Loyola University Chicago

Executive and Professional Education Center

Housed in the Loyola Business Leadership Hub


Women's Leadership Forum 2022 (virtual)


Loyola's Executive and Professional Education Center and The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership present the 2022 Women's Leadership Forum. This year's event will take place virtually on Friday, March 25. We've brought together an exceptional line-up of speakers and topics to help all women become better leaders in their workplace, no matter what stage they're at in their career.

Registration for this event is closed.


Bridget Albert Bridget Albert
Sr. National Director of Education Beam Suntory
Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits 
Sadia Anees Sadia Anees
Senior Solution Engineer - Marketing Cloud, Public Sector
Regina Armour Regina Armour
Director of DEI, Concept Schools
CEO, The Armour Group
Katie Borman Katie Borman
Owned Brand Insights & Strategy
Heather Brod Heather Brod
Executive Coach and Consultant
Heather Brod LLC 
Jacki Davidoff Jacki Davidoff
Principal, Chief Potential Officer and Executive Leadership Coach
Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy
Laura Demke Laura Demke-Calixte
President and CEO
Paula Faris Paula Faris
CARRY Media 
Lauri Flanagan Laura Flanagan
Management Resource Group, Ltd.  
Nancy Fox Nancy Fox
The Business Fox 
Gail Golden Gail Golden
Gail Golden Consulting, LLC
Dai Jensen Dao Jensen
Oak Rocket Inc.
Dr. Gertrude Lyons Dr. Gertrude Lyons
Director of the Family Program, Senior Coach
Wright Foundation
Seraphina Meacham Seraphina Meacham
Tax Associate
Julie Milroy Julie Milroy
VP Supplier Development and Marketing, Co-host of Served Up Podcast
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits 
Nanette Miner Nanette Miner
Managing Consultant
The Training Doctor, LLC
Shelby Mitchell Shelby Mitchell
Associate Product Manager
Discover Financial Services 
Aileen Miziolek Aileen Miziolek
Family Business Consulting Group 
Lisa Morel Lisa Morel
Family Business Consulting Group
Sadzi Olivia Sadzi Olivia
VP Government Relations & Community
United Scrap Metal, Inc.  
Karyn Pettigrew Karyn Pettigrew
Founder and CEO
Beyond Blind Spots and ZoeGoes 
Ashley Richardson Ashley Richardson
Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Distinctive Schools
Ami Rubango Aminatu Rubango
Associate Director, Business Career Services
Loyola's Quinlan School of Business
Shanelle Trinidad Shanelle Trinidad
Senior VP, Equity Sales
Christina Villarreal Christina Villarreal
Process Transformation Specialist
UChicago Medicine 
Amy Wirtz Amy Wirtz
Family Enterprise Advisor
Family Business Consulting Group 


7:30 a.m. Welcome
Colleen Reaney, Loyola's Executive & Professional Education Center
Paula Faris, CARRY Media
8:00 a.m. Passionate Work: Advocating for Work That Energizes and Allows You to Bring Your Full Self to Work Each Day
Shelby Mitchell, Discover Financial Services

So often we settle for work that is handed to us or doesn't fulfill us. But what if you could define your own path. What if you could do work that energizes you and cements you as an expert at your company?
8:45 a.m.  15 minute break 
9:00 a.m.  Breakout 1A
Equity-Focused Leadership: Keeping the Main Thing...The Main Thing

Regina Armour, Concept Schools / The Armour Group

This presentation would explore the strategic way to launch an equity effort across an entire organization—from the C-suite to the talent out in the field, to the community of stakeholders. Having passion for equity is not enough. Going through the process of reflecting on core beliefs, articulating clear goals for entry focusing on questions for inquiry, action planning and communicating out the BIG messages is a process that needs attention at every step is essential for success.

Breakout 2A
Feminine Leadership in the Workplace
Dr. Gertrude Lyons, Wright Foundation

Women’s leadership is infinite, but rarely tapped because we mistakenly define leadership primarily in masculine terms. However, research is showing that men and women have very different ways of using these skills in approaching everything—from communication to demonstrating partnership. The most exciting possibilities emerge when we learn to harness our masculine traits in the service of our feminine values. In this dynamic presentation, we will discuss how to unleash your leadership and unlock your potential by harnessing your feminine power.

Breakout 3A
Successfully Navigating a Crisis: A Catalyst for Resilience
Laura Flanagan, Management Resource Group, Ltd.

Our world is fraught with items that cause us stress and anxiety, world issues in addition to family and professional matters. This interactive session will invite participant’s contributions to review items we may all be feeling out of control of in our lives. We will review a case study outlining strategies to build a plan to gain strength and resilience.
9:40 a.m.  5 minute break 
9:45 a.m. Breakout 1B
The REVEAL: Sorting Out The "What's Next" In Your Life
Karyn Pettigrew, Beyond Blind Spots and ZoeGoes

The last two years of pandemic disruption has caused many to re-evalutate their circumstances and choose to make a change. However, few know how or where to begin. This session serves as a starting point for reflection and action. It is specifically designed for women over 40 or those recognizing the need to make a change in their lives.

Breakout 2B
Curating your Life: Ending the Struggle for Work-Life Balance
Gail Golden, Gail Golden Consulting, LLC

This session will detail how in today’s hectic business environment we can organize and manage ourselves in order to perform at our best. Much the same as a museum curator creates a beautiful and meaningful exhibit by sorting, selecting, and arranging artifacts, we too need to “curate” our commitments and energies.

Breakout 3B
Women's Leadership: Leveraging Self-Awareness to Navigate Times of Unknowns
Jacki Davidoff, Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy

As women leaders, we have assets we may not recognize that allow us to navigate unknowns and uncertainty. We see leadership development as an ongoing adventure of becoming increasingly self-aware and knowing we each make choices moment-to-moment. We can either passively recreate who we are now, or intentionally to step into the discovery of who we are becoming—more satisfied, more powerful, more impactful, and more capable of navigating the unknowns of today's environment, internally and externally.
10:25 a.m.  5 minute break 
10:30 a.m.  Breakout 1C
Inclusion Through Innovation
Julie Milroy, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
Bridget Albert, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

How two women found and used their bold voices in corporate America to create positive change, passed the mic to those who are doing the good work to drive diversity, inclusiveness with a passion to create awareness and needed change for all.

Breakout 2C
Family-Owned Business: Where Females are Taking the Lead
Aileen Miziolek, Family Business Consulting Group
Lisa Morel, Family Business Consulting Group
Amy Wirtz, Family Business Consulting Group

Family-owned businesses are the backbone of the economy. Women are taking leadership and ownership roles in family businesses at unprecedented rates and changing the face of family business across the world. Join a panel of 3 family business advisors who will teach attendees how to spot leadership opportunities in the world of Family Business, where women are leading and creating social wealth and abundance in their communities.

Breakout 3C
Leadership As We Know It Is Changing
Nanette Miner, The Training Doctor, LLC

A LOT of things have conspired recently to change what leadership looks like in organizations. Boomers have left the workforce in droves (leaving younger, less prepared individuals to lead); Covid has forced many people to "lead themselves" and eliminated the ever-present "boss:" and the youngest generation to join the workforce—Gen Z—doesn't believe in leadership at all (they are all about equity and equality and don't believe one person should be designated as leader.). This session will look at these changes and what we can do in organizations to ensure our companies can thrive in this new environment.
11:10 a.m.  5 minute break 
11:15 a.m. Breakout 1D
Networking With Intention
Laura Demke-Calixte, EPNA

How to network with others and be authentic is something we should all strive to do. This session will focus on questions like: What does it mean to really network and stay connected to those that you have met? How can we all look to make more meaningful connections? How can we use social media platforms to assist others that need help? How to follow-up on those connections and potentially create more job opportunities and/or business.

Breakout 2D
Real Talk: Career Conversations with Loyola Alums
This panel is designed to give undergraduate and graduate students a look at what a career in business can look like after graduation. Our expert panel is composed of Loyola/Quinlan alums. Learn about their career jouneys, their current roles, and ask questions. Panelists include:

Sadia Anees, Salesforce
Seraphina Meacham, PwC
Shanelle Trinidad, Jefferies
Katie Borman, Target
Christina Villarreal, UChicago Medicine
Aminatu Rubango, Loyola's Quinlan School of Business (facilitator)

Breakout 3D
Your Best Life: Saying No to Obligations and Yes to Aspirations
Heather Brod, Heather Brod, LLC

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “don’t should all over yourself,” which is a funny play on words about taking on too much obligation. But what if you don’t even realize that’s what you’re doing? From youth, girls in the US are socialized and rewarded for pleasing others. They live their lives propelled by a code of “shoulds” to meet societal, familial, and professional expectations. Often, these external expectations run so deep that women internalize them as their own, not asking themselves if this is what they really want. When we take a step back and ask ourselves what our values are, what our purpose is, and what fulfills us, we get much closer to living a life imbued with meaning. From this, a few things occur: We eliminate unnecessary “shoulds” from our lives; We reframe other “shoulds” into wants by connecting obligations to a bigger vision; We sense that we are in control of our lives because we see that we have choices And from that, we experience greater joy, freedom, and possibility. When we’re living life on our terms, we’re less concerned with what others think of us or expect of us because we are listening to the internal voice that assures us our choices are not only right for us, but are an effective way to role model to our families, our teams, and society at large that it is very much okay to live life on the terms we set for ourselves.
11:55 a.m.  5 minute break 
Noon  Breakout 1E
Excelling in a Male Dominated Industry
Sadzi Olivia, United Scrap Metal, Inc.

We know that work ethic, professionalism and passion are the ingredients for success but for Latinas, like me, we feel more scrutiny and pressure to not let others down and this requires us to be the most prepared and ready in any professional situation because I never want to hear someone say, "Of course the first Latina would make that mistake." As the first Latina to serve as Commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission, on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and now, as an executive at a national recycling company, United Scrap Metal, Inc., I will share personal stories, best practices and lessons learned to succeed in a male dominated industry. This session will focus on maximizing your professional opportunities, planning and achieving your career goals, and avoiding detractions along the way when navigating careers in energy and manufacturing where there are still less women leaders and even less Latina leaders.

Breakout 2E

Confessions Turned Into Lessons to Leadership
Ashley Richardson, Distinctive Schools

In her first years of professional teaching, Ashley did not receive tenure due to her lack of seniority at different schools. In this session, she will present strategies she learned, such as resume reinventing to cater for each job opportunity, creating systems and finding niches in her current profession, and providing reflective activities for any audience member that would like to start the work of writing their professional journeys.

Breakout 3E

Women Still Aren't Asking: How to Crack the Ask for Your Worth Barrier in Business and Life
Nancy Fox, The Business Fox

This session breaks down the inner critic/success stealing-norms women have been socialized to accept and that rob them of their confidence and even willingness to ask for more—more of what they want, more of what they deserve, and especially how to feel good about saying no to what does not serve them. Nancy will reveal the subconscious programming system, how to break free of it, and practical techniques to create new thoughts and daily habits allowing them to confidently ask for, and receive, more in each domain of life: career, relationships, personal well-being.
12:45 p.m. Break
12:50 p.m. Closing Keynote
Advice and Strategy So You Can Have a High-Performance Career and Family
Dao Jensen, Oak Rocket, Inc.

Working parents have unique challenges when pursuing a high-performance career and a fulfilling family life. It's not easy, but you can have both with the right mindset and gumption. In this session, Dao Jensen, CEO of Oak Rocket will share her experience and advice on how you can have a great career and family.
1:50 p.m. Instant Networking (optional)
Use our virtual event app to network one-on-one with other attendees.
2:20 p.m. Event Ends

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