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Tuesday, May 22 • 1871 • 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212
Our Chicago speakers
Co-Founder @ pilotED
Co-founder Marie Dandie is the Founding Principal of pilotED Schools, an emerging network of charter schools. After joining Teach for America in 2013, Dandie and co-founder, Jacob Allen, created an after-school program in two Chicago neighborhoods incorporating a curriculum embedded in race, gender and identity to change the trajectory of struggling and low-income middle school student. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Management and Leading Excellent Schools. Marie also holds a certification in charter school policy, finance and administration from UCLA, and is currently a Principal Fellow at Relay Graduate School of Education. Marie was a fellow with the Thomas P. Fordham Institute, NewSchools Venture Fund, Camelback Ventures, and a current fellow of The Mind Trust. Marie was also named a Forbes 30Under30 List Maker in 2017 and 1 of the 50 Founders to Watch named by Essence Magazine in this past fall.
Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart
Co-Founder @ KOVAL Distillery
In 2008, Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart gave up a tenured professorship in hopes of a different quality of life. She and her husband, Master Distiller Robert Birnecker, founded KOVAL, one of the first urban craft distilleries in the U.S. and Chicago’s first since the mid-1800s. As KOVAL’s president, Sonat has spearheaded much of the product development, distribution and marketing. She is also the co-founder of Kothe Distilling Technologies, a distillery consulting firm that has helped more than 180 distilleries get their start in the U.S., Canada and Finland. KOVAL’s spirits have won gold medals on both sides of the Atlantic and their distribution reaches coast to coast, as well as internationally in Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia.
Emily Lonigro Boylan
Founder @ LimeRed Studios
In 2004, Emily founded LimeRed LAB & STUDIO. Today, LimeRed is the only UX agency in the world that is both a Certified B Corporation and Certified woman-owned. Her 14 years in business spans design, sales, operations, user experience, branding, marketing and strategy. She is also Advisor and formerly VP of the Board of WeWill, a lobbying organization in Illinois for women and children’s rights. She’s Adjunct Faculty at Columbia College Chicago in the Communications, Media, and Innovation Department. She’s an Advisory Board member for the startup DesignerShare. She’s an experienced tech accelerator coach and facilitator, and business mentor at SAIC and 1871 AMP program. She’s a published writer and teaches workshops for entrepreneurs and social changemakers. Emily is also regular speaker and panelist at national and regional conferences.
VP, General Manager @ Onion Labs
Julie leads a growing team of content strategists, creators, and client managers who create native and custom content solutions for brands. Since joining The Onion in January 2015, Julie has been a key contributor in the build out of Onion Labs, the content division of Onion, Inc. Recently, Julie was recognized as one of Ad Age’s 2017 Women To Watch. Prior to joining Onion, Inc., Julie was VP Group Account Director at Digitaslbi leading Sprint CRM. Scott has worked at agencies in New Orleans and San Francisco prior to moving to Chicago on brands such as New Orleans Saints, Toyota and Red Lobster.
Founding Partner @ KMR Law
Keli has experience in multi-unit residential and commercial real estate transactions in addition to eviction actions. She has experience representing clients in their real estate tax valuation appeals. She began her legal career as a hearing officer/attorney for one of three Commissioners at The Cook County Board of Review, hearing complaints and making recommendations for property tax reductions and exemptions for residential, commercial, and government-owned properties. In 2012, she and her two other co-founders opened one of the few women- and African American-owned law firms in Chicago.
Global Logistics Manager @ Spikeball, Inc.
Janne has worked as the Global Logistics Manager at Spikeball, Inc. for about a year. She moved to Chicago without knowing anyone which has given her the confidence that she can do anything. (This is the perfect country to do just that!) Since her move, she has run 2 marathons, 7 half marathons, several obstacle races, opened two business, and gone back to school all while working a full-time job and having fun with friends and my new family. Anything can truly be done if you put your mind to it.
Mia Saini Duchnowski
Co-Founder and CEO @ Oars + Alps
Mia Saini Duchnowski is the Co-Founder and CEO of Oars + Alps, a direct to consumer skin care brand. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV Reporter with Bloomberg TV. Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an Anchor and Reporter for Forbes TV. Mia holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. Mia currently sits on the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo and the Junior Board of Greencity Market in Chicago. Mia has served on the Board of Directors for the MIT Club of Hong Kong and the Harvard Business School Club of Hong Kong. She loves cycling and yoga and has three kids.
Founder @ Reddy Set Yoga
Shruthi Reddy is a lawyer and wellness entrepreneur. Inspired by her own health journey, she founded Reddy Set Yoga to improve the mental and physical health of kids, families and adults through schools, nonprofits and the workplace. Reddy Set Yoga programs promote 360 Clean Living and incorporate mindful stress reduction, nutritional therapies, and toxin reduction. Shruthi also supports health care practitioners and wellness professionals in incorporating holistic, integrative and functional medicine approaches into healing. She is especially interested in empowering women and girls through legal support and access to health and wellness. CDC research shows a strong link between health and past sexual trauma. Yoga can help individuals heal from trauma and manage stress effectively. Shruthi speaks regularly on these topics while using her law degree to advocate for women and girls. She is an APAWLI Fellow, a Chicago Woman board member, and a guest on the BBC and CNN International.
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