4Q 2021
Women Investing in Women
Upcoming Events
Thursday, October 14
In-person: 5:00 - 9:00 PM CT*
Virtual: 6:15 - 7:30 PM CT
The Trailblazer Dinner is our marquee event of 2021. Each year, we focus on women who inspire us in achieving personal and professional excellence. The WIP Board of Directors is pleased to announce it will be awarding its prestigious “Distinguished Woman Investment Professional of the Year” award to Leslie Lenzo, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Advocate Aurora Health. We are also honored to have Lauren Dillard, Executive Vice President, Investment Intelligence, Nasdaq, as the Keynote Speaker for the event.

This year’s event will be hybrid. If you’re not comfortable with in-person events and wish to hear our amazing speakers, we will be live streaming on Zoom.
*Covid-19 Protocols: We have put additional protocols in place for your health and safety. Vaccination will be required
for in-person attendance and The University Club requires masks when you're not seated for dinner. Registrations will be limited to support social distancing. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed. Thank you for your support and patience.

Wednesday, November 10 at 4:00 - 5:00 PM CT @ Zoom
Being AUTHENTIC: Perfecting Your Presence
More than just the “it” factor, authentic presence is one of the most important skills for leaders and employees. This program is designed to leverage your unique attributes, giving you the confidence to be influential, the credibility to voice your opinion, and the composure to be resilient.

WIPs’ Café @ Zoom is open at 10 AM CT the last Friday of each month until June 2022
Coffee Roulette provides 15-30 minutes of randomized, casual, one-on-one networking with WIP members. Click the link above and a webpage will appear with an “Add to calendar” link to send the complete event series to your Outlook/Google/Yahoo calendar. Stop by as often as you wish to brew up a new relationship in our Café @ Zoom!
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, December 9 at 4:30 - 6:30 PM CT @ TBD
Exciting details coming soon!

Stay tuned for exciting new programming in 2022!
Welcome, New Members!
WIP warmly welcomes the below new and renewing members during Q3 2021! Not currently a member or need to renew? Visit our membership page.

  • Liliana Macias, Madera Technology Partners
  • Grace Gorman, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare Office of Investments
  • Lynne Kostakis, Northern Trust Asset Management
  • Caroline O'Donnell, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Charlotte Walsh, Jennison Associates
  • Madeline Wickman, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Katherine Jacobsen, Birch Lake Associates, LLC
  • Kerry Elsass, Fiducient Advisors
  • Jessie Grewal, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Kayla Hepler, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Sarah Greene, Driehaus Capital Management
  • Jessica Johanson, CIMA, CRPS, Lord Abbett
  • Kelly Wilson, Willis Towers Watson
  • Polina Tsybrovska, Capital Group
  • Lorena Cabezas, Ninety One

Get Involved with the Membership Committee! The Membership Committee is seeking two individuals to contribute to the following strategic objectives: 
  • Engage in ideation and initiatives that directly contribute to membership committee objectives, participate in membership data collection and analytics
  • Represent the committee at WIP events
  • Bring industry expertise to support initiatives related to the expansion of WIP
  • Engage with other committees to drive results
For more information, please contact Nicole Zaleski.
Member Spotlight
WIP celebrates members who share our vision and impact our community. 
Anita Knotts is the Founder & CEO of Lotus Women's Institute. After nearly 30 years in the wealth management field, Anita launched this enterprise with the mission to attract, develop, and advance women in the industry.

As a woman (as well as a woman of color), Anita helps train new entrants into the field; provides professional development to women who are established in their career; and connects women to firms seeking diverse talent pools.

Anita is passionate about changing the wealth management field from the inside out - as she recently spoke about in her TEDxNaperville presentation. She feels very strongly that the industry needs to be reconstructed to benefit women from a career and investing standpoint.

In her spare time, Anita loves to read biographies, follow Chicago sports (Go White Sox), and spend time with her family.  

Connect with Anita on LinkedIn or via email to learn more.
WIP is pleased to highlight inspiring women who are early in their careers.
Jessica Mistry is a Senior Fund Accountant at Jackson. "I strive to be a person that leads change and growth" - Jessica helped launch Empower Chicago, an internal business resource group, in early 2021. "Our goals were to start a conversation regarding female empowerment in the workplace, become a positive resource for all members and allies, and receive support from high-leveled peers to ensure we can further our mission for inclusivity."

Despite going into lockdown shortly after launch, Jessica and Empower changed their approach to achieving their goals. "At the time, our peers were in need of a morale boost and small businesses were in need of patronage; as chair of Empower, I had the resources to help with both." The group held a Bingo happy hour that featured female-owned small-businesses and non-profits in Chicago, giving away gift cards and donations as prizes. They also planned a virtual three-part interactive workshop for Women’s History Month. The series used relatable examples to discuss unconscious biases and how to overcome them through behavioral psychology.

Looking to 2022, Jessica is focused on onboarding and recruiting diverse talent. "Jackson’s Talent Acquisition Team has already been working on this for some time and I would like to involve Empower in the conversation to truly boost the effort," she said.

Connect with Jessica or email her to learn more.
Our goal is to continue to provide you with broad networking opportunities, both professional and personal. Know a WIP member who is making a difference? Let us know!
Member Benefits
Take advantage of the full range of benefits available:
  • NEW! Board Member Meetup: REGISTER HERE
This event will take place on a patio and in an intimate setting with six other vaccinated members. WIP members can ask questions of WIP Board members who have spent their careers in the investment industry. The first event will take place with Fran Skinner, CFA, CPA in Libertyville. Fran said, “I’ve done things like this with employees at firms I’ve served on the corporate board and at my clients’ firms. The questions people come with are far ranging such as:
WIP Jobs Board

Did you know that the WIP jobs board currently has over 40 new jobs posted from over 10 organizations? Positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Investment banking
  • Research analyst
  • Portfolio manager
  • Compliance officer
  • Marketing
  • Data scientist
  • Consultant relations
  • Sales coordinator

There is no charge for posting a job on the WIP job board. Employment listings are open to WIP members and non-members. They're posted for 30 days and can be re-submitted for an additional 30-day posting. You can submit a job posting by sending an email to info@wipchicago.org.
Interview with a Gold Sponsor:
Willis Towers Watson
Kelly Wilson, Associate Director, Investments, shares her career journey and advice with us:
  • How has you role changed throughout your many years at investment consulting firms? If you would have asked my younger self about where I’d see myself in 10 years, the answer would be very different than where I am today. My role within investment consulting has evolved over time, away from the day-to-day responding to clients and focused more on standardizing processes and accomplishing overall goals of the investments business at Willis Towers Watson ("WTW"). People management is also a pivotal part of my job. I started in the industry as an analyst, and I am now leading a team of over 10 analysts and associates across our OCIO/delegated business. My management style focuses on growth and development with transparency and direct communication. Investment consulting is a fast-paced yet rewarding section of the finance industry. I’m grateful for the managers and sponsors over the years that are/were invested in my success to help propel me to where I am today.

  • How do you balance motherhood and a full time job? I have 3 kids (ages 8, 5, 2) and I’m not going to sugar coat it—the balance between work and motherhood is challenging with no perfect answers. One of the things I’ve really tried to focus on is no unnecessary apologies. My kids joining video calls, rescheduling a meeting due to e-learning, having to hop away for a minute to mitigate a sibling argument, these are daily occurrences in this pandemic world. Accepting help when people offer and truly disconnecting from work to focus on family time have been the best “tips” to help manage through the chaos of these early/younger years!

  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to navigate in your career? Actually, I would say right now is one of the most challenging environments I’ve had to navigate in my 10+ year career. The merger termination created many opportunities within WTW, and we have opportunities unlike any other time. It is also a time for me to push outside my comfort zone and challenge myself to get involved in new and exciting initiatives! Come back to me in a few weeks and see where things have landed.

  • What advice do you have for young women aspiring to be consultants? Be engaged in your career! It seems simple when I say it out loud, but it is so important. Don’t rely on others, your manager, or the company to decide what you want to do. If you want something, be sure to let your manager know. If you’ve accomplished something, be sure the right people know. Flying under the radar is good for military operations, but not for the corporate world. Also, surround yourself with colleagues and friends that are invested in your success. 

  • What are you most passionate about and why? At work, I’m passionate about employee development. I want to make sure my team is given opportunities that align with what they want to do and the goals they want to accomplish. I want to be sure they have all the tools they need to get there! It is also important to think through recruiting and opportunities from an I&D lens to make sure we are casting a wide net and looking at different types of talent. As we all know, past performance is not a predictor of future results, so it is important to look to the future! Outside of work, I love to run and stay active, often bringing my kids along for the ride in the running stroller. It helps me clear my head and release some of that stress in a productive way!

For more information about WTW or to contact Kelly, please click here.
Thank You to Our Sponsors!

We are grateful for our valued sponsors who support diversity initiatives promoting the advancement, recruitment, and retention of women in the investment industry and related fields. Click here for a list of all WIP sponsors.
WIP Platinum Sponsors:
For sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Women Investment Professionals