Local BRAVA Ambassador
President, U.S. Specialty Channels, Kellogg North America
Wendy Davidson joined Kellogg Company as President, U.S. Specialty Channels in October 2013. She is a member of the company’s Global Leadership Team, the Kellogg North American Leadership Team, the Global Snacks and Global Breakfast Operating Councils, and the K Pride & Allies (KPA) and Women of Kellogg (WOK) networks.
Previously, Ms. Davidson held executive leadership roles with McCormick & Company as Vice President, Consumer Food Manufacturing, U.S. and Latin America and Vice President, Custom Flavor Solutions, Industrial Foods Americas. She served on the company’s D&I Executive Steering Team and Global Industrial Strategic Council.
Prior to McCormick, Ms. Davidson spent 16 years as a part of the executive team at Tyson Foods Inc., working in progressively increasing roles in general management, operations, sales and marketing. Among them, she served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Prepared Foods; Group Vice President, Food Service Group; and Senior Vice President and General Manager, McDonald’s Business Unit. She was named Tyson Food Service Marketer of the Year in 1998 and served on the company’s Compensation, Finance and Animal Welfare Committees, Strategic Leadership Team, Executive Diversity Business Council and Mentoring Program.
Ms. Davidson holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science
As the founder of TeacherCare and Women Tech Founders, I connect progressive people, organizations and ideas.
TeacherCare is a nation-wide agency that helps private families and organizations find highly-qualified teachers for childcare and educational services. TeacherCare has been recognized as the leader in personalized educational childcare, and has been featured in The Tribune, The New York Times and MSN News.
Women Tech Founders is a platform that inspires, advances and connects women in, and into, tech leadership. WTF tells the stories of visionary women in tech to empower women to reach their dreams, advance business and change the world. Women Tech Founders has been featured in Blue Sky Innovations, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Woman’s Magazine, WGN and various media sources.
In addition to entrepreneurial roles, I interview leaders as a tech columnist, speak at leadership conferences, leads children’s charities and sit on diverse boards that support the community. I’ve been awarded leadership recognition through great organizations, including TechWeek, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Inno and have recently been published by Forbes.
My goal has always been to advance women and children.
Ever since she was a young child searching for identical snowflakes through her magnifying glass, Jo Ousterhout has been driven by a need to make sense of the world around her. A constant asker of questions, she has spent her adult life using her discoveries to create clarity and demystify complex issues.
This curiosity has led Jo from Chicago to New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Today, settled in Washington, DC, she’s never been clearer on anything than she is on her belief that without women in positions of leadership, government and other societal organizations cannot be truly effective.
Most recently, Jo has thrown her efforts wholeheartedly towards the empowerment of women in politics. A Co-Founder of Entrepreneurs for Hillary, National Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum, and an early member of the Electing Women Alliance, she has motivated donors and volunteers with her straight talk and clear vision to raise funds and engage women for a variety of candidates and organizations whose work has helped diversify the political landscape.
Jo adds activist to a long list of career-defining roles including executive, consultant, and entrepreneur. She pioneered one of the first trading desks in the loan syndications business, broke into e-commerce as CEO of Yahoo!’s ‘Best of the Web’ retailer for high-end chocolates, and then co-founded Metta Journeys, a philanthropic travel company which gave people a way to experience first-hand the impact of NGO work in formerly war torn regions.
In her downtime Jo can be found test tasting the latest DC cuisine with her husband Jeff, devouring life-hack blogs, or looking for more answers on her travels around the world.
Principal and Chief Operating Officer for Elohi Strategic Advisors, a WBENC-certified company, guiding emerging food brands into foodservice. With a focus on natural, organic, healthy-halo products, Elohi teaches brands how to navigate the foodservice channel. Pamela’s 20+ year career encompasses executive leadership teams, sales and operations leadership roles with global companies ServiceMaster, Sodexo, ARAMARK. A passionate advocate of mentoring for interpersonal and professional excellence, Pamela’s mantra has always been one of paying it forward and reaching behind to extend a hand and bringing another woman along. Pamela is on the Board of Directors for the Northern Illinois Food Bank and is a member of its Finance & Audit Committee. She is also a board member for Food Service Sales & Marketing Association and a member of Women’s Foodservice Forum.
Riana Lynn is a young leader in innovation, technology, and “good food.” As a serial entrepreneur, Riana has developed high-growth, nationally recognized technology and food businesses. She has served as a recent Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Google – Code2040. After first-hand experience working with struggling food innovators, she was inspired to develop supply chain software and create FoodTrace. Her products have significantly impacted thousands of food businesses across the US and beyond. Riana’s development work was pivotal for CNBC’s small business hit show, “The Profit.” Her accomplishments have been featured in USA Today, Wired, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain’s “20 in their 20s”, among others. Riana is a co-founder and board member of Women Tech Founders. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before pursuing a Masters at Northwestern University. A native of the Chicago area, Riana is a techie, a world traveler, and a food innovation expert.
She has spent valuable time exploring different distribution methods while discovering exciting produce and inspiring flavors from across the globe. She developed innovative supply chain management tools while working along the agricultural pipeline – from local farmers to large agricultural leaders in California, West Africa, Mexico, and Brazil. While getting her hands dirty in the White House Kitchen Garden, her work included major policy initiatives such as Small Business and Jobs, STEM, and Public Health.
She has been on a mission to build revenue streams and improve health outcomes. She considers entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships our vehicles for change across the world.”
Erika Jefferson is the President and Founder of Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE), an organization focused on bridging the leadership gap for Black women in STEM. She received her MBA from Georgia Tech and her BS in Chemical Engineering from LSU. She has worked for top companies such as Amoco, Chevron and Praxair in a myriad of leadership and executive roles ranging from sales/business development to supply chain and operations excellence. Her more than two decades of experience led her across the nation from Chicago, to Greenville, Charlotte, Atlanta and eventually Houston.
Key Areas of expertise: STEM Entrepreneurship
Trista Li is a social entrepreneur and CEO of KitcheNet.org, an early stage social enterprise focusing on making cooking easy for mothers living in low income community. Prior to starting her business, she developed a microfinance market in Chicago helping the underserved entrepreneurs. She is currently completing an MBA/MPP dual degree at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harris School of Public Policy. She holds a B.A., in Psychology and Economics from Case Western Reserve University. During free time, she enjoys teaching yoga, playing the ukulele and salsa dancing.
Monica Adams is a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, meditation advocate and international speaker. She is the creator of Operation Muse which brings the worlds of Personal Development & Spiritual Enhancement together through workshops, retreats, events and more. After creating Operation Muse she began seeing a need in developing powerful cultures for new emerging companies. She soon became the Director of Culture for Fownders, a social enterprise providing progressive education. Through Fownders she not only enhances their culture, but teaches the importance and the strategizes behind building a great company culture to new entrepreneurs through their online academy. Monica believes that when we align our heads with our hearts magic unfolds.
Julie M. Holloway is a multi-passion entrepreneur based in Hanover Park, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). Her love for the arts began at the early age of 8. After high-school she attended Ringling School of Art & Design, DePaul and The Art Institute of Chicago where she took a variety of art courses and in 2014, received her BA in Business Administration from Capella University. The first sixteen years of her career Holloway worked in various roles at companies such as Accenture, Home Depot, Nike and Oce Printing only to realize her passion and potential has and always will lie in the creative industry.
Holloway opened JMH Cre8ive Solutions in November, 2011 and has experienced tremendous growth and an expansion of creative design, print and web services along with her team of co-entrepreneurs. With an enormous heart and hunger for collaborating and assisting entrepreneurs carry through their creative vision, the business continues to flourish. In November 2012 Holloway authored and curated the book series titled The Entrepreneur Within You (TEW), and in 2014 launched TEW Volume 2 and TEW Volume 3 in July, 2015. She organized this inspirational entrepreneurship anthology with 18 contributing authors, and they are currently working on volume four which will introduce another 18 contributors. From her infamous “quit day” in 2011 JMH continues to inspire, encourage and equip her colleagues as well as perfect strangers with hope and inspiration of following their life’s journey. TEW volume 4 is in the works, and should be released by June, 2017. Stay connected!
In her spare time, JMH spends quality and creative time with her husband Darnell, children Jasmine (15) and D.J. (10) who are also emerging authors and entrepreneurs.
Key areas of expertise: graphic design, printing, website project management, social media, fine art, window painting and live painting!
Dr. Eugenia Orr is purveyor of expressive, thoughtful communication, and purposeful & meaningful events for herself and her clients. With more than 20 years of marketing, business, leadership, planning & relationship-building experience, Eugenia specializes in proven marketing and branding strategies that advance company recognition and spurs growth. With keen attention for detail & the ability to visualize the way people experience outings, Eugenia plans meetings & other events that maximize & enhance the experience of attendees and hosts. Her business, Euyeveia Media & Events (Ancient Greek spelling of Eugenia), serves as a vehicle for Eugenia to actively pursue & offer her most passionate and accomplished skills, writing & event planning. Euyeveia M&E offers full service event planning focusing on corporate events and meetings, as well as outdoor festivals. Yet for Eugenia for any successful meeting or event to occur, organizations need to have their mission, values, goals, & direction firmly established. To that end, Eugenia uses her gift of writing & communication to help her clients discover or uncover their purpose & articulate that message, not only to clients, but also to focus the business and themselves. From strategic planning to website content to social media platforms to marketing and promotional material, Eugenia crafts messaging that effectively expresses the who & the why behind the what of businesses. When she’s not writing content or planning events, Eugenia spends time baking for her other business, Pounds of Pleasure, Custom Baked Goods. Eugenia holds a Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, Master of Urban Planning & Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design from the International Academy of Design & Technology. She is Chair of the American Heart Association’s Multicultural Leadership Committee & Social Media Liaison for the National Women of Achievement.
Aviva Rosman is the COO and co-founder of BallotReady, an award-winning voter guide to every race and referendum on the ballot. Aviva grew up working on campaigns at all levels, including her own successful run for local office.
She began her career teaching high school math and leading the special education department with Teach for America. Before BallotReady, Aviva worked in policy, government, and management consulting. She has been named one of Crain’s 20 in their 20s, Pacific Standard’s 30 Thinkers Under 30, and one of WeWork’s Young Innovators.
Aviva has a BA and masters’ from the University of Chicago, both in public policy.
Areas of expertise: startups, data, campaigns, technology, advocacy, public policy.
Niquenya Collins, or Coach Niquenya as she is professionally known, is a Master Business Coach and the CEO of Building Bridges Consulting, a small business consulting, executive coaching, and corporate training firm specializing in transforming dreamers into successful entrepreneurs. She specifically seeks out individuals with bigger-than-life visions who want to stop wasting time, monetize their talents, and finally generate the revenue their brilliant business ideas truly deserve. As a result of working with Coach Niquenya, entrepreneurs get connected to their passion, purpose, people, and processes to propel them to profit faster than they ever could on their own. Her Signature Program, the Jump$tart Business Basics Training Series, helps entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between where they are now and where they need to be to build successful, sustainable, and profitable operations. In addition to her work with entrepreneurs, Coach Niquenya is an international professional speaker, corporate and workforce development trainer. She partners with organizations to provide customized training and development programs tailored to meet the unique needs of each audience she serves. Coach Niquenya is also a published author of several professional and leadership development titles including her most popular book, Why YOU SUCK at Network Marketing, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Chelsea is co-founder and CEO of Provide, a social enterprises to help entrepreneurs build stronger child care businesses. Provide offers a software-based back office that automates the government-facing administrative work of child care providers to help them earn more income and save time. Chelsea is also the former Public Policy Director at BeneStream, a social enterprise. In this role, she designed software and operational processes to enroll low-income families in public benefits, including family child care providers. She also has experience in politics and issue advocacy. Chelsea is an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.
Chelsea’s interests and areas of expertise include social enterprises, business model development, and public-private partnerships. She is excited about good jobs, a meaningful social safety net, worker-owned businesses, and community-driven finance.
SW Strategies specializes in working with investors, management companies and individual operators to plan, recalibrate and implement foodservice brands with sustainable value: non-commercial / commercial (full-service and fast-casual) / hotel / fresh-prepared foods at grocery retail.
Susan’s professional career trajectory has taken her from international hotel management experience to domestic foodservice operations and non-commercial and hotel brand development. At Hyatt International Hotels she was F&B Director at Grand Hyatt Melbourne Australia (achieved $1 million in profit year one), Hyatt Regency Tahiti (renovated 12 food and beverage outlets) and Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (introduced retail wedding planning). She also served as Franchise Director McDonald’s Argentina (Arcos Dorados, the largest franchisee in the world) quickly becoming the country spokesperson for franchising, while recruiting franchisees, getting them into business and creating and implementing a salad bar concept for the joint venture partner.
A chance to develop and manage consulting and brand development assignments for Compass Group and ARAMARK in the US, two of three large non-commercial hospitality industry players, enabled her to lead foodservice brand development and operations projects for some of the biggest corporate, college & university and healthcare brands in the US.
As an independent consultant, Susan has facilitated foodservice brand development projects, created investor business plans and most recently returned from a $65 M hotel renovation project in Puerto Rico.
Susan received her B.A. from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA and her B.S. from Ecole Hôtelière, Lausanne, Switzerland. Susan serves as Pro-Bono Account Director, Taproot Foundation Chicago and is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier. During the summer, she’s riding the Chicago lakefront path or volunteering at Green City Market.
Erin is Co-Founder and Principal at Borough + Block. She’s always thinking about how to design strategies that will lead to more equity, access, and dignity for all.
Most recently, Erin served as the Senior Design Strategy Consultant at Gensler, leading partnerships with Chicago Public Libraries and Housing Options by facilitating workshops and guiding project vision.
With entrepreneurship running through her veins, she successfully launched and grew both EPIC (iamepic.com) and Till School (tillschool.com). At Borough + Block, she guides research methods, creates partnerships, and provides creative direction.
During the course of her career, Erin’s worked with companies such as Motorola, Converse, Best Buy, SC Johnson, OfficeMax, and PNC Bank, at firms gravitytank, VSA Partners, and IDEO. She also created the Innovation Narratives graduate course for Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, as well as designed curriculum she teaches for graduate-level design and social entrepreneurship courses at Northwestern University.
Specialties: Qualitative Research, Strategic Planning, Workshops, Ideation, Program Design, System Design, Service Design, Purpose Design, Communication Strategy, Concept Development, Design Development, Storytelling, Design Education, Coalition Building, Community and Social Impact.”
Author & CEO of THE BOSS WIFE
Crysta Wicks, a Chicago Native and Author of the highly anticipated empowerment novel, Everybody Is Not Made For This. Real Estate Investor and CEO of THE BOSS WIFE lifestyle apparel brand, is a highly skilled serial entrepreneur who shares a special interest in uncovering the secrets of how successful women can continue to elevate from the experiences of one another. What distinguishes her from other entrepreneurs in her field of expertise is that she utilizes her entrepreneurial skills to unite a group of like-minded women who mutually share the same common goal of professional advancement, relationship advancement, and cultivating strong family value units. Crysta defines success based on the many lives that she is able to help advance.
Shelly McCallion is a rising senior at Naperville North High School. She is looking forward to participating in the Galvanize Program and supporting Chicago’s strong community of women. Shelly graduated from the Entrepreneurs-In-Training program at Barnard College in July 2017.
Deneb Zavala is engaged with the University of Chicago in studying the social and biological determinants of health and human development. She has applied these academic and human-centered design skills at the Rush University Medical Center to develop a psychosocial sexual resource for post-treatment cancer patients to increase their quality of life. Currently, Deneb is the business development expert at KitcheNet, a social enterprise providing affordable grocery boxes containing weekly food staples for families living in food-insecure areas.
Shelley Bird is a “builder” with global marketing, strategy, and business transformation experience across multiple industry sectors. Having lived and worked in seven countries, she has helped organizations navigate disruptive change and culture transitions, launch new ventures, and retool existing models. She is the founder of the Bindu Project, a social enterprise supporting charitable startups, and former co-chair of X Squared Angels, an angel group that invests in women-led early-stage companies. Ms. Bird is the former Executive Vice President, Office of the CEO, at Cardinal Health. For most of her 10-year tenure with the company, she was responsible for global branding, corporate marketing, digital media, public relations, community relations and government affairs. She was a key member of the team that spun off the company’s medical device businesses as a separate publicly traded company under the name CareFusion, creating a new industry leader. Ms. Bird also served as an advisor to the chairman and CEO, and as chairwoman of the Cardinal Health Foundation’s board of trustees. Additionally, by special appointment of the chairman and CEO, she was a consultant and strategist to the Columbus Partnership and its CEO-members on education reform and business community engagement. During that time, she launched FutureReady Columbus, a nonprofit working collaboratively in the community to ensure that all children in the city of Columbus, regardless of where they live or go to school, acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom and in life. And she was the founding advocate of Widen the Circle, a regional effort to increase the representation of women in leadership and on corporate boards, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity. She earned a Doctorate in Communication at the University of South Australia, but still doesn’t speak with an Aussie accent.
Can you imagine disadvantaged women never having hope of living successful lives? We can, and became impassioned to form EnVision Proven Success, a non-profit organization that provides a forum to share their struggles, successes, and to strengthen the resources that help women realize their importance.
McQuetta Williams is the CEO/ Founder of the non-profit organization and publication of EnVision Proven Success. Williams, mother of three and grandmother of eight. After raising her three children, Williams became vision-impaired, overnight due to an unknown illness. Williams has a passion for linking people to resources. Williams graduate of Ohio Dominican University with a Bachelor of Science. For the past 10 years she has been Referral Specialist at Hands On Central Ohio. Williams was a WrightChoice intern at Ohio Legal Rights Service and at the Center of Vocational Alternatives. Williams was a recipient, advocate, volunteer, member of Dress for Success Columbus (DFSC), first Woman of Power of DFSC in 2010, Professional Women’s Group member, and published the first, 2014, edition of EnVision Proven Success (EPS) for the recipients of DFSC. Williams, an Ambassador at First Church of God, Salvation Army volunteer, advocate for Human Trafficking /advocate of VOICEcorps. In 2017, Williams was one of Sunny95 20 Outstanding Women, and EPS was recognized in Ohio Business Profile by the Secretary of State. Williams ‘vision in life is to be able to help somebody so her living will not be in vain, she is known for saying We don’t look like what we’ve been through!
Williams’ greatest goal is to empower women that have overcome challenges so they can give back to the community by sharing their journey of success and becoming economically self-sufficient
Founder of Wemblr LLC
Tiffany Marr is an enthusiastic feminist and social entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Wemblr LLC, a social ecosystem where women share financial advice with one another by way of real life stories, experiences, successes and failures or by sparking a conversation topic where others can respond in real time. Despite women’s achievements in so many industries, statistics show that, on average, women earn $0.80 on the $1.00 that a man earns. Yet, while earning 20% less, women manage and disburse 80% of the household budget and finances, or more. Wemblr exists so that women can exchange the knowledge they have acquired through day-to-day and month-to-month living while expanding their financial advisement network beyond their small group of family and friends. Our goal is to help eliminate the taboo associated with money conversations while being a tool that empowers every woman’s financial journey, no matter where she sits on the spectrum. Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with an International Business collateral and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) in Marketing and Finance, both from The Haslam College of Business at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Noni is the inspiring founder of The Diva Movement, a personal development and social networking organization for women and girls. The rapid growth of this organization, is a result of her gift to nurture the strengths and passions of women. She believes that when women connect powerful things happen. With a passion for empowering and inspiring women, Noni Banks founded The DIVA Movement with the mission of empowering, inspiring and motivating women to thrive. Founded in 2012, The Diva Movement was created to let women know that their hopes, dreams, desires, and purpose matters. “ I want to let women know that they have a choice. They do not have to sacrifice their hopes and dreams. I want to empower women to tap into their greatness. There are lives that need to be touched, the world needs what’s on the inside of you” Prior to The Diva Movement, Noni thrived in various nonprofit leadership roles. She is a nationally recognized and accomplished community organizer and training and professional development professional. Noni was the co-founder and coordinator of one of Columbus’ largest back to school event which provided free school supplies to over 15,000 children. Her passion is serving at-risk women and children. Noni has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Otterbein College. Noni is a wife and mother of four boys, two bonus sons and two bonus daughters.
Chelsea Varnum, M.Ed., is a community educator with an expertise in sexual health, sexualities, and community development. Currently she works as CEO of Curious, a body-safe and inclusive sexual wellness pop-up shop in Columbus, OH. She has over 7 years of experience in education with adolescents and adults, including developing inclusive programming and community-centered curricula. She specializes in creating sex education and leadership development workshops for LGBQ and Trans/Gender Non-Conforming communities. Chelsea received her Masters of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University in 2012.
Claire Schuler is a rising senior at Upper Arlington High School and is a graduate of the 2017 Barnard Entrepreneurs-in-Training program. She excels at the cello and is in the process of developing an online submission-based magazine which will give LGBTQ+ youth a platform to share their stories and life events.