Chicago Events

Chicago Innovation Awards - 2017 Celebrating Women in Innovation (Chicago, IL)


May 17, 2017 – 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

231 S LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60612 Map

More Info

From becoming NASA astronauts to leading the second largest county in the United States, women continue to break new ground by taking risks and doing things differently. Join us as we celebrate women who are at the peak of their careers, and got there by focusing on innovation to change the status quo.

Speaker Bios
Toni Preckwinkle
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has been a dedicated community leader for over two decades. She has worked with the Cook County Board of Commissioners, elected officials and county employees to implement major reform and reshape county government through fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership, transparency & accountability, and improved services. President Preckwinkle has developed a broad policy agenda – focusing on critical public safety reform, working to strengthen the county’s health care system, and increasing the capacity and capability of our economic development efforts.Before being elected Cook County Board President, Preckwinkle served 19 years as Alderman of the 4th Ward, and, prior to holding elected office, taught high school history for ten years.

Andrea Zopp
Andrea Zopp is the Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Officer for the City of Chicago. Earlier this year, Andrea ran for the U.S. Senate and has previously served as president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, which supports and advocates for economic, educational, and social progress for African Americans. Prior to this, Andrea was executive vice president and general counsel at the Exelon Corporation. Andrea also previously held roles as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Sears Holdings Corporation, and vice president, deputy general counsel in the law department at Sara Lee Corporation.

Brenna Berman
Brenna is CIO and Commissioner of the Department of Innovation and Technology for the City of Chicago, where she focuses on integrating advanced analytics and data-driven decision-making, and setting a new standard for government IT and connectivity. Prior to government, Brenna spent 10 years at IBM, where she worked closely with government agencies across the world to leverage technology and analytics to improve the services they provide to their residents.

Dr. Mary Ellen Weber
Dr. Mary Ellen Weber is founder of Stellar Strategies, LLC, consulting in strategic communications and in strategies for high-stakes operations. Weber was a NASA Astronaut for ten years and a veteran of two spaceflights. She also held key positions in space operations, as well as with NASA headquarters in technology transfer, strategic communications, and program oversight, and she is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. More recently, Weber was Vice President for nine years at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, an internationally-renowned research center, hospital complex and medical school in Dallas, Texas.

Phyllis Lockett
Phyllis is CEO of LEAP Innovations, an education technology hub in Chicago connecting educators and tech companies from across the nation to research, pilot, and scale instructional technology solutions. Before starting LEAP, Phyllis was a driving force behind Chicago’s charter movement. As founding president and CEO of New Schools for Chicago, she helped raise more than $70 million to support opening 80 new public schools.

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