Year In Review

Welcome from Cary Grace and Diane Offereins

Welcome to our 2019-2020 Year in Review! While this year was one of disruption and innovation for our organization, we continued to live into our purpose, empowering women to lead, mission, vision, and values in all that we do. We launched several new digital initiatives, elected our most diverse slate of new members, and found new paths for strategic improvements. Also of great significance to our operations, we selected and smoothly executed leadership succession, announcing Maria Doughty as our new President and CEO in March 2020. Maria is no stranger to crisis management and in short, she is the right leader at the right time for us.

Our hope is that within 10 years we will be at the next frontier of women’s equity and inclusion because The Chicago Network will have helped meaningfully move the ball forward from where we are today. Because of engagement/support in all the activities and initiatives you see reflected inside, we know there will continue to be an abundance of stories about how The Network has made a difference in empowering women of all colors to lead.


Diane Offereins
2019 – 2020 Chair

Cary Grace
2020 – 2021 Chair

Leadership Succession: Recognizing Our CEOs

Kate Bensen

During her decade of service to The Network, Kate’s innovative vision, commitment to our mission, and tireless work have elevated our external position, amplified our voice, and professionalized our operations. In leadership, it is always our goal to grow and evolve, leaving an organization even better than we found it. Kate has done that magnificently. On behalf of our membership, we are incredibly grateful to and for her.

Chicago Network President and CEO

Maria Salterio Doughty

"I have always approached my life, both personally and professionally, from a place of gratitude and service. This is how I was raised and how I lead. I am honored to carry forth The Network’s mission of empowering women to lead."

Chicago Network President and CEO

Purpose, Mission, Vision, Values

Why do we exist?

To empower women to lead

How will we fulfill the promise?

Connect with each other for personal and professional growth
Advance our civic, business and philanthropic communities
Inspire and support the next generation

What is our vision of success?

Gender Equity for Women of All Colors. At All Levels. Everywhere.

What core values shape our behaviors and actions?

Empathy: We meet women where they are
Generosity: We selflessly pay it forward
Equity: We are relentless in righting the balance
Collectivity: We are stronger together

Our Members

About Our Members


Fortune 500 C-Suite Executives


Publically held member companies represent more than 2.8 Trillion in Market Cap


Member companies employ more than 4.7 million people


Current and Former Fortune 500 CEOs


CRAIN'S most Powerful Women in Chicago Business


CRAIN'S Power 25 Chicagoans


University Presidents


Arts & Culture Trailblazers


Corporate C-Suite Executives


CEOs & Entrepreneurs of Mid-Size Companies


Corporate Directors


Government Leaders


Healthcare Industry Executives


Higher Education Institution Leaders




Non-Profit Trailblazers


Media & Communications Executives


Law Industry Leaders

New Members

Bonnie Allen
Executive Director & CEO
Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights

Shan Bhati
Global Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel

Charisse Brock
Conagra Brands

Gayla Brockman
President & CEO
Michael Reese Health Trust

Cari Bucci-Hulings
Marc USA

Sharon Bush
Executive Director
Grand Victoria Foundation

Kathleen Carroll
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Elizabeth Coolidge
Managing Director, Regional Head Public Finance-Midwest

Lisa Corrin
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University

Angelique David
Executive Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Jessica Droste Yagan
CEO & Managing Partner
Impact Engine

Cheryl Durst
International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

Opella Ernest
SVP Operations
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)

Esther (ET) Franklin
President, Global Strategy & Cultural Fluency
Spark Foundry

Yvonne Franzese
Chief Human Resources Officer and Exec Vice-President
CNO Financial Group

Aurora Austriaco
Partner and Shareholder
Valentine Austriaco and Bueschel, P.C.

Lisa Freeman
Northern Illinois University

Maricela Garcia
Gads Hill Center

Lindsay Jenkins
Chief, Criminal Division
U.S. Attorney's Office

Katie Lawler
Illinois Tool Works, Inc.

Julie Marcello
Managing Director, Head of Office Marsh Chicago

Clare Metcalf
Managing Director
Russell Reynolds Associates

Britt Miller
Partner, Litigation; Partner-in-Charge, Chicago Office
Mayer Brown LLP

Kimberly Moore
KDM Engineering

Tracie Morris
U.S. Chief Human Resources Officer and Inclusion Officer
BMO Financial Group

Na'ilah Suad Nasir
President; President-Elect
Spencer Foundation; American Educational Research Association

Laura Neiman
President & CEO
Neiman Brothers Company, Inc.

Kathleen O'Loughlin
Executive Director, COO
American Dental Association

Diane Pearse
CEO & President
Hickory Farms, LLC

Talita Ramos Erickson
General Councel (Americas) and CEO (Restaurants)
Barilla Group

Megan Ross
Zoo Director
Lincoln Park Zoo

Jacqueline Stewart
Professor, Cinema & Media Studies and Director, Arts and Public Life
University of Chicago

Michelle Stohlmeyer Russell
Managing Director and Senior Partner
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Juliana Stratton
Lieutenant Governor
State of Illinois

Ann Thompson
Senior Vice President Architecture & Design
Related Midwest

Wanji Walcott
EVP, CLO & General Counsel
Discover Financial Services

Teresa Woodruff
Northwestern University
The Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology & Dean of The Graduate School and Assoc

Betsy Ziegler

Initiatives: Inspiring The Next Generation

Broader influence and advocacy with Equity Principles

As we passed the one-year anniversary of our Equity Principles campaign, the necessity of promoting and achieving equity became more critical than ever. We must continue to shine a spotlight on gender equity when inclusion and diversity are most at risk. Support from our Equity Pledge signatories is vital to safeguard against losing ground. Join our 100+ signatories as we use our voices to educate and act on behalf of women, everywhere, of all colors, who do not yet have a seat at the table.

Future Leaders Program

Our Future Leaders Program supports the Chicago Network’s goal of developing the next generation of women leaders by providing outstanding sophomore and junior female college students at partnering schools an opportunity to explore career paths in the business and nonprofit sectors.

We contribute to closing the “achievement gap” by offering programs for Young Women Leaders that offer insight and guidance from our Members and our broader community.

This program is FANTASTIC. I feel so empowered as a woman and made great connections with other students and professionals. Thank you.

Thank you to our 2020 partner schools,

and thank you to our 2020 hosts:

I consider my participation in The Future Leaders Program the beginning of my personal professional career. It opened up my vision for me to land an internship at TCN, and to understand the importance of empowered women empowering younger generations.

Ana Vianeth Cabral Gamboa
Communications intern
The Chicago Network

Building Brave

In March 2020, we launched our virtual mentoring community through the Building Brave app. Our community has grown to more than 260 women seeking career advice and giving guidance to others. Join us!

Screenshots of the Building Brave mobile mentoring app Screenshots of the Building Brave mobile mentoring app

Paying it Forward

Executive Women's Mentorship Initiative

Our sixth year of continued partnership with the Executives’ Club of Chicago on the Executive Women’s Mentorship Initiative. We paired 20+ mentees with one-on-one mentors from The Chicago Network.

As a several year mentor in the Executive Club's mentor program, I continue to learn as much as I share. In particular, this year, my mentee and I are not only working toward her goals. We are also sharing experiences about the pandemic, racial injustice, and the importance of having the same belief system as your employer.

There is no substitute for broader thinking and developing different leadership ‘Muscles’ than mentoring outside of your organization. It’s about mutual learning, an environment of candor, and trust.

Opening Doors to STEM Careers

Using Data/Analytics, Design Thinking, and Technology to Gain a Competitive Edge in Your Organization

November 4, 2019

This interactive panel discussion featured women leaders who are successfully leveraging 21st Century tools to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and improve their internal functions. Panelists discussed what types of disruption their industries and companies are facing, and how they are using these tools to innovate and transform their organizations. This dynamic session took place at KPMG’s newest, largest, and most technologically advanced Ignition Center.


  • Linda Imonti, Office Managing Principal Chicago, KPMG
  • Deb Boyda, CEO of Isobar U.S.
  • Sara Breyfogle, Chief Credit Officer - Discover Card, SVP Analytics & Credit Strategy at Discover Financial Services
  • Brindha Dyer, Director of Digital Strategy, UL
  • Shannon Gilmore, Managing Director, Strategic Growth Initiatives KPMG
  • Sheila Talton, President and CEO, Gray Matter Analytics


#WhatItTakes: Connecting in Crisis

During COVID-19, The Chicago Network continued to provide high-quality programming with 20 virtual programs:

How Social Media Can Help Your Organization & Audience in Uncertain Times


  • Rebecca Steurer
  • Brittany Hinrichs

#Whatittakes to Elevate Your Organizational Brand with Social Media


  • Rebecca Steurer
  • Brittany Hinrichs

Virtual Fireside Chat: Meet TCN CEO Maria Doughty in Conversation


  • Cary Grace
  • Maria Doughty

Virtual Fireside Chat: Meet TCN CEO Maria Doughty in Conversation


  • Gloria Castillo
  • Maria Doughty

Virtual Fireside Chat: Meet TCN CEO Maria Doughty in Conversation


  • Diane Offereins
  • Maria Doughty

Virtual TCN Presents: Social Media Implementation & How to Create Engaging Content


  • Rebecca Steurer
  • Brittany Hinrichs

Members with Teens Discussion


  • Devorah Heitner, PhD

Keeping Your Employees Engaged & Remote Tools for Employers


  • Susan Gallagher
  • Bevin Desmond
  • Tierney Remick

Part I: #WhatItTakes: Managing a Small Business, Corporate Division, or Nonprofit Through a Financial Crisis and Beyond


  • Therese Fauerbach
  • Carol McCarthy

Part II: #WhatItTakes: Managing a Small Business, Corporate Division, or Nonprofit Through a Financial Crisis and Beyond


  • Therese Fauerbach
  • Julie Scott

#WhatItTakes: Dealing with Stress and Finding Positive Mental Health Tools during the Covid -19 Pandemic


  • Karyn Esken

Personal Well-Being in the Time of COVID-19


  • Marylinn Preston

Keeping Employees Motivated and Energized While Continuing to be a Positive and Inspirational Leader


  • Erin Inman
  • Beth Kirk Malecki

Virtual Happy Hour

Reboot, Rewire, or Retire? Virtual Roundtable


  • Anna Rappaport
  • Libbet Richter

#WhatItTakes in Education


  • Z Scott
  • Phyllis Lockett
  • Susan Poser

Mindfulness: How to Support Your Organization's Wellbeing


  • Laura Sage
  • Elissa Tenny

Share, Learn, and Connect with Your TCN Sector

Virtual Happy Hour

Alzheimer's - Cutting Edge Research and Advancements


  • Dr. Maria Carillo

Racial Equity Session and Leading on the Path Forward


  • Sylvia Puente
  • Tina Tchen
  • Angela Williams

Annual Meeting


  • Margo Georgiadis
  • Cathy Ball

Early Brain Development Session


  • Vicki Escarra
  • Diana Rauner

Emerita Social Hour


Fall Dinner

September 4, 2019
Taking Over the Family Business: Blood, Sweat, Tears – And Success

At the annual kick off to our programming season, we enjoyed a rich discussion among women leaders who have taken over their family businesses and built them into powerhouse enterprises. Each of these women had to make the decision to step into the top role and now they have all strategically grown their businesses.

Gloria Castillo
Former President
Chicago United

Alison Gutterman
Jelmar, LLC

Stephanie Hickman
President & CEO
Trice Construction Company

Laura Neiman
Neiman Bros.

New Year Reception

January 12, 2020

To welcome the New Year, reconnect with fellow members, and make new connections following the busy holiday season, the Network hosted a member cocktail reception at the Radisson Blu Aqua. The evening also brought in several professional clothing donations from members, which were distributed to our Future Leaders partner schools so that their women students have access to professional clothes for interviews and other such opportunities.

Annual Meeting

June 22, 2020

Featuring a Special Program with Margo Georgiadis, President and CEO, Ancestry and Cathy Ball, Chief Scientific Officer, Ancestry

At our Annual Meeting we elected the new slate of Board of Directors followed by a very special program by Ancestry. As the leader of a 30-year-old company that has innovated through multiple technological evolutions, Ancestry President and CEO Margo Georgiadis shared how she’s transforming the company to serve its customers in entirely new ways. Margo was joined in conversation by Ancestry Chief Scientific Officer Cathy Ball, who is leading the company’s efforts to rethink how it leverages its unique scientific assets and Ancestry’s powerful community to make new discoveries to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Margo Georgiadis
President and CEO

Cathy Ball
Chief Scientific Officer

Women in the Forefront

Each year, some of the country’s most influential figures share their professional and personal experiences with our audience of business and civic leaders as well as young leaders ascending the ranks. As we virtually reimagine the Women in the Forefront event, let’s take a look back at our highlights from prior years.

Social Media Highlights

We continue to bolster our channels in order to tell the incredible stories of trailblazing women, inspire the next generation, and highlight the ways in which we empower all women in our community to lead.

View this post on Instagram

#mondaymotivation #whatittakes

A post shared by The Chicago Network (TCN) (@thechicagonetwork) on

View this post on Instagram

#whatittakes #womenempowerwomen #motivation

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"I’ve been guilty of stopping myself from pursuing my wildest goals because I’ve counted myself out too quickly. I’ve observed that women and people of color tend to create an “us vs. them” paradigm — that certain kinds of success are for them, not us. But really it’s for them and us.” I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I hadn’t been able to overcome that “us vs. them” mentality, and feel confident that I belong at certain tables, too. A lot of women can become their own roadblock if they don’t break down these mental barriers."⠀ ⠀ Read more from our interview with Kadesha Thomas Smith about determination and the role it's played in her business by clicking the link in our bio!

A post shared by The Chicago Network (TCN) (@thechicagonetwork) on


Membership App

In April 2020, we launched The Chicago Network app, which members can download in the App Store or on Google Play. The app allows members to look up other members and directly call or email them, register for events, and update their own profile.

Screenshot of Member Leap app Screenshot of Member Leap app

Member Resource Library

TCN launched a password-protected Member Resource Library where members can access proprietary content from past programs and fellow members. This includes recordings of past virtual events, links to presentation decks, additional resources from fellow member companies, and calls to action in which members can engage.


Board of Directors

Diane Offereins

Cary Grace

Denise Cade

Kary McIlwain

Jenny Niemann

Cathy Kenworthy

Maria Pesqueira

Linda Myers

Tierney Remick


Susan Gallagher

Ann Ziegler

Joyce St. Clair
Yasmine Winkler

Teri Arvesu
Deb Boyda
Sidney Dillard
Grace Hou
Michelle Larson
Roxanne Martino
Suzet McKinney
Angela Williams



Diane Offereins, Chair
Denise Cade
Susan Gallagher
Cary Grace
Roxanne Martino
Kary McIlwain
Maria Pesqueira


Cathy Kenworthy, Chair
Teri Arvesu
Laurel Bellows
Tracey Benford
Sue Bettman
Patricia Bobb
Deborah Bowen
Karen Case
Linda Coberly
Caralynn Nowinski Collens
Marsha Cruzan
Vicki Escarra
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
Jean Franczyk
Janet Froetscher
Sara Greenstein
Sarah Guernsey
Trish Halper
Gail Hasbrouck
Sandra Helton
Erin Inman
Lisa Johnson
Angela Korompilas
Sherren Leigh
Trish Lukasik
Elaine Maimon
Terri McNally
Dorri McWhorter
Theresa Mintle
Cathy Odelbo
Diane Primo
Carol Ross Barney
Alison Scholly
Julie Vander Weele
Brooke Wiseman


Denise Cade, Chair
Roxanne Martino
Ann Ziegler


Linda Myers, Chair
Michelle Larson
Angela Williams


Tierney Remick, Chair
Teri Arvesu
Gina Berndt
Donna Carroll
Sidney Dillard
Anne Edwards-Cotter
Kate Lipuma
Terri Mascherin
Suzet McKinney
Jane Mentzinger
Z. Scott
Yasmine Winkler


Jenny Niemann, Chair
Dianne Blanco
Patricia Bobb
Christine Castellano
Regine Corrado
Monica Davey
Mitra Dutta
Karyn Esken
Sandra Helton
Mary Jo Herseth
Eileen Kamerick
Margaret McCurry
Nivine Megahed
Carla Michelotti
Libbet Ritcher
Mary Lee Schneider
Toni Smith
Pallavi Verma
Kathleen Yosko


Joyce St. Clair, Co-Chair
Yasmine Winkler, Co-Chair
Sue Bettman
Regine Corrado
Lisa Emerick
Julie Scott
Kathy Seegebrecht
Jill Smart
Maryann Waryjas


Ann Ziegler, Chair
Kapila Anand
Sheila O'Grady


Maria Pesqueira, Chair
Rosanna Ander
Shan Bhati
Gillian Darlow
Karyn Esken
Brenda Feis
Gail Hasbrouck
Grace Hou
Susan Jacobs
Robin Kelly
Deb Lahey
Marilyn Lissner
Kate Maehr
Renetta McCann
Sandra Cordova Micek
Jennifer Nijman
Jennifer Rosato Perea
Susan Stelter
Cheryl Whitaker
Maxine Winer
Yasmine Winkler


Kary McIlwain, Chair
Maryam Banikarim
Emily Barr
Deb Boyda
Laura Desmond
Jennifer Graves
Julie Loeger
Kathy Seegebrecht


Susan Gallagher, Chair
Cynthia Barginere
Cary Grace
Beth Kirk Malecki
Diane Offereins
Kathy Seegebrecht
Z. Scott
Yasmine Winkler


Libbet Richter, Chair
Ellen Carnahan
Sandra Helton
Eva Maddox
Barbara Provus
Anna Rappaport
Toni Smith


Maria Doughty
President & CEO
312 787 1990 mdoughty@thechicagonetwork.org

Nathan Brauner
Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
and Engagement Director
312 787 1979

Elizabeth Stigler
Managing Director
of External Relations
312 787 1994

Nathan Upchurch
Communications Specialist
312 787 7936