Fight.
A pioneer in the field of human development, Dr. Wright first rose to national prominence by developing innovative education and early childhood development programs for individuals with developmental disabilities and demonstration programs for college students with
disabilities. These experiences fueled her passion for developing human potential as she then
applied the profound insights she discovered to the general population, spurring people from
all walks of life to significant success in personal transformation and leadership development.
A media favorite, sought‐after speaker, respected leader, bestselling author, coach, educator,
and corporate consultant, Judith’s work has been covered in over 1,000 media appearances, including ABC’s 20/20, Oprah, Good Morning America, the Today show, radio and television shows around the country, and magazines and newspapers around the world.
Dr. Judith Wright is the founder of the Society of Femininity in Action, providing revolutionary leadership training for women. She is also one of the country’s foremost experts on transformational leadership, having founded the Transformational Leadership Symposium, with
convenes experts from around the nation to recognize cutting edge transformational leaders
including Nobel laureate and congressional medal of honor winner, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, and
was named Visionary of the Year in 2016 by the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Chicago Chapter.
Director of Programming
Growing up in Chicagoland, Shelly would listen to B96 while driving to New Trier High School. She later graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a degree in broadcasting. It is at Northwestern where she discovered her passion for entertainment news being head of the Arts and Entertainment division of Northwestern’s television station. She started as a B96 promotions intern her sophomore year of college and worked her way up to the morning show. During her last eleven years as an entertainment reporter at B96, she has met celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to Michael Jordan, Justin Bieber to Jennifer Lopez. Shelly has also contributed entertainment scoops to ABC’s Windy City Live, WCIU, FOX, CBS,TMZ and more.
When Shelly isn’t watching one of her favorite reality tv shows, you can find her playing beach volleyball or doing yoga. She’s very passionate about living a healthy lifestyle as evidenced by her blog Healthy With Shelly. Learn more about Shelly by heading to her website, ShowbizShelly.com!
MATH Venture Partners
The experience was euphoric, and for me it was less about that product I pitched, but more about the process. I became obsessed with trying to figure out how to growth hack products, replicating that “Shark Tank Effect.” That led me to starting Kaeyos, Inc, a product development and viral marketing agency. My products have garnered explosive sales and features on TV shows and media outlets from Project Runway and the Steve Harvey Show to Complex and TMZ.
Steve Cozart Gorgeous Photography
grandmother at a very young age. She taught him the love of form, beauty & light and was very instrumental in helping him find the uniqueness in people. Steve has always been attracted to “lifestyle” photography – the type of work that is less posed, more relaxed and feels “truthful”. Steve believes that in creating a space of ease and familiarity where his clients find or rediscover that child-like notion that anything is
possible, anyone can learn to enjoy being in front of the camera. Regarding his lifelong quest of helping those who may be camera shy or unsure of how to feel confident and look great in photos, Steve says, “My work teaches anyone how to be thrilled to be photographed in any of life’s
situations. There’s something powerful about owning even a single photograph of yourself that you absolutely love!
Throughout her career, Colleen has worked for major marketing organizations and leading brands in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
She began her career with Frankel, where she served as Executive Creative Director. She also ran a thriving business unit and simultaneously carried executive responsibility for Human Resources and Employee Development managing over 150 mostly right-brained people.
Post the sale of Frankel to Publicis, Colleen moved onto a global Publicis Worldwide strategic team based in Paris, her role was to support the network of agencies with branding, path-to-purchase, activation and kids marketing initiatives with the goal of building the Nestlé’s business around the world. Raised in Madrid, she speaks fluent Spanish as well as conversational French and pathetic Portuguese.
Agostinelli has over 13 years of commercial banking experience and over 10 years working in not for profit sector. As part of her commitment to leadership and community, she has served on many boards whose missions are focused on empowerment and advancement of women of color, most recently having served as Alumnae Board Chair for Mujeres de HACE.
She is the co-founder of Our Stories of Impact, a storytelling platform, for people who want to share stories that have impacted their lives. Her goal is to help shed light on the challenges of reproductive health and infertility.
She studied Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago and has completed the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Founded in 1991, the West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) is a membership organization representing the business and residential communities of the West Loop. A delegate agency for the City of Chicago, WLCO is an advocate for positive growth and development and serves as a resource for the entire community. Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is one of the city’s most rapidly growing and dynamic neighborhoods. More information is available at www.westloop.org.
Master Trainer, Holistic Health & Nutrition Educator
The World GROOVE Movement
Jessica Milagros Guzman
Jessica started modeling after winning second place out of more than 2,000 entries in the “Plus Model Magazine and DorthyCombs Models Model Search”.
She has since been featured in various publications and talk shows, has walked in many runway shows in Puerto Rico, Chicago and New York Fashion Week and has worked print jobs with brands such as Target, JCPenney, Ashley Stewart and Fashion to Figure to name a few.
Jessica is currently signed with IPM Model Management out of NYC. She is also a Photographer, Confidence Coach & Body Positive Advocate who works with people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Jessica’s passion in life is to help other’s realize their full potential and individual beauty. She is currently developing workshops to help individuals build a more body positive relationship with themselves by helping build better self awareness through confident camera posing techniques.
With over a decade of childcare experience, Patrice is committed to helping families prioritize what matters most by merging childcare with technology. Her pursuit began as an assistant preschool teacher and continued beyond college as she earned her BA in Education. Patrice has operated in numerous leadership roles including preschool teacher, camp counselor, youth director, program director of over 126 kids, operations director, nanny for over 40 Chicago families and 4 agencies, and soccer coach throughout Illinois and Michigan. Recent accomplishments include the winner of the UPS Pitch Competition with Marcus Lemonis, Invest Chicago Women’s Innovation Award, and 1 of 14 women led startups accepted for 1871’s WiSTEM accelerator
Leslee M. Cohen
Prior to founding Hershman Cohen, Leslee practiced at a Wall Street corporate and securities law boutique, representing primarily publicly traded companies, then led the securities department at a mid-sized law firm in Chicago for 13 years. Leslee graduated from the University of Michigan in 1989 and from New York University School of Law in 1992.
Since 2007, Leslee has served on the leadership team of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. She also runs venture pitch sessions through the Small Business Advisory Council. In 2016, she was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in the State of Illinois and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the State of Illinois by Super Lawyer, and was granted a 2016 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Service to Entrepreneurs by the Daily Herald Business Ledger.
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