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fw: chicago NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015




‘tis the season




n a m o w power in


The compassionate powerhouse that is LORETTA ROSENMAYER shares everything from starting her business to knowing her calling was to serve others.





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e v o l e h t share

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from the publisher

e d u t i t gra

Embracing this concept and incorporating it into everyday encounters has a profound impact on those around us—whether they’re the people we know and love or strangers on the bus. Perhaps our gratitude is for a small blessing our lives have bestowed on us or for life-changing opportunities. This perspective—the simple notion of appreciating what we have—is one I embrace year ‘round. While this is the season when we traditionally reflect on this gratitude, it is one we should remind ourselves of every day. As we come to the end of our first year bringing FW: Chicago to you, I would like to express profound appreciation for all those who have supported us since the launch of our website in June to those who celebrated the premier of the print edition in September. We have been honored to work with so many wonderful Chicagoans and have been humbled by all of the kind words and encouragement from our readers and supporters. With an overwhelming sense of gratitude, FW: Chicago moves forward into the new year with passion and excitement that could only come from the genuine sense of appreciation we feel for those who have helped us come this far. We have a tremendous year planned ahead. Here’s to a fabulous 2016!

Kendra Chaplin Publisher + Founder

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IN THIS ISSUE  EET TERRI BRAX 26 MThe founder of Women Tech Founders, who will be talking with notables on the Chicago tech scene in a new monthly feature



Our cover story delves into the mind and heart of founder and CEO of INTREN, Loretta Rosenmayer.

 HE ART OF 30 TNETWORKING with Wendy Baum, founder of EPWNG


The CEO of Jellyvision Lab talks about overcoming challenges and creating a unique company culture.

UILDING WEALTH 35 BTHROUGH E NTREPRENEURSHIP From Emilia DiMenco, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center.


With Kate Maehr of the Greater Chicago Food Depository


Elevate your holiday look with winter whites, metallics, and shimmer.

P  OP!hues Incorporate 46 bright and patterns throughout your home.


Refugee Asmaa Aeash shares her story and experience arriving in Chicago. LETTER FROM 4 





Acupuncturist Jin H. Ngan shares what she always has on hand.



from the editor

e m i t e l b u Do For our November/December issue, we decided to switch things up and do a double cover with two cover stories. The first features Loretta Rosenmayer, who was faced with the challenge of having to become the primary breadwinner of the family after illness forced her husband to stop working. With a loan from a friend, she started a utilities company that would eventually become INTREN, a business that now spans seven states. Oh, this was all after she raised four sons, adopted a daughter, and fostered 20 girls. We think you will find her story and her no-nonsense approach to being a woman in a male-dominated industry inspiring. The second cover highlights holiday tips and traditions from Chicago tastemakers Tom Kehoe, Mel Muoio, and Andrea Schwartz. This issue also marks the inaugural editions of two regular features in our Career and Money section. Emilia DiMenco, president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), will be giving our readers advice on entrepreneurship. Terri Brax, co-founder of Women Tech Founders (WTF), will launch a series of conversations with industry insiders on the local tech scene and the role that women are playing in its rapid growth. (Did you know that Chicago is the world’s number one city for female-fronted tech start-ups?) We look forward to reading both of these features in each issue, and we hope you will, as well. Finally, the holidays are nothing if not an excuse to fix up and look sharp. In our fashion story, we offer some ideas about how to sidestep the predictable partyseason looks and wipe the slate clean with winter whites accented with hints of metallic shine. We hope this holiday season is a happy one for you and that you are able to carve out a few quiet moments all to yourself.

Jennifer Smith Tapp Editor | @jevetapp


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Where to find us! Distributed gratis throughout the city. You may find us at your local coffee shop, office building, mail room, and other locations such as Fitness Formula Clubs. For a full list of locations,


Publisher + Founder

Kendra Chaplin

Managing Editor Rebecca Taras-Lee

Editor, Print Jennifer Smith Tapp Contributing Style Editors Brandon Frein Arlene Matthews Design Director Travis Rothe Digital + Social Media Manager Molly Koeneman Director of Partnerships Liz Bonofiglio Feaney Account Executive Kiah Harpool Business Development Andrea Markewych Tanna Sparks

main office 806 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 204 Chicago, Illinois 60607 | 312-957-4937 advertising 312-957-4936 | pr + media For all PR pitches and related inquiries, email editorial submissions social life submissions event postings Copyright 2015 FW Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. FW: Chicago is published by FW Publishing LLC. Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of FW: Chicago.


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mark the date

NOVEMBER 12, 2015

The Chicago House Speaker Series Luncheon Caitlyn Jenner, recipient of the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award, will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Chicago House Speaker Series Luncheon on Thursday, November 12. The event benefits the social service agency’s longstanding work (delete comma) to improve the lives of transgender individuals, many of whom experience discrimination and social obstacles while searching for employment and housing. The Luncheon will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Chicago from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets start at $200, with Premier seating and VIP packages available. Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue. For more information, contact Tyler Lewis at 773-248-5200 (ext. 304),

NOVEMBER 19. 2015

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Take a journey around the world without ever leaving Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World exhibition, November 19 through January 3. More than 50 trees will be on display, decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s diverse ethnic communities to represent their unique holiday traditions. Live song and dance performances also will take place. Entrance to the exhibit is included in the museum fee, and the museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 South Lakeshore Drive, 773-684-1414, For more information, visit


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NOVEMBER 20, 2015

Film Screening: “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” Trading Technologies will host a screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, a documentary film about the lack of female and minority software engineers. The event also will feature a post-screening panel with the film’s director, Robin Hauser Reynolds, and other Chicago leaders to explore what can be done to get more women and minorities involved in computer programming and tech. Doors open at 11 a.m. for networking and lunch, and the film begins promptly at 12:15 p.m., with the Q&A scheduled to end at 2:30 p.m. 1871, The Merchandise Mart, 12th Floor. For more information, visit


NOVEMBER 21, 2015

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Bring the family out to the Magnificent Mile to kick off the holiday season with a range of activities for everyone to enjoy. Walk down the lights festival lane, catch a musical performance at the BMO Harris Bank Stage, and end the evening with the tree-lighting parade and fireworks show. Free and open to the public; kicks off at 11:00 a.m. and continues into the evening. Festivities take place along Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Oak Street. For more information, visit


NOVEMBER 28, 2015

DECEMBER 3, 2015


Give Thanks Comedy Show

SHRM Holiday Networking Event

One of a Kind Show

Give Thanks is a comedy show in support of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s commitment to providing women with the support and tools needed to transition their lives, be confident in their choices, and make valuable contributions to their communities. The talent lineup for the comedy show includes Aparna Nancherla, Beth Stellings, Nicole Byer, Megan Gailey, and Clark Jones. An exclusive night of fun and laughter that gives back to women and children in Chicago, what could be better? Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $50.

Join the Society of Human Resources Management for its annual Holiday Networking Event this year at the Union League Club. There will be holiday food from around the world, beverages, exhibitions, and an opportunity to network with some of Chicago’s top professionals. From 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $65. Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Boulevard, 312-427-7800. For more information,

The 15th Annual One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago, the city’s wildly popular shopping show, offers the public a fantastic opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind handmade creations from more than 600 juried artists, craftspeople, and designers from across the U.S. and Canada. The ideal place to find truly unique gifts for the holidays for everyone on your list and at any price point. Also features shows, gourmet cafes, and live music. Tickets are $12, and a portion of all ticket sales benefit Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. The Merchandise Mart, 7th Floor,

Harris Theater, 205 East Randolph Street For more information, visit GiveThanksComedyShow

DECEMBER 4-23, 2015

DECEMBER 6, 2015

BYOB Holiday Lights Trolley

Nutcracker Family Dinner

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful holiday lights while a vintage trolley whisks you and your friends around the streets of Chicago. From December 4 through December 23, bring your own drinks and some holiday cheer as you ride down The Magnificent Mile, venture along State Street past the Macy’s holiday windows, and take in the majestic 63-foot Christmas tree in at Millennium Park. Tickets are $69 and include a chili buffet and souvenir Santa hat.

Brought to you by the Women’s Board of The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago’s magical not-to-bemissed holiday tradition features creative activities for kids of all ages, a delicious dinner, grownup treats, and a performance of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker! Trolleys will transport guests from the theater to the dinner. Performance is at 2 pm, followed by dinner and activities at 4:30 p.m. Tickets start st $250.

Departing from Matilda, 3101 North Sheffield Street. For more information, visit holiday-lights-trolley

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway Radisson Blu Aqua, 221 North Columbus Drive For more details, visit

DECEMBER 31, 2015

First Night Evanston First Night Evanston is a familyfriendly New Year’s Eve celebration featuring an incredible range of live music, dance, poetry, and more from some of the world’s finest artists­— many who live right in Evanston. Activities start in the afternoon and last until midnight. The perfect way to ring in the new year with or without children!


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s n o i t c e conn

Continue to be inspired by the people featured in this issue by following them on social media.









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s r o t u b contri Terri Brax

Emilia DiMenco

Stephanie Mansour

Terri Brax is the CEO and co-founder of Women Tech Founders (WTF) and TeacherCare, Inc. She is a social impact entrepreneur who connects people, organizations, and ideas. Terri has extensive experience advising women in tech and education. She believes that improving technology and education improves lives and business. Brax is the subject of Tech Conversations on page 28 of this issue. She is happily married, with three kids and a turtle.

Emilia DiMenco is passionate about helping women and minorities become financially independent through entrepreneurship. A former bank executive vice president who is president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), she oversees all aspects of the 29 year-old non-profit’s mission to help women start and scale up a business through contacts, contracts, and capital. In her ongoing column for FW: Chicago called “WBDC Inspiring Women,” Emilia offers her own brand of advice on issues that propel women business owners to achieve success.

Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is on a mission to help women lose weight fast and make it last. Steph is a weight loss and lifestyle coach for women, a TV personality, and a health and fitness expert. She’s been featured on CNN, Dr. Oz, and more than 50 television shows. Her emphasis on gaining confidence in yourself and creating your own version of the perfect body and lifestyle has made her a favorite among her clients and fans. Steph works privately with women through her coaching programs and runs free challenges online at

Dawn Reiss

Petya Shalamanova

Claire Staszak

Dawn Reiss is an award-winning, Chicagobased journalist who has written for a variety of national and local outlets including TIME magazine, USA Today, Chicago  magazine, Chicago Tribune, Saturday  Evening Post and She is a former president of the Chicago Headline Club, the largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter in the U.S., and started her career as a staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times and  Dallas Morning News. 

Petya Shalamanova is a Chicago-based photographer and creative director. She was born and raised in Bulgaria, lived in Las Vegas, and moved to Chicago where she graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Specializing in fashion, beauty and documentary, her various clients and publications include Vice, Elle, GQ, Michigan Avenue, Chicago Tribune, Glossed and Found, among others. Petya splits her time between the United States and Europe, working on assignments and personal work.

Claire Rose Staszak is a Chicago-based interior decorator. She believes in the power of personal sanctuary. You can find her designing interiors, teaching yoga, blogging, and doing her best to walk in beauty here in Chicagoland. Her ideas on how to bring more color into your home can be found on page 46 in this issue. Read her blog at


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e m i t n dow


Now would be a good time to brush up on your French to make sure you remember how to order that un vin rouge. Alliance Française offers French language classes at all levels, from the Regular, once-a-week class to the twice-a-week Accelerated course. Fall/Winter 2015 classes run from November 18 to January 30. Alliance Française | 810 North Dearborn Street | 312-337-107 |

TWINIVERSITY Parents of multiples who have been looking for a helping hand are now in luck. Twiniversity is a website and class series that is the number one resource for parents of twins and multiples. Taught by Julie Burt Nichols, herself a mother of twins, the classes are divided into two levels: Twin Prep and Newborns. Learn more and register for classes at PROMOTION

Fusion: A Revolutionary Way to School Fusion Academy is a revolutionary private middle and high school where positive relationships unlock academic potential. We are a non-traditional community of learning with the smallest class size possible: one student and one teacher per classroom. This allows us to personalize and customize curriculum for each student’s unique strengths and learning style. Our supportive staff and campus environment provide a safe space for students to flourish emotionally, socially, and academically. It includes a state-of-the-art recording studio and a mixed-media art studio for students to express theircreativity. Our Homework Café® is where students complete all their homework before they leave for the day with supervision and help from a teacher. Classes are offered at three levels: essential, college prep, and honors. From algebra to yoga and everything in between, we have a wide variety of classes to choose from. Students can enroll full-time, take classes for credit, or utilize our tutoring services. In addition to academics, we partner with outside therapeutic professionals to support students’ emotional health and help foster a balanced life.


While it’s impossible to put our students into categories, we generally serve students with the following backgrounds: ADHD, accelerated/gifted learners, dyslexia, dysgraphia and learning differences, social challenges and social anxiety, or students with challenging schedules. Students who attend Fusion have one thing in common: traditional school isn’t working. fw: chicago NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Julia Berle, one of our Dallas, TX parents, said: “Never have we had such a powerful, loving, caring, incredible educational experience. [Our son] has learned so much, excelled so much and grown exponentially in the Fusion environment. Thank you all for loving and teaching my boy with dignity, honor, and respect.” Fusion has campuses across the country in California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and is coming soon to Chicago! Learn more at


ChariPick The holiday season is a time when we often think about donating to charity. But with the wide variety of organizations out there, it can be difficult to find an established charity that you can trust. ChariPick, a new app created by Stephen Lee, does the legwork for you. After you download ChariPick, the app asks you what you are passionate about and how much you would like to donate and how often. Every day, you receive a new list of charities that align with your interests. Money donated goes directly to the charity you have selected. Learn more at

MonMar Yoga enthusiasts who are also healthy foodies might want to check out MonMar events. Mon(ica) and Mar(ia) share a love and expertise for yoga, conscious dining, and inspiring others to live a healthy, radiant lifestyle. Both entrepreneurs, they have joined together to host unique yoga and dining experiences through “Your Mat, Our Table.” Beyond their monthly events, they offer customized private yoga and nutrition consultation programs that can be designed for individuals, groups, and corporate partners. Join them at one or both of their fabulous next events: November 17 and December 29. To learn more, contact MonMar at


Gifts of Love from the Heart The holidays are a perfect time to rekindle the romance with your significant other. Tantalizingly-wrapped presents are important, but intangible gifts can mean more. 1. Make memories consciously that you will cherish. Whether it is doing charitable work for the less fortunate or playing touch football, there are traditions that lift the other’s spirits. Indulge in each other’s favorites, even if you have to tough it out. Equally important, develop your own new ones and polish them brightly every year. 2. Agree to accept each other more. To be loved as we are is one of the rarest and greatest gifts. Vow to criticize each other less and compliment each other more, and watch your love grow. Think of it as a holiday recipe: at least three compliments for every criticism with an act of kindness throw in. 3. Celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Everyone needs to be affirmed. Do so through deepfelt exchanges between each other. If you can give unconditional support during the bad times and openhearted congratulations in the good ones, you will radiate as a couple all year round. May your holidays be bright and beautiful! Gemma Allen is a partner in the Chicago family law firm of Ladden & Allen, Chartered, and the co-author of a book published in 2014, The New Love Deal: Everything you must know before marrying, moving in or moving on! Reach her at

Have a great product or local spot you want to share? Let us know by emailing NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

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Featured Artist SANDRA ABBO Chicago-based artist Sandra Abbo calls on nature and the city’s urban landscape to inform her multi-media pieces. Her latest works, Nature Interlaced, captures and transforms the landscapes and spaces that surrounds us every day. To create these series, Abbo integrates photographs with various textures and colors found in papers, threads and textiles to generate new light, proportion and form. The creation of every piece considers light from different perspectives, revealing itself new with every move we make. With them, she intends to evoke the same calmness and peace that arises in contemplation of beauty in nature and to add relevance to the fading elements of our planet.

“Hide and Seek”

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“Light and Shadows”

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From an early age, I was always inclined toward art, crafts, and design because I grew up in a family with those artistic talents. Since I was constantly surrounded by their handmade work, I knew my path had to be in a creative field. That led me to take years of art lessons in drawing, painting, color theory, ceramics, and calligraphy. I thought I would become a graphic designer, but ended up with a Master’s degree in Marketing and Advertising. The need for artistic self-expression guided me to Norah Parissi, my mentor in Art and Transformative Practices. She gave me creative exercises using all the art materials—papers, threads and textiles—I had been collecting through the years and were just sitting in the closet with little use. The results from those exercises brought me back to visual art.




HOW DO YOU THINK THAT LIVING IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT HAS INFORMED YOUR CONNECTION TO NATURE? Living in a pleasant urban space like Chicago with great landscaping on the streets, its many parks, and our beautiful lake, made me more aware and appreciative of nature. I am constantly observing the scenery that surrounds us and feel inspired to use those elements in my creative work.

WHAT ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU AND INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? James Turrell, Dale Chihuly, Michael Eastman, and Carlos Cruz-Diez, are all masters—sort of magicians —when it comes to light and color exploration. Although very different from one another, I admire their individual work and contribution to beauty in history. fw

An exhibit of Sandra’s work, entitled Nature Interlaced, opens November 12 at UNAM Chicago, 350 West Erie Street. Visit for more information.


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Coming to America


Asmaa Aeash remembers the first time she met her husband in Syria. They sat outside and drank coffee in the garden of her parents’ home. Someone in his family had mentioned he should visit her. So he did. Mohammad Obidat laughs. Through an Iraqi interpreter named Dima Suliman, he says he liked Aeash the moment he saw her. And Aeash says she liked him, because she knew he was a good man. “They didn’t get married quickly,” Suliman says. “They waited three months.” They wore each other’s rings during that time, the interpreter says, so they could get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. Like many American couples, she liked to go shopping for clothes and he liked eating and spending time on the Internet surfing websites, like Facebook. But that was ten years ago, back when they had a house and a computer, when she was 21 and he was 26. It was a lifetime ago, he says, when life in Syria was good.

They landed at O’Hare Airport at the end of July. They arrived as refugees from Jordan, co-sponsored by Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Northfield, Ill., and RefugeeOne, a nonprofit organization in the Uptown neighborhood that helps refugees resettle in Chicago. It finds sponsors, housing, and tutoring while administering English classes, job training, and counseling, coupled with after-school care and tutoring for children. It was a 14-hour flight to Chicago and their first time on a plane.


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Their daughter Retaj, 9, and son Akram, 6, played liked nothing was wrong. In the airport, Aeash cried and hugged her children. She missed her family she’d left behind and her 22 year-old brother who had been killed in the war. Obidat put his arm around her and told her, “Don’t cry, you have to be strong.”

floor from the noises, like a turtle trying to crawl back into its shell. As a family, they’d hide in the basement, afraid to sleep upstairs in their beds. At the same time, Obidat, who had worked as an accountant for an electricity company, started traveling back and forth between Jordan and Syria, hoping for a cure.

Two months later, Aeash still isn’t quite sure what to do here in Chicago. She still has nightmares. “Every day, every minute,” she says. “It’s not something you forget.”

Years earlier he’d noticed a lump, a mole on his left thumb. For more than a decade, the doctors would do an operation each year. “Open his finger and get it out,” the interpreter says. Each year, The doctors would tell Obidat, “It’s nothing.” Until he found out in 2010, it was bone cancer. A

When her son was two, the bombs in Syria started. He would crouch down and shake on the


year later, when Syrian doctors said they wanted to cut off Obidat’s entire left hand nearly up to his elbow, he decided to go to Jordan for a second opinion. That’s when he learned the cancer had spread to his lungs. After two years of traveling back and forth, living in a country ravaged by war with constant bombings, homes being destroyed and people dying all around them, they decided to flee permanently to Jordan in January 2013 with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their two children. The doctors were better there Obidat


BY THE NUMBERS Over the next two years, the U.S. will increase the number of worldwide refugees it accepts each year. Here’s a look at the breakdown:

70,000  85,000  100,000

The annual capped number of global refugees the U.S. will resettle in 2015.

The annual capped number of global refugees the U.S. will resettle in 2016.

The annual capped number of global

refugees the U.S. will resettle in 2017.

U.S.’s worldwide rank in the number th Tofherefugees it hosted in 2014 (267,174),


according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which represents less than 1 percent of the nation’s population.


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y e n o m work + PROXFINITY Everyone can agree that there is no substitute for a face-to-face interaction. Designed to make networking and other social events more efficient, Proxfinity is a new technology that makes it easy to find and connect with other people with similar interests and backgrounds. Co-founded by Lisa Carrel and Christine Hutchison, the Chicago-based company has created a wearable product called the Bullseye Badge that is armed with algorithms developed by the company to help like-minded attendees find each other. Learn more at



This Google app allows you to set emails to send at a later date and sends emails back to you that have not been replied to. Simple, but effective—oh, and only $14.99/month.

If organizing all of your work projects and home to-do lists has devolved into a mashup of random sticky notes, spreadsheets and emails, it might be time to try Trello. An app that allows you to create a board for each project, Trello expertly organizes everything in one place-contacts, notes and all.

Have insights and ideas you want to share? Let us know by emailing


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FACING CHALLENGES When confronted with tough situations, both professionally and personally, it is usually wise to resist the desire to react impulsively. In her new book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy gives advice on how to step back and take a breath. The Harvard professor explains how to react from a place of strength and poise and remain self-assured in high-pressure moments. Available on

Passion Project Lindsay Abeles McFarlane had a knack for networking, making connections, and helping others fulfill their professional dreams long before launching her company, Working Girl Inc. So it seemed only natural for the bright go-getter to turn her innate talent into a business, all without quitting her job as public relations coordinator for Neiman Marcus. Abeles McFarlane handles her clients after hours and on the weekends—a routine that works, she says, due to her immense passion for her work. Working Girl Inc. starts with an in-person, one-on-one consultation that is followed up by emails, calls, texts with next steps, resume and cover letter help, and connections to companies. The best part? The service cost is completely accessible: $200 for the entire process. “I am always available for additional in-person meetings to follow up, work on something new, or even do a mock interview the night before a big interview,” said Abeles McFarlane. “This is what makes Working Girl Inc. so unique—the personal service and the mentorship feelings.” For more information, visit


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r e w o p

A WOMAN OF by Jennifer Smith Tapp

It’s probably safe to say most people in Chicago have never heard of the small village of Union, IL. It sits about 90 minutes to the northwest of the city and, as of the 2010 census, boasts a population of only 580 residents. But tucked away on a sprawling complex in the middle of Union is INTREN, a company that provides construction, design, and management solutions for some of the country’s leading contractors, utilities, and municipalities. At the helm of the INTREN empire is the founder and CEO, Loretta Rosenmayer.

The old adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” could not have been more accurate to frame the back story of INTREN. Rosenmayer, already the mother of four boys, needed to find well-paying work after her husband was forced to stop working due to chronic asthma. Describing her situation at that moment, Rosenmayer says, “It was clear he could not continue to be a full-time breadwinner. I was the one who had to do something. And I knew that I couldn’t make nine dollars an hour.” In 1988 with a $15,000 loan from a female friend, Rosenmayer launched Trench-It, a small trenching company with just four employees. Five years later in 1993, Trench-It was certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). By 2009, Trench-It had grown exponentially, and trenching had become just six percent of what the company was actually doing. The name of the company was changed to INTREN, to properly encompass the full scope of the capabilities of its workforce, which has now swelled to more than 1,100.


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To say Rosenmayer is a force of nature only speaks to part of who she is. With her mane of dark, curly hair and her penchant for brightly-colored clothing and oversized rings on each finger, she certainly commands the room with her presence. But sitting across from her in her art-filled (thoughtfully collected from her world travels) office at the INTREN headquarters, it quickly becomes clear

encouraging her to expand into new areas of business. “Whenever I talk about the company, I say this is the company that ComEd built,” she explains. The core of INTREN’s company culture is stewardship—taking care of both its clients and the communities that the company serves. The reach of the business spans seven states, and each local office is partnered with

a female-centric family that included three older sisters, Rosenmayer was surprised when she ended up giving birth to a boy. Three more boys followed, and she strongly desired a daughter. “ This inspired her to become a foster parent of more than 20 girls and, ultimately, to have the privilege and opportunity to adopt her daughter, Amber, all before she started her company.

“My passion is to make a difference in the lives of others and to lift up and celebrate all the women I possibly can.” the whip-smart, tough-minded persona one would expect from a CEO is complemented by a genuine kindness, curiosity about the world, and a driving desire to serve and be of use to others. Rosenmayer’s grace is evident when she discusses the moment her company began to find its footing and become what it is today. Early on in the company’s history, INTREN developed a relationship with ComEd when the electric utility provider had to hire a contractor in order to keep up with demand during the Chicagoland building boom in the late 1980s. INTREN was hired, and Rosenmayer credits this connection with ComEd for the success of her company and for


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charities that the employees work closely with to support. Locally, INTREN has built relationships with the Special Olympics of Chicago, the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, El Valor, and National Latino Education Institute, among many others. On a personal level, Rosenmayer draws on an upbringing with a strong, socially active mother who formed her drive to serve. Speaking about her mother, Rosenmayer says, “You know, she was out there always involved in some type of making signs, advocating, something. I mean, this was an active, dynamic, moving house, with a cause.” Growing up with such


Discussing work and career issues with Rosenmayer is like attending a professional seminar where the speaker decides to ditch her notes and speak from the heart. It is never boring, and the information received is priceless. Regarding the glass ceiling, Rosenmayer says it was not something relevant to her as an obstacle. “I was never uncomfortable or ill at ease with men. I love to banter and give it back to men. And I think that men sense that about me and disarm themselves immediately when they are dealing with me. They find that comfort level with me.” Rosenmayer sees the utility industry as one that is inclusive, telling the story


When one thinks of the construction field, a young woman with a blonde ponytail might not immediately come to mind. But Minnesota native Samantha Randby is actually the face of a changing industry. Randby is an apprentice in the Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training Program. She is one of the 8.9 percent of women who are currently employed within the construction workforce. Randby followed in the footsteps of her father and grandfather in a career in the electrical industry, and it was an encouraging message from her father that cemented her choice to become a lineman. “One night, when I was away at line school and doing homework, I got a text from my dad. ‘I’m proud of you’ was all it said, but those four words meant the world to me.” Randby is on the final leg of her program and well on her way to becoming a journeyman lineman. She has been earning

on-the-job training hours with INTREN, working with the company’s crews all over the Midwest. Being one of the few women in the field has not been without its challenges for Randby, however. “You have to be able to take a joke and learn from your mistakes. I’m very stubborn and try to push my strength when I should ask for help or use mechanical means to accomplish a task. The guys give me a hard time, but I know they’re just trying to make me a better apprentice and, ultimately, a better lineman.” fw


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CONSTRUCT Job Training Program CONSTRUCT is a job training program that offers participants the information and guidance needed to compete for entry-level jobs in construction-related fields. CONSTRUCT is designed to increase the pool of qualified minority candidates for construction jobs in Illinois, by strengthening job readiness and life skills and preparing for industry-required testing that is often a prerequisite for employment. The program includes job shadowing to give candidates an up-close look at the various career paths available.

of her father, who arrived in Minnesota from Italy at the age of 15. “As he finally worked his way to Chicago by the age of 22, he saw signs everywhere that said, ‘Italians need not apply.’ But he discovered there was no sign at ComEd. My father applied at ComEd and was hired. And we had a wonderful life because of it.” But Rosenmayer does acknowledge the lack of women in her industry—a fact that is slowly changing due to the gradual increase of women in engineering. They are starting to get the recognition needed to encour-

CONSTRUCT is led by ComEd and powered by an alliance of utility construction companies. Several social service agencies, including YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and National Latino Education Institute, recruit and comprehensively support participants. CONSTRUCT’s collaborative approach connects determined people who have a strong work ethic to the companies that need them in an industry that is growing. This past May, CONSTRUCT graduated its third class of program participants. For more information, contact Laticia Dezell at

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age other women to enter and succeed in the utilities business. Rosenmayer refers to an award hanging in the hallway just outside her office. In 2012, she received the “Maverick Award” from Energetic Women, a specialty group of the Midwest Energy Association (MEA). The eight year-old group works to place and encourage women in the energy field. With organizations such as the MEA’s Energetic Women, Women’s Energy Network (WEN), plus an overall national effort to get girls to maintain interest in STEM fields, Rosenmayer is optimistic about the future of women in her industry. So what advice does Rosenmayer have for other women who are considering launching their own businesses? In a word, passion. She explains, “What worries me is that, many times, women will find their hobby and think their hobby is their passion. And their hobby may not at all get them into a very successful business. You have to be really introspective when you’re looking at going into business and you have to find your niche.” Rosenmayer stresses that women who are interested in starting a business should do the necessary research and make sure that there is a market. A few questions she suggests asking: “Is there a market, are there enough consumers to grow your business there? Do you have the capability and knowledge to open this niche? Is it cutting edge? Will it be dynamic and exciting?” She says, “Do not follow your hobby unless your hobby fills all of those criteria.

An avid art collector, Rosenmayer has filled the halls of INTREN’s headquarters with pieces she has acquired over many years. The painting behind her in the photo above “spoke to her before it was even finished because the woman depicted has an austere power in her gaze.”

I’ve seen many women fail following a hobby. Keep your hobby for yourself.” When asked about what she is passionate about, Rosenmayer provides a simple answer that paints the picture of why

INTREN has been so successful: “I knew from the time I was thirteen or fourteen years old that I was called to serve, and when I became an entrepreneur, it was natural that I would be a servant leader.” fw


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ax r B i r r e T t Mee WomenTechFounders (WTF) is a media and networking organization for women founders and leaders of tech start-ups. WTF highlights the stories and lessons of female-led tech role models. Terri Brax is the co-founder of WTF and founder of TeacherCare Inc., a nationwide agency. She will be moderating the series of conversations with local tech insiders in each issue for 2016.

WOMEN TECH FOUNDERS TELLS STORIES ABOUT STRONG FEMALE LEADERS IN THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY. WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO YOU? Stories and role models always made a big difference in helping me overcome challenging situations. My mom was a concentration camp survivor in Siberia. She lost her family and spent her teen years living underground with the dead and dying. My mom never gave up fighting for her life, even as cancer finally took her, and she contributed to the world until her last weeks. Growing up listening to my mom’s stories gave me a lot of grit, and it’s served me well. As I got older, every time I faced a new challenge I sought out the stories of successful role models that I could relate to; stories that would help me understand how to best move forward. This helped me be the first person in my family to get a college education, create and run a nationwide business, and to grow my own family. But, when I dove into the tech industry—an industry I knew had more power than any other in the world—I found it a challenge without role models I could relate to. Industry spotlights focused almost exclusively on white males.


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f t w

Books held up as bibles of the industry and “founder stories” failed to include women or other marginalized groups.

It took me a long time to find female role models in tech, but when I finally heard their stories, I knew other women would want to hear them, too. Then one morning over coffee it hit me— the collective effect of what these women in tech could bring the world would change the balance of power. This past January, WTF became a grassroots platform to tell Women’s Founder Stories and create diversity in the industry. Overnight, hundreds of other founders and aspiring founders joined to help us start a movement. Through video and networking events, WTF features female start-up success stories and lessons. We aim to inspire all women to overcome barriers and share their potential with the world.

HOW ARE GIRLS’ AND WOMEN’S CONFIDENCE IN STEM-RELATED STUDIES BEING INDIRECTLY UNDERMINED IN SCHOOL AND IN THE PROFESSIONAL ARENA? There are too many negative stereotypes about women in tech. The media often portrays them as mousy or boring. That’s the wrong message to move women forward, and that needs to change. The real female leaders in tech that I know are passionate women who are building something they believe in. And while it’s often the hardest thing they’ve done, they’re a pretty bad-ass group and will break down walls to make their work come alive. PHOTO CREDIT KATHLEEN VIRGINIA PAGE

These women often face a difficulty in life that they overcome, like Katie Hench, who had a brother with autism and created Infiniteach, an app-based platform to help kids with autism learn. Or Roya Mahoob, who’s helping thousands of Afghan women learn to code and connecting them with jobs around the world. Or Dana Oswald, previously a U.S. Marine, who helped create the Wounded Warriors program and now runs a placement agency for vets interested in working in the tech industry. Just to name a few of our local heroines.


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Girls need to see successful role models like Katie, Roya, Dana, and others who they can relate to. Someone who looks like them and can show them a new side of what success can look like.


are more capital efficient and achieve a 35 percent higher return on investment. Having leaders with differing experiences also brings other advantages. Women leaders, for example, bring emotional intelligence and broadened perspectives. As I’m writing this article, Oliver Stahl of, a hot new Chicago-based startup, tapped me to introduce him to a motivated woman for

HOW DOES WTF HELP BRIDGE THE GAP AND BRING MORE WOMEN TO TECH? There have been a lot of negative conversations about woman in technology, including conversations about sexism and discrimination. We’re changing conversations by spotlighting the amazing—the women in tech who are rocking the world. Women who, while building a

The real female leaders in tech that I know are passionate women who are building something they believe in. And while it’s often the hardest thing they’ve done, they’re a pretty badass group and will break down walls to make their work come alive.


THE TECH INDUSTRY? Diverse experiences create diverse solutions for diverse problems. Women, for example, see opportunities men may never see, fully understand, or appreciate. The silver lining is that, because so few women are in technology, there are many untapped opportunities for women to create unique and important ways to capitalize on their insights. In addition, diverse leadership makes economic sense. Women-led private tech companies


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a full-time position. I asked him for the job description, and he told me, “We’ll create one based on the women. At my last startup, I saw the benefit of adding our first female co-worker in ways I didn’t expect. We grew as a company, views were broadened, and work became even more focused. Adding a female employee helped our team grow, literally, but also strategically. We added another, unique view with a perspective that we only benefited from. I know we benefited from it. Our company is dedicated to creating a diverse team. “


great life for themselves, are building others up. We want girls and women to know that they can use tech to build their dreams and improve the world. And they belong in tech. WTF is the intersection of Startup Secrets and Life Lessons. Building a start-up is incredibly hard. The war stories we’ve heard and the lessons we’ve learned carry over into leadership and life. We’re using our video and event platform at to reach out and empower women. We also break common myths,

like everyone in tech has to be “technical” to work in the field, or that coders aren’t creative.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT CHICAGO HAS BECOME SUCH FERTILE TECH START-UP TERRITORY? Chicago has an amazing pay-itforward culture. No one I know created a tech business alone. We all had the help of someone who took some extra time, who encouraged us, or who had our back when we needed it. Start-up life is rugged, and that kind of support when you hit a wall or fall down completely (which is a part of start-up life) makes all the difference in success and failure.

The past few years in Chicago tech have been exciting. The city’s growing a reputation as a unique hub in technology. We don’t dominate one industry— think NYC and fashion tech. We’re spread across industries, including education, healthcare, agriculture, “things,” biometrics, and more. Today, in Chicago, no matter what your passion is, you have local resources to geek your dream and make it matter. And Forbes just named Chicago the world’s leader for female-founded tech start-ups! This means the difficulties women faced even a year ago have been reduced dramatically, and we have the amazing opportunity to be role models for women in tech leadership around the world.

At no other time in history, have women had an opportunity to take their stake in the power that’s driving the world like we do now. And technology is fueling that power. I can’t wait to share the stories of Chicago’s women tech founders and leaders! fw

more To learn ch omen Te about W , their Founders events pcoming u d n a rs membe Tech Women such as it Live!, vis Founders .c rs om chfounde womente





NET WORK ING by Jennifer Smith Tapp

Established in 2009, The Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group (EPWNG) is a Chicago-based organization that connects professional women. Members are able to support each other’s businesses as well as exchange information in order to advance their own careers. Meetings are monthly and are currently in Chicago, North Shore, and the Western Suburbs. Learn more about upcoming events and membership at


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Ask any career coach about how to reach your full potential as a professional and she will likely mention networking as part of the conversation. It makes sense that the more people you connect with, both within your industry and outside of it, the more you can bring the diversity of experiences and ideas to bear on your own career success. You already know broadening your circle of professional contacts is a valuable endeavor, but are you networking as efficiently as you could be? And what are the differences between the way men and women network? Networking should be viewed as a way to make connections and establish mutually beneficial relationships. Rather than an exercise in collecting business cards, networking should be approached as an unlimited opportunity to learn more about your industry (and others) and support other businesses. Reaching out to others will allow you to create referral networks, as well as possibly open the door to new career opportunities for yourself in the process. Joining a professional networking group is a good place to start expanding your horizons. Wendy Baum, a Deerfield-based financial advisor at AXA Advisors and a partner at Infinity Strategic Partners, LLC, founded the Exclusive Professional Women’s Networking Group (EPWNG) in 2009. EPWNG has members from all across the Chicago area. She suggests you define your purpose for each networking group and set a goal before each meeting you attend. Walking into a room full of strangers can certainly be intimidating. How do you divide and conquer and get the most out of each net-

working encounter, especially if you are more socially reserved? Baum says “Learning how to approach a group of people already in conversation and developing a style for creating casual conversation can build confidence over time. Like anything, the more you experience the process, the more natural it becomes. I recommend starting

inbox after an event. Or maybe you have sent that message yourself. Sending a generic “It was nice to meet you” email might not be the best course of action when it comes to proper follow-up. What is the best way to follow up with someone that you have connected with? Debbie Hopkins of the Professional Women’s Club of

They do not really take the time to get to know them.” Women are more inclined to want to help and often offer help once they have spoken with someone that they feel they can trust. According to Hopkins, “Women network to get to know each other and trust each other. Women must trust before referring business.” Angelika Coghlan, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), has noticed that women are often modest when speaking about their accomplishments. “Women will often talk about their weaknesses and undersell themselves. Women want to connect and don’t want to be seen as talking about themselves too much. Men are very focused on job titles and money—they are trading info for a tangible result.” Another trait Coghlan has observed is that women have not only remembered her name as a result of having met her at past events but also recalled things about her she has told them. This also speaks to the need for women to truly connect with someone they want as part of their professional circle.

BE PATIENT, BE CONSISTENT, AND BE YOURSELF. with smaller, more intimate groups to help build easy conversational skills—such as asking strangers open-ended questions—to quickly learn commonality.” If you feel uncomfortable joining a more well-established networking group, ask friends or colleagues about connecting with other people in your industry. The mutual personal or professional connection will be a safety net, while allowing you to practice conversation skills with a stranger. Eventually, it will be easier for you to enter a room and engage someone in conversation, as well as join a conversation already in progress. If you are already an experienced networker, you may have encountered the avalanche of emails that often land in your

Chicago (PWCC) says, for her, the post-event contact needs to be genuine. “When I follow up, I have a true question. The connection needs to be an intellectual one and needs to be a good fit for your industry. True connections come from things we need.” Of course, not all networking events will be single-gender. Understanding the differences between the way women and men navigate a networking event is key to getting the most out of each interaction. Both Baum and Hopkins agree women tend to take longer to develop a rapport with someone they are speaking with, but those connections tend to last longer once they are made. Baum elaborates, “Men get right to the point when they meet someone.

Whether you have a straightforward approach to networking or you prefer a slightly more nuanced style of connecting, building professional relationships is important. Be patient, be consistent, and be yourself. fw


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A Conversation With: Amanda Lannert As the chief executive at Jellyvision Lab, Amanda Lannert sets the tone at the Lincoln Park-based tech communications company. FW: Chicago recently paid a visit to the Jellyvision Lab offices to discuss the firm’s well-known company culture, cultivating leadership skills, and how to bounce back after a lapse in confidence. Interview by Jennifer Smith Tapp

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW DID YOU COME TO BE AT JELLYVISION LAB? I am the kid of the chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Virginia and a nurse. So my intention in high school and college was to get a J.D., M.D., and write public policy for hospitals in what to do with abandoned embryos, euthanasia, and things like that. I ended up spending my third year at the University of Edinburgh, where I more or less studied beer and boys, and I came back behind in pre-med credits. When I called my dad and said, “I need to go post-bac; I need a fifth year of my private, liberal arts, New England school education, he said, ‘That’s fantastic, how are you paying for it?’” So I temporarily pulled the plug on the notion of going to med school or business school or law school and just said, “Alright, I’m going to have to get a job.” I had no skills, no experience.


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I’d been a bartender, a babysitter, and a waitress. I didn’t have any internships and I had no network from a business perspective. And so I did what people sometimes do in that situation—I went into advertising. I had a very early job offer in my senior year by January. I was employed at Leo Burnett as soon as I graduated. I was raised by Leo Burnett in terms of thinking about big, traditional, CPG marketing; brand management; classic, big budget days—the heydays of Midwestern advertising. I was a bookish nerd who kind of fell into it. JELLYVISION LAB RECENTLY WON BEST COMPANY CULTURE AT THE MOXIE AWARDS. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE? You walk through the office, and our people are wearing pajamas at work and do mustache day, or there’s the


internal Olympics, so there’s always something weird going on, and people assume that’s the culture. And what is at the core of the company is a bunch of nice, humble, hard-working people who try to be honest and kind. “Honest” meaning I speak up and give you feedback and “kind” meaning I’m trying to be constructive about it. Then they’re similarly open and non-defensive. And then we want to be helpful. We want to be earnest and honest and kind and productive. When you have a bunch of people in a trusting environment, you get to layer in a lot of things like, taking the work seriously and not taking yourself seriously, and I think we’ve always valued a good sense of humor. But it’s more important that you’re humble than you’re hilarious. Hilarious is a really nice fringe benefit, and we haven’t had a lot of deeply hilarious people

here. I know it’s like the pajama day that gets the picture in the paper, but it really is just unbelievably kind and decent people, unbelievably talented rock stars who never act like divas, that’s the core of the culture— people getting stuff done. HAS THERE BEEN A MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER WHERE YOUR CONFIDENCE WAS SHAKEN? There is a very public moment of shaken confidence. The company I joined after Leo Burnett was Jellyvision Inc., a gaming company. And I walked into one of Chicago’s stalwart fun companies. It was filled with writers—writers who went on to write for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. There were artists and comedians and improvisers and unbelievable tech people, making games like You Don’t Know Jack and Who Wants to be a Millionaire and

TV shows on the USA network. It was an unbelievable time. I came in as a marketer and I was president about six months later. Shortly after I joined, I got the P&L, and it was the P&L of a company about to go off a cliff. We had all these plans to try to save it, and then the sort of trifecta of doom happened. The CD-ROM market died, in no small part because we were putting Who Wants to be a Millionaire CDs into Cheerios boxes. And we completely changed the consumer value perception of CD-ROMs. They went from $20 to $10 to $5, which did not support our type of development back in the day. Console games were going through a next-generation transition—all about the boxes and the hardware and the technology, not about mass market games. And games were going online. But no one was making

money online in 2001. Then the bubble burst because nobody kept financing, and we said. “Alright we’ve got a few shots left to try to make this work. We’re going to have to tighten the belt. We’re going to have to get lean. And we’re going to have to do it for the love of gaming.” Then the first opportunity didn’t pan out. And the second opportunity didn’t pan out. And I remember where I was sitting upstairs when we hung up the phone on the third opportunity that didn’t work out, and we knew we were going to have to ramp down the company. Jellyvision Inc. laid off 80 percent of the people in the company in a day. It was a very long day. I was in one-on-one meetings all day. But I was the executive who didn’t make it work. I was the one who didn’t make it work.


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I was the president of a company that had failed to make ends meet. And we did a few things right, we were incredibly transparent, very proactive, managed to not run out of money, everyone got severance and long transitions. And we were able to, in fact, keep a core—the skeleton crew—alive. They then later came back as this company, not Jellyvision Inc., but the Jellyvision Lab. WHO HAVE YOU LEARNED THE MOST FROM IN THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? There are sort of one-off moments. I’m a collector of stories, I think, in certain respects. I had a chance to meet with Chad

people are incredibly generous. I think Chicago roots for each other in a way that maybe other cities don’t. I don’t know, but I do know Chicago roots for each other. But there are a couple of people that have been really instrumental to me.

time—but if you’re making over $100,000 a year as a woman, you should be writing at least a check a year to tech. Start to change the whole fabric of what you invest, start to change the fabric of what’s invested in, let your money lead.

Troy Henikoff—who is the CEO of TechStars now, a serial entrepreneur, and a partner in MATH Venture—and his partner in MATH Venture, Mark Achler, the two of them, I think, adopt people. And I’m one of them that was adopted by them back in 2000. And probably a third of my professional network at least is traceable back to the two of them. So I would say that I have had people who actively mentored and invested and helped me in my career, even though I didn’t ask for it, and there’s no way that’s not worth trying to pay forward. I really do feel like I got access to some of the leaders, the makers, the doers of the Chicago tech scene. For whatever reason, they invested in me and my career and gave me a better chance of success.

Other things are, show up. Be an active member on the scene. Create the perception of diversity by showing up. Be a constant student. There’s so much content out there that can make you smart for free. Take advantage of it. Go to sessions, go see Technori, read books, read blogs. Really be a lifelong student, and if that doesn’t get you where you want to go, at least you’ll have a richer mind, which is its own reward.

Invest. Show up. Be a lifelong student. Cooper, who is now the CTO of GiveForward. And he was the CTO of GrubHub. And they went through that incredible period. He won’t remember the meeting, but he sat there for an hour and 45 minutes and told me the story of GrubHub’s growth. What it felt like to be on the inside. And he talked about the importance of an executive team. So for him, it’s just a coffee. Just catching up. To me, I’m a student. I’m come back, and I’m like, “Alright, time to build an executive team.” And I spent 2014 building an executive team, because he gave me all this great advice and perspective. But I would say, I’ve had these one-off moments where people give me unbelievable access to their stories and their advice because I’ll have asked for it. And


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WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP? Start saying “How can I be helpful and what can I do?” instead of, “What can I get and how can I scale up?” It depends on what you’re interested in. If its tech, and this is a crazy idea, but start writing checks. I read somewhere—who wrote it? I would love to attribute this because it stuck with me for a long


WHAT DO YOU DO DURING YOUR DOWN TIME? I’m the mother of daughters— I hang out with them and my husband. I like to go on very long walks in the park—like 12 to 15 miles. It’s my therapy, my clearing the head. I also love to travel and love wine. For someone as busy as I am, I find an awful lot of time to amuse myself. I really do! People say, “Oh, I don’t have time for TV.” I’m like, “I do. I’m up on Netflix!” I live a simple life. I have a husband of 17 years (I’ve been with him for 19)—that’s almost half my life. And my family— my broader family—is really important to me. So usually on the weekends, I’m hanging out, being with my “peeps.” I do work a lot. I am someone who does have a computer in my hand pretty much all the time. Maybe I’m just immature or something, but I do need to amuse myself on a regular basis! fw


Building Wealth through Entrepreneurship An inheritance, a great stock, or property investments are surefire ways people have acquired wealth, but there’s another proven approach to wealth-building: entrepreneurship. By Emilia DiMenco

Historically, women who started a business rarely viewed their enterprise as a big money-maker. The goal was to enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes from calling your own shots while earning an ample salary, building savings, and ultimately transferring or liquidating the business. Indeed, that is one path to financial freedom. Another option—one where women and men have made millions—is to expand the company strategically, then monetize the value by selling ownership of the business to someone else such as family members, employees, or even competitors. If you think your goal might be to sell the business at a huge profit, here are some things to consider. • As your company grows, so do your opportunities for selling it. A sellable business must have stand-alone value. The more integrated your business is with your personal identity and finances, the harder it will be to sell. Instead of making financial decisions that primarily benefit you, take steps to separate your personal finances and identity from that of the business, handling taxes and expenses in a way to build cash flow and solid assets.

• Think carefully about how you want to expand. To grow, you must use critical thinking and strategic skills to create a vision and make it a reality. Some of the ways you can expand your company are adding new locations, franchising, exporting, licensing your product, forming an alliance, and winning large corporate or government contracts. You’ll also need to incorporate the right technologies to increase business efficiencies and maintain competitiveness in your industry. • Devise a plan for your exit. Think of your exit as another business strategy that requires tactics and measurable outcomes. Don’t shy away from succession planning because it seems eons away. Devise a formal plan that identifies the prospective buyer, the right training program for your successor, a timetable, and your role during and after the transition of leadership.

• Build a team of experts to help you. When you sell a business, you are selling a promise. The new owner will be less concerned with what you have built and more concerned with what she can build on. To prepare, begin assembling a team of professionals—lawyers, accountants, and consultants—to perform tasks such as identifying the right legal structure for growth and bringing your financial reports in line with accounting standards. You need a team you can trust to provide practical direction and deliver peace of mind that comes from knowing your business is in reliable hands. Most women owners think of the business as their baby, and selling or closing it is unimaginable. But it’s never too soon to start planning for the day when you transfer or sell the business and prepare for the next step in life. It will happen and sooner than you expect. fw

Emilia DiMenco is president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center, an organization that provides services to prospective, emerging, and established women business owners, including workshops, business counseling, a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification and procurement program, and annual events including the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference and an Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo. Through a pool of more than $1.6 million in funds, the WBDC offers business loans of up to $75,000 to qualified women entrepreneurs. In September 2015, DiMenco also was named to the Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Council. For more information, visit


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e l y t s + beauty Attalie Dexter With all the talk about statement jewelry, we sometimes like pieces that make themselves known without shouting from across the room. Dexter’s collections feature a sleek combination of 14K gold and gorgeous stones such as rose quartz and white opal—the perfect gift for the sister or girlfriend with a singular taste in jewelry. Dexter has now decamped to sunny LA, but her pieces are still stocked in boutiques all over the city. See the entire line at MOBILE NECKLACE, $92

BISON AIRLIGHTER Keep the home fires burning this holiday with this portable, air-driven lighter ($80). Safer and more earth-friendly than using lighter fluid, the Bison Airlighter ignites charcoal instantly using a jet-air stream. Because it is portable, you can use indoors and out to light fireplaces and campfires. Learn more at

Nyet Jewelry Our favorite Frenchwoman, Delphine Pontvieux, handcrafts her line of edgy metal and leatherwork jewelery and accesories. Her newest collection gives any look an extra boost of attitude. HORSE BIT 2.0 NECKLACE IN ORANGE, $90.


The wait is over. Designer Maria Pinto has finally opened the doors to her latest M2057 boutique in the heart of the West Loop—which is conveniently located near our offices, we might add (see you later, paycheck!). The clean, urban design of the store is the perfect environment to showcase Pinto’s latest masterpiece: M2057 Gang, a limited-edition collection inspired by the work of architect Jeanne Gang. Of course, there is still plenty of room left on the suspended clothing racks to house Pinto’s signature (and oh-so travel friendly) pieces as well. M2057 by Maria Pinto Style Studio, 833 West Washington,


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HOME DÉCOR HELP 101 The hardest part of setting a room can be deciding exactly how to arrange all of the elements in a way that we can live with. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, by Emily Henderson, is a wealth of ideas on how to create living spaces, accented with your own personal style. Available at

Does Plastic Surgery Change Who You Are? It is obvious that your physical appearance will change in some way after you’ve had plastic surgery. An interesting topic of debate is whether or not other changes occur that are beyond the physical. Here at MAE Plastic Surgery, we have had patients ask if plastic surgery will change who they are. The simple answer would be no. Post-surgery you will still have the same name, the same values, the same family, the same responsibilities, and the same goals that you have always had. The changes that we have seen with our patients are the ways in which they see themselves. And, these changes are often greater than the physical changes that patients experience.

HAZEL If you live in the Ravenswood neighborhood, you already know about local gem Hazel. Those in the know have had Hazel on their radar for over a decade as their go-to spot for left-of-center housewares, beautifully made jewelry, and unique cards and gifts for every occasion. The clothing boutique next door adds a new dimension to one-stop shopping. Holiday shopping made easy. Visit hazelchicago. com for more information.

It’s no secret that people often turn to plastic surgery when they are insecure about their appearance in some way. Whether it’s too much extra skin after significant weight

loss, a nose that seems disproportionate, dissatisfaction with breast size, or a face that now has an extra wrinkle or blemish, each one of these can affect a patient’s selfesteem and how they perceive themselves. Plastic surgery can help people achieve the look they desire, minimize their insecurities, and provide a new sense of confidence. We have seen this time and time again with our own patient’s. They smile more, they stand taller, they have better eye contact and they genuinely feel really good about themselves. While plastic surgery can, and often does, change someone’s demeanor, this does not mean it changes who they are. In fact, it more commonly does the opposite. Since their appearance now matches what they feel on the inside, plastic surgery allows people to actually be who they truly are.

847-579-9939 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

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Shirt by Fausto Puglisi, Avant Toi turtleneck sweater, $745 at Chalk Stella McCartney pants, $1100 at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue Hellessy coat, $2400 at Chalk Alexis Bittar small encrusted skull pendant, $145, and spike feather earrings, $195, both at Alexis Bittar Miu Miu glitter Mary Jane pumps, $790 at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue


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THE Elevate your idea of holiday dressing and try clean winter whites with hints of metallic shimmer and dramatic texture combinations. Photographed on location at Drumbar at Raffaello Hotel by Kirsten Miccoli. Styled by Arlene Matthews and Brandon Frein


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ABOVE Avant Toi turtleneck sweater, $745 at Chalk Hellessy coat, $2400 at Chalk Alexis Bittar spike feather earrings, $195, both at Alexis Bittar

RIGHT Mathieu Mirano gown, $3495 at Chalk Alexis Bittar Block Ring in black, $100, and large crystal studded hoop earrings, $145, both at Alexis Bittar


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Audra cocktail dress, $650 at Chalk Alexis Bittar gold pyramid posts, $95 and baquette fringe bib necklace, $445, both at Alexis Bittar


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Céline dress, $2950 at Neiman Marcus Hellessy Mongolian fur pochette, $1250 at Chalk Alexis Bittar N’Importe Quoi engraved cuff, $175, and N’Importe Quoi flip cocktail ring, $195, both available at Alexis Bittar Miu Miu sandal, $750 at Nordstrom Michigan Avenue

Audra shirting dress, $510 at Chalk The Row wide leg pants, $1790 at Neiman Marcus Alexis Bittar gold pyramid post earrings, $95, and block ring in black, $100, both at Alexis Bittar Miu Miu cap toe smoking slipper, $795 at Nordstrom 43


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Isabel Marant Étoile dress, $585 at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue

Céline dress, $2950 at Neiman Marcus

Givenchy hat, $250 at Luxury Garage Sale

Hellessy Mongolian fur pochette, $1250 at Chalk

Alexis Bittar encrusted petite V pendant, $105, and gunmetal pyramid pendant, $95, both at Alexis Bittar

Alexis Bittar N’Importe Quoi engraved cuff, $175, and N’Importe Quoi flip cocktail ring, $195, both available at Alexis Bittar

Photographer Kirsten Miccoli, Styling Arlene Matthews and Brandon Frein, Kit This. Hair and Makeup Andrea C. Samuels of Factor Artists using Makeup Forever. Model Alexandra Florina, Ford Chicago. Thank You to Alyson Pedro of Raffaello Hotel.


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p o p

by Claire Staszak

Grey is everyone’s favorite color these days. Using neutral colors, like gray, in our homes feels comfortable and safe. Color is emotional, powerful, personal, and not as easy to change in an interior as that bright pink blouse you can easily take off. Many of my clients are hesitant to use color on their walls, but you can still get the best of both worlds—and feel comfortable easing into color—with some of these simple decorating tips.


Bessie Wool Dhurrie Rug, $179,


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Peacock Feather Embroidered Pillow $59.50, PapierMache Wall Art $159,

Claire Staszak is a Chicago-based interior decorator and owner of Centered by Design. See more of her work on her blog at

COLORFUL ARTWORK Let colorful artwork become the focal point of the room. Abstract artwork is often multi-colored and can help you tie neutral and accent colors together.

GO BOLD If you’re ready for some color on the walls, a bedroom or powder room are great places to start. Try to determine the right mood for the room and for you. Here a Prussian blue is intense and exotic when mixed with Moroccan-style textiles.

STATEMENT RUG Make a statement with your rug. Neutral walls are a lot less boring with a big dose of color on the floor.

AND REPEAT Pick a color you like and use it in repetition throughout the space. Here red is accented in an occasional chair, bookcase, and wall decoration.


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? g a b r e h What’s in By Rebecca Taras-Lee

It’s been said that you can learn a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse—it’s like opening a door into our personality and lifestyle. So, when we had the opportunity to spill the contents of acupuncturist and herbalist Jin H. Ngan’s leather purse, we just knew we had to share what we found. An effervescent healing spirit, she’s the driving force behind Jin and Tonic Wellness Co. (, a practice that helps patients navigate issues ranging from pain, fatigue, and forgetfulness to infertility, migraines, and weight gain. As you might imagine, the items she carries with her are just as interesting as she is.

BACH FLOWER REMEDIES RESCUE ENERGY “Homeopathic remedy for fatigue due to stress and/ or a long day at work. Helps with both physical and emotional fatigue.” $20.55, Available at Whole Foods, 30 West Huron Street, 312-9329600,

AURA-SOMA QUINTESSENCES ST. GERMAIN “I use this like a fragrance because it contains all-natural ingredients without toxic substances. This is a healing liquid that is like a master transformer. It helps to transform our negative feelings into a more positive, supportive, and spiritual energy. It also has a calming effect and clears up unresolved emotional problems.” $39.50, Available at

WOW DROPS BREATH FRESHENER “Excellent for headache and sinus infection, or you can use it to boost your mood after a long day (unless you absolutely hate mint flavor!). Add a few drops to a glass of water and, ‘voilà!’ minty drinking water.” $6.79, Available at CVS, 205 North Columbus Drive, 312-861-0315,

LIGHT-LIFE TECHNOLOGY RINGS “There seems to be no limit to how you can use Light-Life Rings to enhance your life. These rings bring positive life-force energy by increasing vibrational frequency of energy to everything within their fields, which contributes to improving overall health and well-being. I use them to charge my water, tea, and wine. I proved it to my skeptic friends and charged wine and they were amazed.” $35+, Available at Light-Life Technology,

LINEN SHAWL “I made it! Linen fabric has a very high healing frequency and is excellent for healing and rejuvenation.”

YOUNG LIVING THIEVES OIL “This is a must-have, all-natural, therapeutic-grade essential oil blend. It acts like a natural antibiotic. Drop a few drops on your hand and smear it on yourself before/after you come in contact with sick people. Excellent shield before trapping yourself on a plane ride. You also can drop a few drops in warm water and sip on it as a natural remedy for cold or flu.” $44, Available at Plum Market, 1233 North Wells Street, 312-229-1400,

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Azeeza Azeeza US designs have been worn by some of the most iconic women of our times, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Sophia Bush and Gabrielle Union. The label is handcrafted in limited runs to ensure exclusivity and superior detailing, featuring versatile and transitional day-to-evening separates and accessories with subtle statement.

Top off your everyday or special event look with a custom airbrush tan! At Ortanic, our formulas and technique ensure a flawless tan with no orange, no streaks, and no funny smells. Four convenient locations.

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Reinvent Yourself at Robert Gold Salon & Spa Enjoy a luxurious experience as our highly skilled staff transforms your look as you head into the fall. Using only the latest techniques and trends in cut and color, we can help you reinvent yourself.

the needs of local businesses, the Style Files appear in print, online and in our newsletter. To learn more about getting listed in the Style Files, please contact

Robert Gold Salon & Spa 2942 Central Street, Evanston 847-492-8787 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

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e t s a t d o in go

OWL’S BREW TEA COCKTAIL MIXERS The holiday season is the perfect time to try something new with your DIY cocktails. Owl’s Brew is a collection of unique teas that are specially crafted for cocktails. Made to be mixed with all kinds of spirits, beer, and wine, Owl’s Brew is made from whole spices and herbs and is about one-third the calories of typical cocktails. Individual bottles start at $9.99. See the entire line as well as cocktail recipes at



New wine bar concept coming to the West Loop! 736 West Randolph The Lunatic TheLoverThePoet


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Baker Miller General Store In just over a year, Baker Miller has cemented its reputation as a go-to spot for all things breakfast, brunch, and expertly baked in Lincoln Square. Much to the delight of fans, the husband and wife duo of Dave and Megan Miller are opening a general store in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood in November. The store will feature coffee and pastries, plus a hot bar offering elevated comfort food such as roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, fresh pasta, and meatballs. The grocery will stock house-made sauces, jams, and broths, as well as produce, meats, and packaged snacks. Visit for more information.


CHAI & PIE CO. With all of the sweet treats we already plan to indulge in this holiday season, we also will add Chai & Pie to the list. Owned by Sana Khan, Chai & Pie offers made-to-order pies that are available for both delivery and pickup. Using seasonal ingredients, Khan offers an expansive menu, including decadent dessert pies, like Nutty Cookie Butter, and fruit pies such as classic Apple. There are also surprises on tap, like Strawberry Basil, SK’s Masala Chai, and pie bars that are sold by the dozen. See the entire menu and place orders at


Regular readers of the Chicago Tribune are already familiar with the stories and recipes found in JeanMarie Brownson’s column, Dinner at Home. Just in time for holiday family gatherings comes Brownson’s cookbook. Dinner at Home: 140 Recipes to Enjoy with Family and Friends is a collection of Brownson’s best stories, plus dishes that are perfect for weekday meals as well as celebrations with friends. $29.95,

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in front of a fireplace over the holidays, rediscover s’mores with a bit of a gourmet twist. Stuff n’ Mallows are handmade marshmallows stuffed with chocolate chips that melt while the marshmallows toast perfectly to a golden brown. Each bag is $6.99 at


Shockingly Good Coffee, Breakfast, Sandwiches, Salads, & Baked Goods.


NAVY PIER 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611


e m o H t A s i h T ry T

Holiday parties are not complete without a delicious cocktail. Or three. We’ve rounded up recipes for DIY drinks from three of the city’s top beverage experts that are perfect for cold weather soirées or a quiet evening at home in front of the fireplace.

Sarah Arel, Co-founder, Chefmade

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Collins

At Chefmade, we make fresh cold-pressed juices each week. Pear has been a recent favorite with some fantastic local pears from Seedling Farms. For this cocktail, we use fresh pear juice as the base. We add a seasonal local gin made by Leatherbee, a bit of fresh cranberry juice for tartness, Allspice Dram for sweetness and spice, and a rosemary garnish for a whiff of herbaceousness. This cocktail complements any Thanksgiving dinner. It’s packed with Fall flavors and it’s not too heavy with a large feast.


Every busy woman knows what a challenge it can be to eat healthfully—enter Chefmade, a healthy catering company that handles weekly a la carte service. “While working as a personal chef, I got an enormous amount of requests from my customers to cook healthy meals for them to eat throughout the week,” said co-founder Sarah Arel. “My husband and I decided there was a real need for consumers to access healthy chef-prepared meals without the hassle.” Partnered with, Elite Personal Chefs, top toques, like Austin Yancy (formerly of Alinea) and Eric Clark (formerly of Peninsula), do everything from working in the kitchen to assisting with menu and recipe writing. The menu changes weekly and is the 100 percent farm-to-table meal, which incorporates dishes made with only local, in-season ingredients. The average dinner entrée is $9.99 per meal. For more information, visit 52

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2 1/2 oz. gin (we used Leatherbee Autumnal Gin) 1 oz. St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram 6 oz. fresh pear juice 1/2 oz. f resh unsweetened cranberry juice Rosemary sprigs and juniper berries for garnish Stir gin, allspice dram, pear juice, and cranberry juice together with ice. Strain over fresh ice into 2 glasses. Garnish with rosemary and juniper berries. Add an extra 1/2 ounce of gin if it’s ‘just one of those days”. We understand. This could also be multiplied and made ahead in a pitcher for easy serving. Enjoy!

Lisa Fosler Kelly, Co-owner and Wine Director, Bread & Wine I sip on these in the kitchen while preparing the last few steps of Thanksgiving dinner to ease the preservice stress. I also give them to guests with their appetizers. The cranberry reduction is made ahead of time and adds a beautiful depth to the drink. This recipe can be multiplied and batched in a blender if serving a crowd —just wait until just before serving to add the ice.

Cranberry Blitzen 2 SERVINGS

2 to 3 oz. p  remium vodka (We use Valentine Vodka from Detroit) 1/2 oz. good quality orange liqueur such as Cointreau 1 T Cranberry Reduction* 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice Dash dry vermouth such as Dolin Ice Cubes Stir together vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry reduction (see recipe, below), fresh lemon juice, and a dash of dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass. Before filling each glass, moisten the rim of the martini glass with a piece of lemon, and then rim the edge of the glass with sugar by placing the glass upside down on a plate that has been dusted with sugar. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.

*Cranberry Reduction 2 cups cranberry juice 1/2 cup canned jellied cranberry sauce 4 dashes Angostura bitters 1 (3-inch) rosemary sprig


is Lemon tw zen o fr r /o and the ies—keep cranberr t o h ld wit u drink co it watering down!

Boil first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until smooth. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Add rosemary; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard rosemary. Cool mixture 30 minutes. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.


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Amy Starr, Beverage Director, Brindille and Naha This cocktail is rich and delicious, and you are able to taste each of the ingredients. Wonderful for after dinner... or even brunch!

The Alabama Flip 1 SERVING

2 oz. Clyde May’s Alabama Whiskey *1/2 oz. apple cider syrup **1/2 oz. maple syrup 1/4 oz. lemon juice Whole egg *For apple cider syrup, we reduce cider from the local farmer’s market with a whole vanilla bean until it reaches a consistency similar to maple syrup. ** We use a beautiful locally made (Medora, Indiana) syrup from Maplewood Farm. Grade A, all-natural syrup is the best quality for the cocktail. Combine apple syrup, maple syrup, lemon juice and egg in Boston shaker and “dry shake” vigorously for ten seconds to combine ingredients and emulsify egg. Add Clyde May’s and ice, then shake again vigorously for 10 more seconds. Double strain into old fashioned glass, then grate fresh nutmeg over the top of the cocktail. The cocktail is rich and delicious, and you are able to taste each of the ingredients. Wonderful for after dinner... or even brunch!

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says, but after a while they were told they had to leave Jordan. Someone told them they could go to America as refugees the interpreter says. “For the children it’s better,” Aeash says. “For him it’s better.”

They now live in a one bedroom apartment in Albany Park. Aeash is going to English classes at RefugeeOne, cooking and cleaning at home, taking her kids to school, and helping them with their homework, while assisting her husband. “In Jordan, they told [Obidat] it will be very good here,” the interpreter says. “They are telling [Aeash] to work. But she dresses him, she helps him, and he can’t do anything alone.” Aeash says she doesn’t know how she’d have time to work and take care of everything else. For now, they are living off food stamps. Things are expensive here, she says. She misses her family, the private bedroom she once had, and is scared of all the dogs that are here. Obidat says he’s going to see doctors at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and that his prognosis is “half good, half bad,” but his doctor is going to another hospital for additional advice. “They’ve heard that some people will tell refugees to go away from here, to leave the country,” Suliman says. But so far, they haven’t personally experienced that, the interpreter says. Everybody has been friendly and smiling. When they have free time, Aeash says she likes taking the kids to Montrose Beach where they can walk in the water, or take a trip to Millennium Park. And their son loves riding the El. “Yesterday, he told them he has to ride the train downtown,” the interpreter says, mimicking the boy’s fist pounding on a conference table at RefugeeOne. “Her daughter also likes the train, but not like him.” The couple laughs at Suliman’s re-enactment. Even though things have been difficult, they both hope for a good future here. Sometimes, Aeash says, “you just have to wait and get used to the new thing.” fw

RefugeeOne is the largest refugee resettlement organization in the Midwest. The nonprofit says more than 70 percent of refugees are women and more than half are from the Middle East. Sara Spoonheim Amit, director of development for RefugeeOne says 489 new refugees came through their organization between July 2014 and 2015. This year we’ll likely welcome more than 600, which is a significant increase of more than 20 percent, she says, a fraction of the approximately 2,500 refugees and immigrants that annually access the non-profit’s various services. Here’s Amit’s suggestions on how to get involved with RefugeeOne. • Co-sponsor a family. Provide financial support and friendship to help a refugee family resettle in the U.S., while ensuring their first three months of rent is paid, along with food and basic living expenses. Cost is typically $4,000 to $8,000, depending on the size of the family. • Volunteer for the youth after-school program in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, tutor a child (ages 6-17) one-on-one in Chicago, Skokie, and Evanston or mentor adult refugees so they can acclimate to the new culture and climate from riding public transit to helping them practice their English. . • Employment opportunities. Help connect RefugeeOne with potential employers who might hire refugees. • Organize a drive for everything from coats and bedding to cleaning supplies and blankets.


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e f i l l a i soc

WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURIAL CONFERENCE Women entrepreneurs from all over the region came together to network and learn how to grow their businesses at the WBDC’s 29th Annual Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference in September. Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, was the keynote speaker at the event which centered on technology and innovation. Interactive workshops were capped off by a closing reception that allowed attendees to network and relax after an inspiring day focused on accelerating business growth.


1. At the opening reception, the WBDC announced the first winners of the Hedy M. Ratner and S. Carol Dougal Legacy Award who are Shirley Marx, board chairman of New World Van Lines, and Loretta Rosenmayer, founder and chief executive officer of INTREN. Pictured are (from left) Emilia DiMenco, Carol Dougal, Shirley Marx, Janet Marx, Loretta Rosenmayer, and WBDC board member Sandra Rand.



2. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Debra JenningsJohnson, BP America and board chair of the Women’s Business Development Center, and Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer, Deluxe Corporation. 3. Mayra Kahn (left), managing director, Nova Driving School, Chicago, who won the Entrepreneur of the Year award, pictured with Marsha Cruzan of U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank and Allstate co-sponsored the opening awards reception.


4. Debra Jennings-Johnson, BP America and board chair of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC); Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer, and Jenny Anderson, director of foundations and community affairs, both of Deluxe Corporation; Georgia Marsh, WBDC; Reshma Saujani, founder, Girls Who Code; Joyce Winnecke, president, Tribune Content Agency; and Emilia DiMenco, WBDC president and CEO 5. Andrea Sreshta, a co-founder with Anna Stork of LuminAID, in Chicago, who received the Innovation Award at the opening evening reception. She is flanked by Emilia DiMenco (left) and Shaleta Dunn of ManpowerGroup. Dunn and Lili Hall, of KNOCK, Inc., were conference co-chairs.


6. Reshma Saujani, founder, Girls Who Code (left), keynote speaker at the 29th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West on September 2, is pictured with Allison Rosati, NBC5 anchor; Debra Jennings-Johnson, BP America and board chair of the Women’s Business Development Center; and Emilia DiMenco, WBDC president and CEO.



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FW: Chicago Launch Party On Thursday, September 24, 400-plus guests gathered at the Skyline Room at The Gwen Hotel, Chicago to celebrate the inaugural print edition of FW: Chicago magazine. The Fitness Formula Clubs-sponsored event drew some of Chicago’s top-tiered business women, ncluding Rochelle Trotter, who graced the cover of the first issue. 1. Tarrah Cooper and Rochelle Trotter. 2, Dane Brown, guest, and Peggy Bodine. 3. Marc Seivers. 4. Smarmili Majumbdar. 6. Lakesha Rose and Jim Rose. 5. Kelley Clark and Aimee Schuster







See more events and happenings online! UNICEF’S CHICAGO HUMANITARIAN AWARDS LUNCHEON October 25, 2015

YWCA METROPOLITAN CHICAGO’S 43RD ANNUAL LEADER LUNCHEON Friday, October 30 Want to share an event with us, simply email us at Submission guidelines can be found at NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

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FW: Chicago November/December  

Chicago's only women's magazine features Loretta Rosenmayer, Founder and CEO of Intren on the November/December cover. This issue also featu...

FW: Chicago November/December  

Chicago's only women's magazine features Loretta Rosenmayer, Founder and CEO of Intren on the November/December cover. This issue also featu...