May 1, 2015
Quote of the Week
"I now have a more encompassing and holistic view of what defines success. For me, it must include a component of having made a positive difference to those with whom I've shared the journey."

- Ellen Jordan Reidy (2005),
President and Founder of America's Food Technologies, Inc.
Members in the News


Mellody Hobson at Milken Institute Global Conference

This week, Mellody Hobson (2000), President, Ariel Investments, attended the annual four-day global conference put on by Michael Milken in Los Angeles. One of the goals of this year's conference was to get more women involved and organizers met their goal of having at least 30 percent of the speakers be women. Mellody used her stage time to discuss women in high-growth investment strategies. Read more... 

Kellogg Competition Winner Announced

The Kellogg Real Estate Venture Competition at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management (Sally Blount (2011) and Jan Eberly (2014)) recently concluded with a winning team from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business (Ellen Rudnick (1984)). The winning pitch was a proposal to convert the area below the CTA station at Block 37 into a data center to serve the growing downtown market for data storage. The winner receives $100,000 in cash and in-kind office space and business services support to implement the idea. If the business plan proves to be viable, Kellogg may also offer up to $10 million in equity funding. Read more... 

Illinois Hospital Association to Merge  

The Illinois Hospital Association (Maryjane A. Wurth (2010)), an influential lobbying group with about 200 members, and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, a Chicago-based hospital trade group with about 150 members, are merging effective January 1, 2016. Leaders of the nonprofits estimate that their combined 2015 revenue could be around $60 million. Read more... 

Cushman & Wakefield Buying McKinney Brokerage  

J.F. McKinney & Associates, a Chicago real estate brokerage that handles leasing at office buildings including the John Hancock Center and the Merchandise Mart, is being acquired by industry behemoth Cushman & Wakefield (Marilyn Lissner (2010)). Read more... 

An Early Look at the Loop's New Hyatt Centric  

Chicago is home to Hyatt's (Rena Reiss (2011)) first Hyatt Centric hotel, a new boutique concept for the chain. The company plans to open 15 hotels by the end of the year, in South Beach, Paris, New York and other high-energy major-tier cities. Hyatt Centric the Loop Chicago boasts 257 rooms in a renovated 1927 office building at Monroe and Clark streets.  


Click here to take a tour and see Hyatt's renovation. Read more... 

Mayer Brown Picks New Partner to Lead Chicago Office  

Law firm Mayer Brown (Debora de Hoyos (2010)) has named Rebecca Eisner, a partner specializing in privacy issues and business and technology sourcing, as the new head of its 350 lawyers in Chicago. Deb was Managing Partner of the firm from 1991 until mid-2007. Read More... 

United Airlines Teams-Up with Trotter Project Chefs on New Menus

United Airlines ( Irene Foxhall (2014)) is collaborating with the Trotter Project to design new premium cabin and United Economy meals. The partnership gives the airline access to well-known chefs from Chicago and elsewhere. In exchange, United is donating six figures in air travel to the nonprofit. Read more...  


Nuria Fernandez Named to 2015 Women of Influence List

Nuria Fernandez (2008), General Manager and CEO, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, was named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley. Nuria has led the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority since December 2013, and has more than 30 years of experience in the transportation field, in both the public and private sector. Nuria will be honored on Thursday, May 7, at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose. She was also featured in a Business Journal article, where she shared her biggest mistakes, the best advice she's received, who her hero is and more. Read more...  


Chicago Tribune Logo  

Three Generations of One Family to Graduate from Governors State University  

Governors State University (Elaine P. Maimon (2008)) was highlighted in a Chicago Tribune article about three generations of one family graduating from the University this spring, each with the same degree, with high honors. They are also planning to pursue the same graduate degree in communications. Karolyn Grissom, center, will receive her diploma with daughter Pamela Jones and grandson Mathew Brown. Read more...  

This post includes corrected information: 

STEMpreneur Insights: 'Asking for the True Value' for Women in STEM

The Women's Business Development Center ( Hedy M. Ratner (1990)) and the Enterprising Women Foundation sponsored the STEMpreneur Insights program, held April 16 th at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The program was geared towards an audience of high school girls and advocates of boosting the number of women in STEM-related careers. TCN members Alison Chung (2002), Linda Boasmond (2015) and Deborah Sawyer (2007) served as panelists and were quoted in the Chicago Tribune article on STEMpreneur Insights. Read more...
Women on Boards

GP Strategies Elects New Board Member Laura Gurski

Global performance improvement solutions provider GP Strategies Corporation announced that Laura L. Gurski (2013) has been elected to serve on its Board of Directors, effective April 20, 2015. Laura Gurski is a partner at A.T. Kearney, a leading global management consulting firm. She also serves as Global Head of Practices, Chairwoman of the Portfolio and Governance Committee and Member of the Senior Leadership Team at A.T. Kearney.    


"We are pleased to have Laura join our board," commented Scott Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer of GP Strategies Corporation. "Laura comes to us through the efforts of our Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee, working with an outside search firm, and brings extensive consulting experience with large global clients across multiple industries. We will benefit from her experience and insight into doing business internationally as GP Strategies continues to expand globally." Read more... 

Jill Wine-Banks Appointed to Dept of Defense Subcommittee
Jill Wine-Banks (1980) has been appointed to the Dept. of Defense Subcommittee that will recommend improvements to the Code of Military Justice regarding sexual assault cases.

Jill served as the General Counsel of the US Army in the Carter administration and has been a long-time passionate advocate for veterans' and women's issues. "The military's handling of sexual assault cases had been scrutinized and criticized for several years and our group hopes to have a significant impact," said Jill Wine-Banks. 


Jill also hopes the public will become aware of the extent of the issue and the fact that almost half the complaining witnesses are men, something that may trigger more action to improve the situation. Other committee members include Generals, the advisor to the NFL on sexual assault, a defense lawyer, a law professor and dean.

New Roles
Alexandra Dousmanis-Curtis Appointed Group Head, U.S. Retail and Business Banking of BMO Harris Bank
New TCN member Alexandra Dousmanis-Curtis (2015) has been appointed Group Head, U.S. Retail and Business Banking of BMO Harris Bank, effective June 1. She is currently Head, Retail Banking, U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking. In her new role, Alex will be responsible for driving the bank's strategy in the U.S. retail and business banking segments to maximize customer and shareholder value, and achieve market-leading business growth, while building customer relationships and loyalty.

"We are working hard to differentiate BMO Harris Bank by focusing on customers - providing them with new ways to bank, like our new Mobile Cash product and smaller format, high-tech Smart Branches. Wherever we do business, our message is simple: We're here to help," said Dousmanis-Curtis. Read more...
Awards & Announcements

Girl Scouts 2015 Luminary Award Winner: Ilene Gordon 

Ilene Gordon (1989), Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ingredion Incorporated, received the Luminary Award at the Girl Scout Leadership and Innovation Awards on Monday, April 27 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. The Tribute to Achievement Awards is the Girl Scout council's annual signature dinner that celebrates the achievements of civic and corporate leaders and the impact that they have had on girls. The evening showcases the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and provides funding for programs that prepare girls for careers in science, technology, engineering, math, environmental sciences, entrepreneurship, healthy living, arts, culture, and global awareness.  


TCN members who received past Luminary Awards include:

  • 2014 Maria Green
  • 2013 Patricia Hemingway Hall
  • 2012 Anne R. Pramaggiore
  • 2011 Doris Christopher
  • 2010 Mellody Hobson
  • 2008 Ellen Costello
  • 2007 Brenda Barnes
  • 2006 Cathy Coughlin
  • 2005 Andrea Zopp
  • 2004 Emily L. Barr
  • 2003 Ellen Carnahan
  • 2002 Pamela B. Strobel
  • 2001 Deborah L. DeHaas
  • 2001 Betsy D. Holden
  • 1999 Sheila A. Penrose
  • 1998 Jane J. Thompson
  • 1993 Honorable Lynn Martin
  • 1992 Debora de Hoyos

Read more... 

IIT Alumni Association Honors  Ellen Jordan Reidy
Ellen Jordan Reidy (2005), President and Founder of America's Food Technologies, Inc., received the Alumni Medal at the IIT Alumni Association's 2015 Alumni Awards on Friday, April 24. The award recognizes distinguished service to the university by alumni who have displayed the qualities of the Collens Merit Award, Alumni Service Award, and Professional Achievement Award. This is the highest honor bestowed by the IIT Alumni Association. IIT Stuart School of Business Dean Harvey Kahalas nominated Ellen, calling her one of the most accomplished female executives in the country.


Ellen views success differently now than earlier in her career when she was primarily driven by quantitative metrics and believes people should have the ability to define success according to their values. "I now have a more encompassing and holistic view of what defines success. For me, it must include a component of having made a positive difference to those with whom I've shared the journey. A metric that considers whether I've done my best and used my time and talents to help make things better." Read more... 

Goldie B. Wolfe Miller to Receive Honorary Doctoral Degree

Goldie B. Wolfe Miller (1984), President of Millbrook Corporate Real Estate Services LLC, will deliver the May 9th Commencement address for Roosevelt University's Walter E. Heller College of Business, Chicago College of Performing Arts, and Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies at 2:00 p.m. in the Auditorium Theater.


Because of her long, distinguished career as a leader in Chicago's Real Estate industry and for her advocacy of the advancement of women in Real Estate, Roosevelt University will confer upon Goldie Wolfe Miller an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa at the Commencement. Read more... 

Susanne Ghez to Receive Special Golden Lion  

Susanne Ghez (1986), Adjunct Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Renaissance Society's former Executive Director and Chief Curator, was recognized by the Venice Biennale. She will receive a Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts on Saturday, May 9 during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 56th Exhibition.


In awarding Susanne the Special Golden Lion, the Board of Directors cite her as "undeniably one of the most distinguished personalities in international contemporary art. Renowned for her analytical eye, conviction in the importance of experimentation and innovative practices, over the last forty years Susanne has played a pioneering role in the field by introducing and giving young artists such as Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Isa Genzken, Thomas Struth, and Kara Walker their first museum exhibitions." Read more...  

Maura O'Hara to be VIP Judge for "Launch DePaul 2015 Awards"

On Tuesday, May 5, Maura O'Hara (2013), Executive Director, Illinois Venture Capital Association, will be one of four VIP Judges at the Launch DePaul 2015 Awards. This event will feature the six final teams in the Launch DePaul New Venture Competition, which began at the beginning of April. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes to help launch and grow their new ventures. To read more about this event and the competition, click here...  

Launch DePaul 2015
Launch DePaul 2015


Vermilion Chicago to Feature Four-Course Indian-Latin Feast for Mother's Day   

For Mother's Day, Vermilion Chicago (Rohini Dey (2008)) will feature a four-course Indian-latin feast, previewing its new menu and relaunch, on Sunday May 10th from 12-9pm. The cost is $50 per person. New co-executive chef Aseema Mamaji, winner of the all India chef competition, who now leads Vermilion Chicago, will also be introduced. The menu will serve as a tribute to all women this Mother's Day and will feature several items, including:

  • Strength - Puerto Rican Yuca Alcapurria, croquette with chicken kabab
  • Intellect, Health, & Care - Indian Kale Bhel, street Indian "chat"
  • Peace - Nicaraguan Olive rice chicken steamed tamale
  • Beauty & Love - Aseema's Story in a Jar, Saffron Tres Leches layered with Star Anise fruit medley, for the star that is Mom

For reservations, call 312.527.4060.


Rohini Dey to Serve on "A Gourmet Celebration with the James Beard Foundation" Panel

Rohini Dey, Owner/Founder Vermilion Restaurants (NYC & Chicago), will serve as a panelist at the sold-out Economic Club of Chicago's (Donna F. Zarcone (2000)) "A Gourmet Celebration with the James Beard Foundation" program on Tuesday, May 5th, at the Chicago Illuminating Company.  


Click here for more information.

Rohini Dey on the Beard Foundation's Annual Awards Gala's Move to Chicago  

As a Trustee of the James Beard Foundation and founder of their Women in Culinary Leadership Program, Rohini Dey is delighted that the Beard Foundation has moved its annual Awards Gala to Chicago for its 25th anniversary special celebration after 24 years of hosting these awards in NYC. The awards gala will take place on May 4th at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and will remain in Chicago for the next two years. For those interested in culinary arts, this evening is an occasion not to be missed, with more than 2,500 of the country's celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and media attending.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Vermilion is also participating in the City of Chicago and CS Welcome Reception and is hosting a closed event for the JBF Board of Trustees.
TCN Member Law Firms Highlighted in 2015 BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms Report
The following TCN member law firms were highlighted in the
2015 BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms report published by The BTI Consulting Group of Wellesley, Massachusetts: 
  • Mayer Brown LLP (Debora de Hoyos (2010)) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Susan Hassan (2013)) were among the firms named in the report as being highly innovative.
    • BTI's report was based on nearly 650 confidential interviews with legal decision makers conducted over a two-year period beginning in March 2013 to gauge which law firms stood out in a variety of categories. Represented companies had an average revenue of $17.5 billion and a median revenue of $4.5 billion. Read more... 
  • Sidley Austin LLP (Anne Rea (2014)) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP were among the eight firms' that have most effectively convinced corporations that they can pull things together when a win is a no-questions-asked necessity.
    • The report looked at nine factors driving branding success. Of the eight firms that took top laurels in do-or-die litigation, all but one - Wachtell - also took top honors in one of the other eight factors. Read more... 
  • Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Baker & McKenzie LLP (Maura Ann McBreen (2010)) and Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Linda Myers (2012)), Sidley Austin LLP, McDermott Will & Emery LLP (Andrea Kramer (2012)) and Mayer Brown LLP were among the twenty-six law firms that best distinguished their brand from the pack over the past year in the minds of discerning corporate counsel.
    • To reach its results, BTI conducted 648 telephone interviews in 2014 with legal decision makers at organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue, probing them on which firms have superior brand equity. Factors included what firms are most recommended as a primary law firm by corporate counsel, how likely a firm is to be an industry leader over the long term, and which firm is the safest choice for bet-the-company matters and other high-risk work, among other criteria. Read more... 

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Elizabeth Stigler
Communications Director

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