Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List

HomeNews & Announcements

News and Announcements

Do You Have a blog?

It's interesting the number of UCWBG members who have blogs. We've created a webpage to list the blogs we know about. Click here to check it out. Let us know about your blog. Send the address to We'll put a link in the UCWBG website and possibly the next email.

Are You Considering Running for Public Office?

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy is launching a new executive education program, Women in Public Leadership, for women who want to break through the glass ceiling, increase their power and influence, and help make the world a better place. The intensive five-day program, on Nov 16-20, brings together a faculty of distinguished academic scholars along with well-known women leaders who can offer battle-tested strategic advice on overcoming gender bias, building on success, recovering from failure, and taking your place in the public square. The course fee includes tuition for the certificate-granting program, books, curricular materials, meals and special events. Early bird, group and alumnae discounts are available. Women who wish to join this inaugural cohort of exceptional leaders may learn more or register online at

Sonja Brisard, BookingKeeping Express, published a post on LinkedIn's The Pulse blog


Read Sonja Brisard's post, So You're going to start your own business, now what? Sonja, owner of BookingKeeping Express - Southwest Chicago, lists five key tips on the "nitty, gritty" of bookkeeping.


Book Discussion and Summer Networking: "Strategize to Win" by Carla Harris

The Wall Street powerhouse and author of Expect to Win, Carla A. Harris, offers a new way to conceptualize career strategies and gives us proven tools for successful change in her new book, Strategize to Win. Kristan Rowland, UCWBG board member, will be hosting a discussion on the book in her home.


Whether we’re starting out, striving toward a promotion, or looking for a new opportunity, the working world isn’t what it used to be. In Strategize to Win Carla Harris gives readers the tools they need to get started; get “unstuck” from bad situations; redirect momentum; and position themselves to manage their careers no matter the environment. With her trademark galvanizing advice, Harris identifies and clarifies issues that are often murky, offering lessons on:

  • Identifying and making the most of your work profile (are you a Good Soldier? a Leader? an Arguer?)
  • Preparing for a career change without going back to school or taking a step down
  • Honing three essential skills industry leaders possess (and how to get them)
  • Tuning into unspoken cues
  • Thriving through change

Negotiating Your Salary - Notes from the Event

Thanks to Khloe Karova for making her notes from the Salary Negotiations event on June 8, 2015 available. Click here to take a look.


Tips for Finding the Right Non-Profit Board for You

Serving on the board of a non-profit organization is an objective of many people judging by the attendance at UCWBG’s annual meeting last January 29. The Social Enterprise Initiative at Chicago Booth held their second annual OnBoard conference earlier this year where Finding that fit was the subject of a recent session led by two veterans of nonprofit boards. Read the Chicago Booth news article describing the points that were made in the session. They make good sense.


Meet the Winner of UCWBG's 2014-2015 Student Prize


The University of Chicago Women’s Business Group is pleased to announce the latest recipient of its annual student prize. She is Jennifer Fried, a second year student at Booth concentrating in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Click here to read more about Jennifer.


Want to Know More About Developing an Executive Presence?


Last September at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago, UCWBG President Khloé Karova sat on a panel discussion to share tips on advancing women in organizations. What was a major factor in women's rise in organizations? Confidence. The event sponsor was Randstad. They pulled together a very classy event attended by over 200 women. Click here to view a video of the event. The panel discussion begins about 40 minutes into the video.


Remembering Jane Byrne

Hearing of Jane Bryne's death brought to mind the time she spoke to the University of Chicago Women's Business Group. There we were, clothed in our best dress-for-success suits (this was before business casual days), eager to hear her "war stories" of how, as a pioneer woman leader, she led the city in spite of a hostile city council.

But impressed by her accomplishments as we were, we also felt a fond connection with her feminine side when we remembered that, the day after her election as mayor, she had indulged in a day at a salon.

Rest in peace, Mayor Bryne. Some may not have liked your politics but thank you for sharing with UCWBG your feisty, determined example.

Confidence: Essential For Leadership, Success And Fulfillment


On 8/7/2014, women from the University of Chicago Women’s Business Group came together to discuss a new book, The Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. The book discusses the neuroscience of the human mind, how women are wired differently and how to use those differences to our advantage. While the book also discusses some disadvantages of the female brain, the good news is that our brains are malleable. Group members shared stories about work, home life and situations they may have handled differently had they read some of this research. The action of getting together and discussing the research was incredibly empowering and... read more.


Catriona Duncan, First Recipient of UCWBG Student Prize

    Meet Catriona Duncan, first recipient UCWBG's annual student prize. Catriona a second year student at Booth concentrating in Finance and Economics. “I’m flattered to receive this award,” she said. “It will help me finance my studies at Booth.” Read more about Catriona.


Sonja Brisard was named BookingExpress Franchisee of the Year for 2013


Congratulations! Sonja Brisard, owner of BookingKeeping Express - Southwest Chicago was named Franchisee of the Year for 2013. This prestigious award was announced on February 4, 2014 to all the BookKeeping Express franchisees as well as the Corporate Team. Sonja was recognized in the Transition category of the award. She has transformed her business model since opening her office in April 2012. Sonja takes full advantage of the various tools and systems provided by the franchisor. As a result, her business has grown tremendously over the last year. Sonja is currently the UCWBG VP of Finance, .


As a Leader, Know Your Tools

  Elene Cafasso, executive coach, President of Enerpace, Inc., and member of the UCWBG board, was a speaker at the Third Annual Booth Women Connect Conference last fall. Elene led the session, "Introduction to Coaching Skills for Female Leaders." Here's a quote from her presentation, "Strong leaders build a toolbox full of management techniques and have the ability to flex among them. Learn how to read a situation and react with the appropriate tool."


How to be Convincing: Robin Simon Gives Advice on Presenting Data

Robin Simon '89, UCWBG member, recommends keeping charts simple. "Sometimes you just have to stifle your inner Picasso - like when creating charts to clearly convey your key points about data." Here is her post on her blog, CPS Data Insights, "How to Be Convincing: Three Rules for Creating Persuasive Charts".


Teresa Seipel, In Memoriam


We were saddened to learn that UCWBG member Teresa Seipel, '82, passed away on April 27, 2013 at her home in Palatine, IL. Teresa was a valued member and had served as UCWBG President in 2005. Teresa spearheaded the first, and highly successful, UCWBG Women's Summit in 2005. Click here for her obituary.


Jennifer Dominiquini Interviewed by Incite Marketing & Communications


Jennifer Dominiquini '05, Chief Marketing Officer for Sears/KMart and UCWBG VP of Strategic Partnering from 2007-08, has been interviewed by Incite Marketing & Communications online magazine on "Measurement, Personal User Experience and More." Read the interview.


Franchee Harmon, In Memoriam


We were saddened to learn that UCWBG member Franchee Harmon '93 passed away on May 8, 2013. Franchee was a valued member and had served on the UCWBG board. She was the founder and managing director of Leaps of Thought LLC, a management consulting firm that helped businesses create strategies that use employee's talents to improve corporate performance and drive business innovation.


She Fights for the Financial Future of Chicago Teachers


Kudos to Carmen Heredia-López, former member of the UCWBG board of directors. An article in Hispanic Executive highlights Carmen in her position as the Director of Investments for the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund. Read the article.


Sonja Brisard Explains How Small Businesses Can Prepare for 2013


View the video in which Sonja Brisard, President of Bookkeeping Express and UCWBG VP of Finance, provides tips that small businesses can use to prepare for 2013.


Get on the C-Suite's Radar

  Elene Cafasso, executive coach, President of Enerpace, Inc., and member of the UCWBG board, has been quoted in the July, 2012 issue of Money Magazine on catching the attention of upper management. Read the article.


Congratulations to Agnes Roach, '80!

UCWBG members extend their congratulations, and thanks, to Agnes Roach, MBA '80, for receiving the 2012 Alumni Service Award from The University of Chicago.  Recognized among fellow volunteers as a visionary, Agnes cofounded both The University of Chicago Women's Business Group (UCWBG), in 1980, and The University of Chicago, Chicago Women's Alliance (CWA), in 2006.  UCWBG was the first alumni club established for Chicago Booth and laid the groundwork for reconnecting an underserved sector of the alumni population with the University.  CWA is an affinity group whose mission is to provide a forum for alumna to network and acquire new knowledge.

A CFP with more than twenty-five years of experience in her own financial planning usiness, Agnes is also a founding member of the Gurnee Women's Business Association (1994) and the Financial Planning Association of Illinois (2000). She has served in various capacities on several other association boards.

The award ceremony was held in Rockefeller Chapel on Saturday, June 2, 2012.


UCWBG Endows Student Prize at Chicago Booth


In support of Chicago Booth's efforts to honor exceptional students, UCWBG has endowed the UCWBG Student Prize Fund with $50,000. This Prize will be awarded annually to an MBA student. The Fund anticipates a prize of $2500 annually. Read the Chicago Booth press release announcing the prize.



Survey: Married folks more retirement-ready

Our very own Leisa Aiken was quoted in this Chicago Tribune article from October 7, 2011  Congratulations Leisa!


Author! Author!

The ever energetic Elene Cafasso, President of Enerpace and UCWBG VP Programs, has contributed a chapter to the e-book, "Living the Life of My Dreams."


The New Path to the C-Suite

The March 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review presents a new road map to attain those coveted C-suite positions. Food for thought.


Gen Y - Paving the Highway to the Future: The Expert Panel - held Wednesday, January 19, on WBEZ

Generation Y professionals, in their 20's, are the fastest growing segment of today's workforce.  Women of the World are sponsored a panel discussion on this demographic group.  Elene Cafasso, our own VP Programs, is one of the panelists!  Listen to the recording from WBEZ and learn about the huge social and economic impact and share valuable information on developing relationships and social responsibility.


Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

Here's an interesting video on women rising to the C-suite. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite. View the video from the TED website.


Congratulation to Maggie Coleman!

Maggie Coleman, UCWBG VP Membership in 2009 and 2010, was married on November 13, 2010 in Rockefeller Chapel.



Managing Relationships in the Performance Improvement Process

Jane Ranshaw, President of UCWBG, has contributed a chapter to the Performance Improvement Handbook for ISPI.  Read the chapter.

The High Achiever's Guide to Being a Decent Parent

       UCWBG member and President of Chicago High Achievers, Jinnie English has published a new book. “The High Achievers Guide to Being a Decent Parent” is written for parents who want to raise healthy, independent, and self-motivated children who have common sense.  Here's the description from the book jacket: "Jinnie has taken the mystery out of parenting by distilling the lessons of being an effective parent down to the basics: Don’t aim too high. By addressing the unreasonableness of trying to be a “perfect” parent, she speaks to how the most successful parents just try to be decent parents. Being realistic in their own expectations allows their children to have realistic expectations of themselves. In the end, chances are, you and your children will exceed your goals. So, don’t overthink everything. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from your children – life is more fun that way!"



How to Take a Short Break From Working

Elene Cafasso '87 sends along some suggestions for how to take a 5 minute break in your day.

New Product Development and Forecasting Challenges

Robin Simon '89 discusses the challenges of developing new products to increase sales and profits in the Winter 2009-2010 issue of The Journal of Business Forecasting.  Read the article.

It's Cool to be Bald

Here's the video of a self-assured 6 year old, Maria, daughter of Elene Cafasso, UCWBG VP Professional Developmemnt, discussing a health issue important to her.


The ABC's of Point-of-Sales Data

UCWBG member Robin Simon provides insight into the sources of point-of-sales data in The Journal of Business Forecasting.  Read the article.


UCWBG Members Share Experiences with Booth Students

When students at Booth launched the "Mothers at Booth" group, UCWBG members Jennifer Dominiquini and Dina Ross were among those sharing their experiences on working and motherhood. Read more.


Networking Tips

Elene Cafasso, MBA '87, UCWBG member and President of Enerpace, an executive and personal coaching firm, was interviewed by NBC News on networking.  As Elene reports, "Networking is about forming authentic, mutually beneficial, long-term relationships.  Nobody is born knowing how to network."  Click here to download "The Top 5 Secrets of Great Networkers," networking tips of master connectors, from the Enerpace website.  Click here to view the NBC News interview.  Way to go, Elene!



UCWBG is on LinkedIn

Join in the discussions.  If you haven't already connected to UCWBG with LinkedIn, click here.


Printable Membership Directory is Available for UCWBG Members

A list of UCWBG members is now available in PDF format that members can download.  Two versions have been created:  by name and by city.  The listings will be updated every quarter.  Logon, then click on the Documents menu option to the left.


Update Your Member Profile

Just logon and click on the "Profile" link above.


 LinkedInFaceBook   Bookmark and Share