Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Illinois for 2022. Despite the fact that this state is majority farmland, it is the fifth most populous state in the country and home to some of the most well-known companies like Walgreens, McDonald’s and Boeing. This year’s awardees are women whose accomplishments and diverse backgrounds have contributed to the success of industries including academia, financial services, travel, healthcare, information technology, and more. They are trailblazers in their fields and are sparking progress and change year after year.

Among this year’s awardees is Christine Shaughnessy, Vice President of Global Hotel Operational Services for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who enhances the experience for their guests and colleagues through innovative technology; Tracie Morris, U.S. Chief Human Resource Officer with BMO Financial Group, who leads, sponsors, and executes enterprise HR priorities in the organization; and Pamela Friedman, Vice President of Global Professional Services Innovation & Operations for Workday Inc. who provides governance and support to their deployment teams using analytically based operational decisions.

We applaud the efforts and successes of this year’s awardees. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Illinois for 2022.

 

3. Tanya Mena
Divisional VP of Customer Engagement, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

Building on more than 25 years of successful strategic and tactical leadership within the healthcare industry, Tanya Mena is a consumer-centric transformational leader with deep expertise in delivering large scale, complex initiatives using analytical insights to solve difficult challenges and drive real business value. She currently serves as the Divisional VP of Customer Engagement for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. She has successfully led several high-profile programs aimed at driving operational efficiency and financial return to the bottom line. Mena’s visionary and entrepreneurial leadership style never settles for the status quo, and she remains steadfast in her commitment to excellence with the confidence to lead and the humility to never stop learning.

Mena has served with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas for the past 15 years in various roles including web channel director and executive director of digital channel operations. Prior to that, she served as a senior marketing director and partner with MTG Productions. Mena earned a master’s degree from Roosevelt University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Illinois.

 

4. Tracie Morris
U.S. Chief Human Resource Officer, BMO Financial Group

Tracie Morris is the U.S. Chief Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion Officer for BMO Financial Group. She oversees the strategic and operational governance for the HR organization. She also leads, sponsors, and executes enterprise HR priorities in the U.S. and has oversight for the execution in other banking/corporate groups, overseeing and coordinating human resources related matters as they pertain to U.S. regulatory agencies, and U.S. mergers and acquisitions. Morris also leads the BMO Financial Group U.S. focus on Diversity and Inclusion, accountable for deeply understanding the U.S. market and developing BMO’s response from policy to execution. Morris has a leadership role with the Human Resources Committee of the BMO Financial Corp Board of Directors and the Benefits Investment Committee. She also chairs the U.S. Compensation Oversight Committee and the U.S. Benefits Administration Committee.

Prior to her current role, Morris was a 17-year veteran of Exelon, with experience leading organizational and cultural transformations, driving workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, succession planning, and building strong training programs. Morris serves on the board of directors for Leadership Greater Chicago, BlackEnsemble Theatre, Junior Achievement of Chicago, and Business Leadership Council. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for North Central College. Morris holds an undergraduate degree in organizational communications from North Central College and a master’s degree in management and organizational behaviors from Benedictine University, where she was inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society.

 

6. Pamela Friedman
VP of Global Professional Services Innovation & Operations, Workday Inc.

Pamela Friedman is the Vice President of Global Professional Services Innovations & Operations at Workday, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance, HR, and planning. Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management, and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, and government agencies. Organizations ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises have selected Workday. At Workday, Friedman leads the teams who support and enable delivery of professional services to Workday customers.

Before joining Workday, Friedman was a senior vice president and Talent Program executive at Bank of America. While at Bank of America, Friedman also held roles in compensation and change management, supporting several acquisitions, HR outsourcing, and the implementation of Workday. Friedman has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University.

 

7. Christine Shaughnessy
Vice President, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Christine Shaughnessy is the Vice President of Global Hotel Operational Services, within the Global Property Guest Services (GPGS) at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. She has successfully developed a strong global organization that is responsible for activating new and optimizing existing technologies through an operational lens at over 1,000 + hotels worldwide. Shaughnessy excels at operationalizing the vision of a programmer into a real-world experience. Leveraging a strong background in hotel operations, information technology, and project management, she enhances the experience of guests and colleagues through innovative technology.

As a proven global leader, she is confident in advising all levels of leadership to identify operational improvements that remove friction points to drive guest and colleague satisfaction which influences adoption. Shaughnessy has focused her career on identifying efficiencies; this has led to improvements in product delivery and activation, leadership development, and transitioning transactions into interactions. Shaughnessy holds the firm belief that we can learn something new every day, which ignites her passion for mentoring and coaching her global team. This core belief is what led Shaughnessy to be the co-chair for [email protected], which focuses on driving opportunities for growth for women.

 

8. Tanya Wattigney
Vice President of Client Solutions, Epsilon

Tanya Wattigney began her professional career over 20 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Client Solutions for Epsilon. Epsilon is a global advertising and marketing technology company positioned at the center of Publicis Groupe. They connect advertisers with consumers to drive performance while respecting and protecting consumer privacy and client data. Epsilon accelerates clients’ ability to harness the power of their first-party data in order to enhance, activate and measure campaigns with confidence. In her role, Wattigney manages a team in digital solutions and planning with a focus in creating strategic new client onboarding and media plans to drive client goals. Additionally, she partners with Business Development in new client education of solutions, data, and online integration best practices

Wattigney first got her start in 2002 as a field sales and marketing representative at Rubbermaid Commercial Products. From there, she went on to Athlon Pharmaceuticals before eventually rising to become a senior project manager at Codifyd, her most recent position prior to joining Epsilon. Wattigney graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with an undergraduate degree in marketing.

 

10. Karen Bartuch
Vice President of Brand, SpotHero

Dr. Karen Bartuch’s diverse experience includes roles such as Chicago Police Officer, professor, and technology executive. She is currently the Vice President of Brand at SpotHero, a parking marketplace that connects drivers and parking spots, helping people quickly and conveniently find, pay, and reserve a parking spot. Spothero launched in 2011 and now helps millions of drivers in over 300 major U.S. cities find affordable parking in 7500 garages.

Prior to SpotHero, Bartuch led brand, digital, and go-to-market teams at Amazon and AWS. She is passionate about creating genuine and meaningful connections between brands and customers, focusing on research and data to uncover meaningful insights, human-centric storytelling, and creating delightful customer experiences. Bartuch is also an adjunct professor teaching innovation and design at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University. Her career spans over 20 years in the public and private sectors serving on the Chicago Police Department, Motorola Solutions, PwC, and as an advisor to startups. In these roles she led various efforts including policy, communications, marketing, business development, digital, and research and customer insights. Bartuch holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in communications and a doctorate in business administration.

 

11. Emily Yu
AVP of Revenue Cycle, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Emily E. Yu is an Assistant Vice President of Revenue Cycle at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore). She oversees the revenue management divisions which include the system-wide hospital and professional coding and clinical documentation integrity (CDI) functions, Health Information Management (HIM), and Revenue Integrity program, including Charge Description Master (CDM) and coding quality. NorthShore is an integrated healthcare delivery system consistently ranked as a Top 15 Teaching Hospital in the U.S. The NorthShore system, headquartered in Evanston, Ill., includes six hospitals and a 900-physician multispecialty group practice, with more than 140 locations in the Chicagoland area. NorthShore has annual revenues of $3.2 billion.

Previously, Yu served as a corporate director with NorthShore before rising to become assistant vice president. She received her undergraduate degree in health informatics and information management (HIIM) from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

12. Christine Pavalon
Area Vice President, RingCentral

Christine Pavalon serves as the Area Vice President at RingCentral and resides in the Chicagoland area. Pavalon has over 20 years of experience in technology sales. Her career started off in the early days of Telecom Communication services and has evolved over the years into SAAS Sales with a specialization in the Contact Center and Customer Experience. Customer Experience overall is a passion and an area she sees as business survivability and if executed strategically mass acceleration in today’s marketplace. Diversity and Inclusion in Tech is another passion area for Pavalon, and she serves on the ChickTech Board of Directors. The main mission is starting from high school into one’s professional career to encourage and provide education, mentoring, networking, and professional opportunities resulting in accelerated DEI in the tech space.

Pavalon has been recognized and had the honor of being named the WISA 2018 Field Sales Leader of the year for her progressive leadership skills. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale where she earned an undergraduate degree in education.

 

15. Sangeeta Bhorade
VP of Medical Affairs in Organ Health, Natera

Sangeeta Bhorade is the Chief Medical Officer in Organ Health of Natera. Natera™ is a global leader in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing, dedicated to oncology, women’s health, and organ health. Their aim is to make personalized genetic testing and diagnostics part of the standard of care to protect health and enable earlier and more targeted interventions that lead to longer, healthier lives. Where some set out to build a test, they set out to achieve the mission of changing the management of disease worldwide by using DNA testing to proactively inform treatment. Through a cfDNA technology platform approach, they've pioneered noninvasive testing in unlimited applications, each with their own potential to revolutionize care for patients.

Dr. Bhorade is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care and ultimately developed a passion for caring for patients who have undergone lung transplantation. She served as a Medical Director at the University of Chicago in their inaugural lung transplant program. She later joined Northwestern University as Professor of Medicine to initiate their lung transplant program where she was able to develop the program into a premium Lung Transplant Program in the region. She has published extensively in optimizing immunosuppression and chronic rejection in lung transplantation to improve transplant patient outcomes during her 27 years as an academic physician.

Dr Bhorade is very well regarded in the transplantation field across all organs with over 80 papers published to date. She was past Chair of the Thoracic and Critical Care Community at the American Society of Transplantation and program committee member for the American Transplant Congress for all solid organ transplantation. She was also a program organizer for the Cutting Edge of Transplant (CEoT) that is intended for all primary stakeholders in transplantation as well as UNOS/OPTN Region 7 Thoracic Committee Councilor (meetings included all solid organ transplant). Before joining Natera, Sangeeta was most recently the Medical Director at Veracyte, focusing on ILD, Lung Cancer, and Lung Nodule Management. In her role, she was able to promote the Envisia diagnostic test as the premium genomics test for ILD. She was instrumental in building a novel lung cancer diagnostic test and furthered the management of lung nodules.

 

17. Ali Massoud
Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Exact Sciences

Ali Massoud is the Vice President Clinical Affairs of Exact Sciences. From earlier cancer detection to treatment guidance and monitoring, Exact Sciences is helping people get the answers they need to make more informed decisions across the cancer continuum. Massoud is a clinical research leader with experience in cancer diagnostics, oncology therapeutics, risk-based monitoring, vendor management, clinical evidence planning, resourcing, budgeting, global process improvement initiatives. She is passionate about talent development and fostering an inclusive team environment. Massoud has over 26 years of experience. She began her career in 1996.

Before joining Exact Sciences, Massoud was an associate director at Quintiles and before that a clinical site manager at Amgen. Earlier in her career she worked with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a data manager. Massoud graduated from Simmons University with an undergraduate degree.

 

19. Stephanie Johnson
VP of Communications & Product Strategies, American Medical Association

Stephanie Johnson is the Vice President of Communications and Product Strategies for the American Medical Association (AMA) where she leads the development of integrated national communications and engagement strategies in concert with some of America's leading health organizations aimed at improving chronic disease in the United States. Johnson conceived the idea behind the national Release the Pressure campaign in 2020, which led to the AMA's first ever collaboration with ESSENCE, bringing together a coalition of like-minded health organizations including the AMA, AMA Foundation, the Association of Black Cardiologists, National Medical Association, Minority Health Institute, and the American Heart Association that share mission to improve health and well-being of Black communities in America.

Prior to her position with the AMA, Johnson served as VP of public affairs for Advocate Health Care, Illinois’ largest integrated health care system. In this role, she was instrumental in building Advocate's profile as one of the nation's largest Accountable Care Organizations. Before her career in public relations, Johnson spent more than seven years as a journalist, serving as a segment producer for ABC News, New York and as a freelance producer for the Chicago bureaus of ABC and NBC News. Additionally, she was morning television anchor and news reporter for 16 WAPT News, the ABC affiliate station in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Johnson fulfills her passion for philanthropy and community health by serving on the Board of Directors of the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and mission work as part of her church family. She holds an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and speech and dramatic arts.

 

20. Sandra Marchand
Vice President of Marketing, Advanced Technology Services, Inc.

Sandra Marchand is the Vice President of Marketing at Advanced Technology Services, Inc. (ATS). She is responsible for leading the marketing organization, company growth strategy, digital marketing technologies, and increasing demand for ATS products and solutions globally. With 20 years of experience, Marchand is known for driving strong results and leading high-performance teams while serving in various leadership roles across SMBs to Fortune 500 companies.

Marchand is a champion of innovation with a technology-focused approach to driving revenue and profitable business growth. Among achievements, she and her team built a state-of-the-art Marketing Technology Center aimed at leveraging data and advanced technologies to produce business results and improve the digital journey of its customers. Marchand is a graduate of Bradley University and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Most recently, she graduated from the Executive Leadership Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

 

21. Shantala Sadananda
Executive Vice President & Regional Managing Director, Globant

Shantala Sadananda is an Executive Vice President & Regional Managing Director at Globant. In this role, she is responsible for Globant's strategic growth, client relationship management, P&L management for the region. She also heads the financial services for North America and is also responsible for Global Head of Partnership & Alliances.

Over the last 26 years of Shantala’s global career, she has led and transformed organizations and their clientele through consulting, technology, and outsourcing, working across the financial services (banking, cards & payments, capital markets, and insurance), legal, life science, manufacturing, and publications industries. She has previously held management roles at organizations such as Hexaware Technologies, Mindcrest, and Capgemini. Throughout her career, Sadananda has found and pursued her passion in building high performance and high engagement within leadership, creating a top-down waterfall of change to the greater organization and clients. Sadananda frequently speaks at industry events, writes, mentors, and coaches other executive managers and women in technology and business.

 

23. Sara Gilley
Vice President, Cornerstone Research

Sara Gilley is the Vice President of Cornerstone Research. She specializes in securities and white-collar litigation and consults on economic and financial issues related to federal class actions, corporate investigations, and government enforcement activity. Gilley also has experience in matters brought under international securities laws. She works with clients in all phases of litigation, including motion to dismiss, class certification, merits, and testimony. Gilley manages the firm’s research related to enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and publishes regularly on this topic.

Gilley’s background spans numerous industries, including financial institutions, professional services, the automotive industry, life sciences, and high tech. She also has experience analyzing class certification, loss causation, and damages in a range of contract disputes and litigation. Gilley earned an undergraduate degree in finance, accounting, and economics from Tulane University.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

24. Jenny Penich
SVP for North America Commercial Organization, VICE Media Group

As SVP of North America Commercial Organization, Jenny Penich is responsible for leading the full spectrum of sales, marketing, and services at VICE Media Group including account management, brand strategy, content solutions, creative, client solutions, brand, and agency partnerships. With a successful career in media, spanning almost two decades, Penich has a proven track-record for executing short and long-term goals, increasing revenue, and optimizing sales efficiency through strategic, creative, and operational initiatives. At VICE Media Group, Penich continues to drive company growth through competitive positioning, strategy, product, and editorial mix that have poised VICE for 15% growth YOY. Penich was a VP with VICE Media Group before stepping into the SVP role, where she led client partnerships in the US and Canada resulting in her team outperforming annual revenue goals by 20% for 35% growth YoY.

Prior to joining the VICE Media Group team, Penich worked for one of VICE’s brands Refinery29 as a VP, where she developed strategic partnerships via co-branded content initiatives as well as managed her responsibilities coordinating with editorial to devise go-to-market strategies. Previously, she was the West Coast Advertising Director for Time Inc. and a publisher for multiple titles at Modern Luxury Media both in Chicago and Los Angeles. Penich received her Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Indiana University.

 

25. Melissa Boswell-Wyatt
Vice President of National Accounts, Talking Rain Beverage Company

Melissa Boswell-Wyatt is the Vice President of National Accounts for Talking Rain Beverage Company. Talking Rain is a privately held beverage company based in Preston, Washington that manufactures still and sparkling waters. Boswell-Wyatt is a creative professional with experience leading corporate and channel specific marketing and internal communications for the company. She is a successful business partner that fosters creativity through implementing high-profile, consumer-based sales and marketing programs across all channels of the business. Using her energetic leadership style, Boswell-Wyatt creates integrated strategies to develop new and existing customer sales, brand awareness, and media merchandising.

Boswell-Wyatt first got her start in 2002 as a senior account executive at Pepsi Beverages Company. From there, she went on to Jewel-Osco. Boswell-Wyatt graduated from Westminster College in Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in communication.

 

28. Kelly Dolan
President & CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities

As president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), Kelly Dolan leads the strategic vision for the organization’s long-term growth, impact and delivery of mission at RMHC Chapters around the world. Dolan provides strategic guidance for system-wide programs that support and strengthen the RMHC Chapter network which serves millions of children and their families each year in 62 countries and regions, with annual revenue of $700 million. Dolan and RMHC won the National PRNews Award for Philanthropy and Human Relations in 2019.

Dolan started her career with Leo Burnett in Chicago and transitioned into the nonprofit sector after a move to Atlanta. Just prior to joining RMHC, she served as executive director for The Atlanta Women’s Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls and to end generational poverty. The organization funds programs and services for women and girls through a community impact strategy that is designed to break cycles of poverty. Before joining The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Dolan served as the executive director for two global health organizations, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Georgia and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Greater Atlanta Affiliate. Prior to those roles, Dolan served as the director of strategic marketing for Egleston Children’s Health Care System, the largest children’s healthcare system in the southeast. Through her strategic vision, marketing skills and management acumen, Dolan elevated the brands and increased revenue during her tenures at all three of these organizations. Consistently increasing impact, overcoming obstacles, and engaging groups of diverse stakeholders in a shared vision have been the hallmarks of Dolan’s success in each of the organizations she has served.

 

29. Emma Rodriguez-Ayala
General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer & Board Secretary, LGIM America

Emma Rodriguez-Ayala is an accomplished investment management professional, board director, community leader and speaker. She is the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Board Secretary of LGIM America, the U.S. arm of LGIM, the 6th largest institutional asset manager globally, managing over $1.8 trillion. LGIM America focuses on ESG and sustainable investment solutions, pension stabilization, and retirement income generation. Rodriguez-Ayala leads the risk, compliance, legal, and governance functions. She chairs the LGIM America Risk Oversight Committee and is a member of LGIM America’s Executive Committee and ESG Steering Committee. Globally, she is part of the LGIM Global Senior Leadership Team and serves on Legal & General Group’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council.

In addition to her roles with LGIM, Rodriguez-Ayala also serves as a board director of First Bank of Chicago / First Bank of Highland Park, the 5th largest privately held bank in Chicagoland. She was previously an investment management partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, among other in-house and private practice experiences. Rodriguez-Ayala serves on the boards of WTTW (Chicago PBS), WFMT (Chicago’s Classical Music Station) and Angeles Investors, and is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. She co-led the ESG and Green Economy Sub-Committee of the Volunteer Economic Policy Committee for the 2020 Biden for President Campaign, focused on developing ESG strategy and policy proposals for the campaign and the new administration. Rodriguez-Ayala has been previously recognized as a Top Latino Leader by the U.S. National Diversity Council, as a DEI Leader by the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association, and as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, among other honors.

 

30. Christine Tzumas
Owner & Chief Operating Officer, PRESENCE

Every company has a heart and soul, and Christine Tzumas is just that for PRESENCE, a natural products broker, born from a desire to work in a dynamic and environmentally conscious industry. As one of the original owners, Tzumas continues to serve as the company’s Chief Operating Officer managing the day-to-day of the company in addition to the finance, human resources, and IT departments. Tzumas enjoys working on the company’s processes and systems, evaluating and perfecting them all along the way. Her goal is to give the teams the tools they need to perform their jobs and give it to them on a silver platter facilitating best in class results. Tzumas has always focused on the people within the organization working to mentor leadership and bring the best out in everyone. There is nothing that she loves more than seeing individuals and departments grow and thrive and exceed expectations. As COO, she plays a key role in the company’s strategic planning looking to the future using her years of experience and her wisdom. Tzumas also leads the company’s philanthropic efforts which support our industry’s environmental and social concerns.

Tzumas has been with PRESENCE since day one. She worked with her friend and company CEO Bill Weiland, starting in January 1990. They created the spark that is now PRESENCE. In the early days, Tzumas ran the company’s back office and also completed sales calls, store resets, and everything necessary to build the brokerage. Today, the company has 500 employees from coast to coast and boasts a great reputation in the industry.

 

32. Kelsey Schnittgen
Chief People Officer, Mission Critical Solutions

Kelsey Schnittgen is Chief People Officer at Mission Critical Solutions with 15 years of experience. Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) is a leading-edge Technology Solutions Integrator in the Commercial, SLED, and Federal Sectors, providing a diverse range of technology services, information technology, electrical distribution, unified communications, and structured cabling, security and life safety systems, and audio-visual solutions. Over the past ten years at Mission Critical Solutions, she built the Talent & People Division for all sectors of the company. She leads a team responsible for talent acquisition, people operations, talent management, conflict management, leadership and development, and collaborates on executive strategy.

Before joining Mission Critical Solutions, Schnittgen served as a talent acquisition and human resources director, developing talent acquisition teams representing Fortune 500 campaigns across the country. Currently, Schnittgen is on the Forbes Human Resources Council, director of career development for Girl.gov Foundation Board, founding council member of Hacking HR Experts, and mentor for Next Gen Talent Mentorship Program. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights with future leaders.

 

33. Valentina Tsorotiotis
Assistant Vice President and Operations Associate, Rockefeller Capital Management

Rockefeller Capital Management is a boutique investment firm that has served the Rockefeller family since 1882, providing tailored investment services to high net worth, complex individuals. Valentina Tsorotiotis joined a Wealth Management team within Rockefeller Capital Management as a Client Associate in February of 2020 as part of the opening of Chicago’s first office. Her duties were multi-faceted and included helping clients with day-to-day needs, onboarding, opening accounts and money movement requests. Having quickly demonstrated leadership abilities, she took the lead on implementing clients to alternative investments. She then progressed into an analyst role where she reviewed financial statements, ran performance reports, and prepped advisors for client engagements. In March of 2022, Tsorotiotis was promoted within Rockefeller Capital Management and transitioned to the operational side of the business. As part of the Midwest Management Team, she is responsible for helping Wealth Management teams with transitions and day to day operational needs.

Tsorotiotis graduated from DePaul University in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in finance, and a minor in international politics.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

34. Kristen Lalowski
SVP and Chief Product Officer, Summit Health

Kristen Lalowski is currently SVP and Chief Product Officer at Summit Health where she is responsible for enterprise clinical technology decisions to ensure a positive patient and provider experience. She is also responsible for bringing new Summit Health products to market. Summit Health is a multi-specialty physician practice that delivers a comprehensive care experience for every stage of life and health condition through high-quality primary, specialty, and urgent care. It has more than 2,500 providers, 12,000 employees, over 150 urgent care centers, and over 340 locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Central Oregon.

Lalowski has a background in emergency nursing and nursing leadership. She made a career pivot to healthcare IT more than 20 years ago and has spent most of that time in product management, business strategy, and senior leadership roles. Lalowski has led product teams in several healthcare verticals including electronic health records, precision medicine, telemedicine, and clinical communications. She’s passionate about making a difference in the lives of clinicians and their patients. Lalowski has an undergraduate degree in nursing from Loyola University of Chicago and has taken executive courses at University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania.

 

35. Tara Mitchell
VP of Global Sales, Fountain

Tara Mitchell began her sales professional career over 14 years ago. Today, she is a Vice President of Global Sales with Fountain. Fountain, the enterprise software that accelerates global high volume hiring, is a remote-first company with more than 240 employees. Fountain’s all-in-one high volume hiring platform empowers the world’s leading enterprises to find and hire the right people through smart, fast, and seamless recruiting. Throughout the candidate journey, the openly integrated platform enables companies to find, qualify and convert more applicants. Fountain's global customers hire over 3 million workers annually in 78 countries.

Before joining Fountain, Mitchell was the regional vice president for prospect sales for iCIMS. Prior to this role, Mitchell was sales director for TextRecruit. She has also held several roles where she helped large organizations shape and navigate the ever-changing recruitment landscape. Mitchell received an undergraduate degree with a concentration in business administration, political science, and sociology from North Central College.

 

38. Christy Behnke
VP of Revenue Marketing, Omnigo

Christy Behnke is the Vice President of Revenue Marketing for Omnigo, a B2B SaaS company. She has 17 years of experience and plays an integral role in developing the marketing strategy to drive revenue growth for Omnigo. Her focus is primarily on data-driven marketing and analyzing the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Behnke has a track record of building high-performing teams in rapid growth environments to deliver both predictable and sustainable revenue from marketing.

Prior to joining Omnigo, Behnke was the director of marketing communications and demand generation for Rittal North America. Before that, she served as the director of marketing for Optimas Solutions where she was accountable for all content marketing initiatives to drive traffic, engagement, and leads that deliver sales and customer retention. Behnke graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with an undergraduate degree in marketing and from the University of Phoenix with a master’s degree.

 

39. Jasmine Guy
VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, CCS Fundraising

Jasmine Guy is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at CCS Fundraising. For over 70 years, CCS has empowered many of the world’s greatest organizations to advance some of the most important causes in history. As leading consulting experts in campaign and development strategy, CCS plans and implements fundraising initiatives to help nonprofit organizations make a bigger impact locally, nationally, and globally. Guy is known for being a collaborative and innovative thought leader who embraces the human condition and helps others maximize their fullest potential in an effort to strengthen the human race.

In addition to her roles with CCS, Guy is a member of the leadership team leading the strategic vision, planning, and implementation of diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives to fulfill stated objectives for Major, Lindsey & Africa/Allegis Partners. She leads outreach with key stakeholders, partnering organizations, and communities across the globe for leadership programs and initiatives. Guy earned an MEd in human resources development from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in psychology and English from Spelman College.

 

40. Cheryl Green
President, Governors State University

Cheryl Green brings 30-plus years of experience in higher education to her role as the President of Governors State University. A passionate educator, Green believes fiercely in the power of education to transform lives. Most recently, Green served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Oshkosh, as Interim Chancellor for the UW Whitewater, and as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Tennessee State University.

At Chicago State University, Green served in a variety of administrative and academic roles, including director/chair of the counseling department, dean of freshmen, and as a tenured associate professor of counseling. A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Green is committed to scholarship, sisterhood, and community service. Her service includes working with ten advisory boards or boards of directors, including the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents, South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium Executive Board, and Manchester University Board of Trustees. Green has a PhD and master’s degree in counseling psychology from Southern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manchester College (now Manchester University) in Indiana.

 

41. Lynette Stokes
President, South Suburban College

Lynette Stokes is the President in South Suburban College, the first woman president in its history. She previously served as the VP of academic services. South Suburban College was founded in 1927 as Thornton Junior College. At that time, the college was an extension of Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois. Today, 10,000 students, on average, are enrolled during a typical year at SSC. The college offers more than 100 options of career education and college transfer credit programs.

Stokes' goals include increasing enrollment and retention and improving student outcomes and assessment. She works to establish SSC as the premier community college in the Chicago Southland. In addition to her vast experience and accomplishments in higher education and child welfare, Stokes was the recipient of Roosevelt University’s ‘Most Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award’ in 2005, the Kathy Osterman Award for 'Outstanding Public Service Supervision', the 2014 Chicago Defender’s 'Women of Excellence Award', the 2018 ICBCHE 'Trailblazer Award', and the 2018 Egretha Foundation Award. She earned an EdD in higher education organization change and leadership and a MPA from Roosevelt University, and an undergraduate degree in mass communication and media studies from Columbia College Chicago.

 

43. Elizabeth Spenko
Chief Product Officer, Mathison

As the Chief Product Officer, Elizabeth Spenko is leading the delivery team responsible for defining, designing, and developing the Mathison platform. Mathison provides a single place to build a DEI action plan, measure impact, and mobilize every team with education and tools.

Prior to Mathison, Spenko was an SVP and practice executive at Northern Trust where she led a cross-functional 350-person digital team of designers, product owners, and developers responsible for the delivery of client digital experiences. At Northern Trust she also started and scaled an innovation lab and 60+ person award-winning design and research team. Before Northern Trust, Spenko led the service design practice at IDEO’s Chicago office, managing client relationships and identifying growth opportunities for clients across financial services, healthcare, energy, and retail industries. Spenko has won two International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) and two Core 77 awards for service design and research. She has served as a regional board member of Northwestern University, a strategic advisor to PRISM - a non-profit start-up focused on helping survivors of sexual assault, and a member of the Leadership Greater Chicago class of 2020. Spenko has an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

View the complete list of awardees.

 

44. Alexandrea Hanba
Vice President of People, Stacked

Alexandrea Hanba is the Vice President of People for Stacked. As Stacked's people and culture leader, Hanba works to balance and align the interests of leadership, staff, and the organization to provide a comprehensive human resource strategy. She establishes clear policies, procedures, and staffing plans, supervises recruitment efforts, and implements a performance and recognition process which rewards excellence. Additionally, Hanba assumes responsibility for the selection and administration of all employee benefit programs. She provides valuable insight regarding changing trends in benefits, recruitment, and company culture. Hanba strongly believes in the positive impact that can result by establishing strategic HR infrastructure that provides opportunities for innovation in programs and processes, promotes collaboration and encourages ongoing participation and feedback.

Prior to joining Stacked, Hanba held positions at CCIM, DDB, Institutional Capital, and Gregory E. Kulis and Associates, Ltd. She earned an undergraduate degree in English education from Trine University in Indiana. She also holds a paralegal certificate from Loyola University of Chicago and a workplace certificate in DE&I from the University of South Florida. Hanba also holds the SHRM Certified Professional and Certified Plan Sponsor Professional designations.

 

45. Nicole Buchanan
Vice President of Operations, Bear Family

Nicole Buchanan began her professional career over 23 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Operations for Bear Family Restaurants. Collectively, the Bear Family currently owns and operates 33 McDonald’s franchises and employs over 1,200 people in communities across Illinois. When people visit a Bear Family McDonald’s Restaurant, they experience a difference by always being greeted with a smile, being treated with respect, and feeling a genuine sense of appreciation.

Buchanan first got her start in 1999 as a floor supervisor at McDonald's and worked her way up through the ranks to her role today. In addition to her responsibilities with Bear Family, she is heavily involved in volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House, Food for Greater Elgin, and The Salvation Army. She is a board member for the Elgin Area Chamber. Buchanan graduated from the University of South Carolina with an undergraduate degree in business administration and management.

 

46. Lovely Ranoa-Chia
VP of Franchise Operations, In Home Personal Services

Lovely Ranoa-Chia is the Vice President of Franchise Operations with In Home Personal Services Development, LLC (IHPSD) and the sister company’s Executive Director with Matthews Healthcare Education (MHCE). Her responsibility is to ensure IHPSD, its franchisees and MHCE are compliant with all applicable federal, state, and local laws while conducting and supervising a team that supports the system in all aspects of both brands’ operations. She oversees the overall brand development and its development. She ensures all service provided is completed according to IHPSD and MCHE standards and expectations.

Ranoa-Chia was a caregiver in the profession at the age of 16. Since then, she proudly encompassed many caregiver skills while being in the nursing profession. She is experienced in a skilled nursing and home health specialization. She also performed in clinical and administrative positions, such as admissions, director roles, and compliance. Ranoa-Chia was a proud asset in a home health agency setting in the office and the field when she found her niche as the program director of MHCE in 2018. In her role, she acquired MCHE’s credentials as the first of its kind privately owned Caregiver School approved to operate by the Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Since then, she furthered her credentials in the field of business operations and marketing development as the VP of Franchise Operations with IHPSD. IHPSD is a senior care franchise, a proven business model for quality in-home care and long-term solutions for seniors. Ranoa-Chia is a graduate of Capella University where she earned an MBA with a specialization in healthcare management systems.

 

47. Christy Wolf
Vice President of Talent & HR Transformation, Gallagher

Christy Wolf serves as Vice President of Talent and HR Transformation at Gallagher, a Fortune 500 insurance brokerage, risk management, and consulting firm. In this role, she oversees global talent and performance management, employee listening, and inclusion & diversity priorities. She also manages corporate learning and development programs and efforts to enhance Gallagher’s HR operating model. Wolf joined Gallagher in 2017 and led several enterprise-level HR projects before her promotion to Talent, Leadership and Development Director in 2018 and subsequent promotion lead the Talent and HR Transformation Center of Excellence in 2019.

Prior to Gallagher, Wolf spent 10 years as a human capital consultant at Deloitte and IBM where she delivered talent, organizational effectiveness, and transformation solutions to help businesses achieve their strategic objectives. She has worked across multiple industries including financial services, energy and utilities, healthcare, life sciences, consumer products, telecommunications, and professional services. Wolf holds an undergraduate degree in organizational studies and psychology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

 

48. Sandra Lee
SVP of Operations, Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

Sandra Lee is a Senior Vice President of Operations for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, a division of Compass Group, a Fortune Global 500 company. Chartwells provides contract food services, including residential and retail dining, and event catering for colleges and universities throughout the United States. She works closely with all campus stakeholders – administrators, faculty, and students on campuses in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Lee and her team deliver dining excellence and enhance the student experience by providing learning opportunities and paid internships in marketing, sustainability, and community relations.

Before joining Chartwells, Lee was the VP of training and operations excellence for Au Bon Pain, and served in various operations leadership, training, and development roles at Denny’s, Ruby Tuesday, The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, The Capital Grille, and Pizzeria Uno. In 2016 and 2017, she worked with Delta Airlines to establish their airline catering hub in Boston. Lee earned her MBA from the University of Tennessee and her MSEd from Purdue University in online curriculum development and implementation. Currently pursuing her Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at Maryville University of Saint Louis, Lee’s dissertation is focused on identifying the effectiveness of food resources utilized by food-insecure undergraduates. After she completes her doctorate, Lee will launch a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing student food-insecurity.

 

49. Sabrina Lloyd
President and CEO, Lloyd Agencies

Sabrina Lloyd is the President and CEO of Lloyd Agencies, a premier member of the American Income Life family. Lloyd Agencies focuses on a broader client base and markets themselves differently than AIL. Lloyd Agencies is more lifestyle oriented, both in business approach and company culture. The company has surpassed other agencies in their industry that have been in existence for much longer. The company has been doubling in size every year since their birth.

Prior to founding Lloyd Agencies, Sabrina was manager with American Income Life Insurance Company. She stood out in her first role in New Jersey and was transferred to be a manager in Maryland. She opened her own office in New York, broke records and then settled in Chicago. Her team was rewarded by the Chicago Tribune as one of the best places to work in Chicago in 2014. Sabrina is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

View the complete list of awardees.