"Luck is when opportunity meets preparation" is the philosophy
She experienced the loss of her oldest brother,
To date, WDB Marketing has had the pleasure of serving over 500 small businesses and entrepreneurs in the metropolitan Chicagoland area. Keeana remains active in the community with her role as board member for LBD Enterprise, a South Suburban food pantry,
As a young adult, Keiana attended
Keiana is a devoted Christian and loving mother of two remarkable children.
As a member the Diversity and Inclusion Division,
With more than 20+ years of proven experience in strategic development and branding, Tracey's creates merchandising opportunities for small and minority owned businesses. With full chain responsibilities, Tracey's impression on the chain will be most evident when a brand that she helped position launches chain-wide this May. Recognized by the President of the
With one son, Khalil, who is 16 years old, Tracey's work ethic is rooted in her uncompromising ideology to "never stop thinking and no is never an option." She is a proud member of the
Sonya is a classical vocalist and has performed in various operas including
Brandy is honored to be a recipient of the Chicago Defender's Women of Excellence Award. Brandy M Boler is a native to
Brandy is a member of
With over 15 years of experience, Burrell (no relation to
Her contemporary women's novel, Single Girl Summer, was profiled in numerous media outlets including the Chicago Defender,
Toiya is a very socially conscious individual and is involved in many philanthropic endeavors. She is a board member of the
Dr. Casanova is an Associate Professor of Psychology at
Her dedication to ensuring that students of color graduate from college and go on to pursue post-Baccalaureate studies is evident in her work with
The Publicity Works is a
Cobb has been a practicing journalist for more than two decades. She started as a television news reporter working for network affiliates in various markets throughout the country. Upon returning to
Cobb began her media duties for political campaigns in 1988 as national traveling press secretary to presidential candidate
Before returning to
Prior to that Cooper worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential Campaign in
Brenda is an Executive Steering Committee Board Member, Chairperson of Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement, and past Chapter Co-Chairperson of DuPage County NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics). Using her leadership and technology experience, she assists in guiding the direction of a program that impacts the lives of academic and talent gifted high school students from
Brenda has used her skills to serve the community by volunteering in areas most passionate to her heart such as health, financial literacy, poverty, and youth education. Her volunteer work includes The
Saran is a Fit Club Coach for
Saran is a dynamic motivational speaker, having delivered numerous speaking engagements including the Keynote Address for the 2014
Saran is the author of 'The Wagon Has Wheels', a fitness-inspired motivational book, complete with workout routines, to help you get back on track. She has also created two fitness dvd's;
Saran is married with 2 lovely cats.
She also hosts the annual film festival known as Ebertfest at the
She is a certified family mediator and certified collaborative law attorney. She is also a current member of the
She is a member and founder of The Woman's Team. The Woman's Team consists of three licensed professionals who help women make smart relationship decisions. The Woman's Team also helps women learn to mitigate the effects of the emotional rollercoaster a divorce can create in a woman's life. She is a published author of "Divorce for Ladies, Not for Losers: A Women's Guide For a Healthy Not Harmful Journey" and publishing soon a book regarding divorce for men.
She is happily married to her husband,
Her stellar career for over the past 29 years at the
Gladys' motto is "Work to live, do not live to Work
She believes in creating sophisticated and intimate environments. Frantzie organizes a team of professionals to work together to create distinctive designs, which are tailored to.the lifestyle and desires of each residential or commercial client. She also works closely with the client in manifesting unique designs and architectural details to modernize their home, business or office.
Her established relationships with exceptional contractors allow her to efficiently administrate the entire construction and furnishing process.
Known for her gracious and amiable manner, Frantzie has over twenty successful years of experience. She established her award-winning firm in 1991 in
A 20 year publishing executive, she's currently responsible for corporate advertising in the Midwest for Hearst's widely successful 0,
Felicia continues to advocate for diversity in the advertising industry. She's an active member of
In 2004 Reverend Green was appointed to the
Rhea's dance training includes ballet, modem, tap and jazz dance at Sadie Bruce dance studio,
As the owner of the
Herring brings over 40 years of experience to her position and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the
Networking and actively participating in the community is just one of the ways that Herring has prdvided years of service. In addition to sorority commitments, she has served on the board of the
Herring is a committed servant leader who knows the importance of encouraging young people.
They say there are often hints of who someone will be as early as childhood. That is certainly the case with
A native Chicagoan, Holloway comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her father owned several businesses in which she worked from age 12. She observed how each business near her fathers' store and restaurant helped each other, and understood early that black-owned businesses were often each other's only support system.
Prior to joining Chicago MSDC, Shelia was Associate Director of Supplier Diversity for
Before joining Kraft, Shelia was the Executive Director of the Chicago Minority Business Opportunity Committee (MBOC) an organization funded by the
For more than a decade, she has been committed to improving communities by addressing social determinants of health related to improving community infrastructure. She also served on both the
Heather was born and raised on
With a nearly 20-year career in our culturally rich city, Heather's experiences have included programming and management with some of the
Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising from the
Doris has distinguished herself professionally both in the newspaper and public sector industries. In both arenas she has opted to play key support roles that help organizations flourish, generally exceed goals and positively positioned them before all who interact with that particular organization. She currently enjoys a top administrative role at the Chicago Crusader, the city's oldest African-American-owned weekly newspaper.
A Midwest Mayor Doris worked with often marveled that while she could easily head several of the department's in that city's operations, she chose a behind-the-scene role in the Mayors Office that always resulted in whatever department she was in meeting all of its goals.
Doris enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and is always on a perennial hunt for the next great restaurant. Doris said her work brings a great deal of joy to her days, although she readily attests her proudest moments and greatest joy is being a grandparent, the youngest Chase and Brooke are twins and the most recent additions. Doris also is is grandmother to six grandchildren. She resides in the city of
Victim-VICTORIOUS!: Crossing the Bridge from Pain to Purpose, is a
With a strong entrepreneur background, she has served as partner with a start-up inventionconsulting firm where she managed operations, assisted inventors with specific industry research, and pitched products to QVC and Sèars. She has also owned additional
A native Chicagoan, she graduated from
The namesake of her mother,
As a member of the Family Case Management staff for the
Rea is a native of
For more than 20 years, Jocquelline has devoted her career to the social and public service industry. She attributes her passion for "service" to her late mom, who was certified in Addiction Counseling, and worked and volunteered at numerous assistant living facilities in the Chicagoland. She has one son who is currently a junior in college.
Jocquelline began her career in "service" during her undergraduate years at
In 1995, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, with a Minor in History. After college, she worked for Introspect Youth Services, as a Program Counselor; assisting high school students with college placement. She worked as a
Donna is currently the Director of Multi Cultural Markets with the
Success in today's marketplace is often defined by ones ability to create something new while simultaneously paying homage to elements that are classic. While this is certainly no easy task,
Being in the public eye bestows Chrishon with much attention and influence that she uses to mentor young women and budding entrepreneurs whom can benefit from her pitfalls and successes. She gives her time and resources greatly to nonprofit organizations and is an avid member and supporter of the
Prior to embarking in the field of higher education, Latrice was employed as an investigator with the federal government for 12 years. She took a leap of faith in
Latrice is the mother of one daughter, Ashlyn and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Incorporated.
The mother of eight children, "Ms. Diane" has the children refer to her, is a 26 year resident of the
Dr. Patterson has been with
Dr. Patterson has a Bachelor's degree in English Education, along with a Master's degree in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Education from
Dr. Patterson has been married to
Dr. Pearson is a native of
Known as the "Career Advancement Mentor,"
After 20 years in corporate management overseeing
Pat is the creator of The Leader's Toolkit(TM), a stepby-step career advancement system which she uses to teach her clients how to powerfully move from independent contributor, under-utilized/performing employee or over-worked manager to powerfully high-performing leader. She speaks on Leadership, Communication, Career Transition and Work-life Balance.
She's a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from
Tonya is a native Chicagoan, presently residing in the
Yafawn Smith is Government and Community Affairs Manager for
Her career goals have included helping drive her company's business by nurturing a favorable regulatory environment, while also creating opportunities that provide visibility through strategic partnerships with community leaders. Ms. Smith states that she is fortunate to have a career that connects her to politics and community day-to-day-the two things that she enjoys most. Among her duties are to serve as catalyst for helping the community through
Smith credits her parents, Keith and Olintha Smith for much of her upbringing and her success, as well as her support system which included four dynamic grandparents. "I've always attributed most of my success to them," she says. "Their positive examples have kept me striving to always do better and improve; to realize that my circumstances do not define who I am." Ms. Smith is the mother of two sons. Thank you to The Chicago Defender for selecting me as a 2014 Woman of Excellence," she concludes, "for me it symbolizes that hard work doesn't go un-noticed."
Commissioner Steele is a chemist, an environmentalist and a community leader. She has more than 11 years of experience working as a chemist. She has worked at both the Jardine Water Purification Plant (as a water chemist) and the MWRD (as a water sampler and lab technician). This background makes Commissioner Steele uniquely qualified to disc usa and analyze proposed operational changes and operational efficien-icies.
Commissioner Steele is a member of
Having worked in public service for over 18 years,
During her seven-year tenure with
Dr. Stokes-Wilson is the 2005 recipient of
Tragil Wade was born and raised in
In 1995, Tragil relocated to
She returned to her hometown of
Washington also served as the longtime editor and publisher of
Her column has been published by the Chicago Sun-Times since 2001. She has been a commentator on
Washington earned her Bachelor's and Master's in journalism from the
Coaching, supporting, and fashionably representing, her mother was with her every step of the way. Business proved to be challenging causing Melanie to enter the workforce at the
In 2010, she joined the Illinois Tollway - where she currently works for role models Executive Director
Through the work of Lisa and her staff, the
Additionally, Shari has created Balton's own line of disposable products with a green infusion, named ASPIRE. This line includes environmentally green products and was inspired by her father and mentor,
Under Shari's leadership, Balton has received many peer accolades such as Chartwell's Vendor of the Year Award for 7 of 8 years. Shari is a member of
Melody is the eldest daughter of Ms.
She is the Executive Director of Corporate Property Asset Management for
After all of the demands and responsibilities of business life, this mother of four still finds time to dedicate to her family life. Her positive energy, tenacity and drive impact the lives of many people and will serve as an outstanding legacy into the future.
Recorder of Deeds Karen A. Yarbrough is a full time administrator, overseeing a
She has a BA in Business Management from
Previously, Karen served 12 years as State Representative for the
Karen and her husband, Henderson, have a blended family of six and share twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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