​The ELC Hosts the 2017 Women’s Leadership Forum in Chicago


July 24th, 2017


The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) hosted the 2017 Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), an annual career and professional development conference designed for the black women executives. This year’s event, themed “Yield No More,” convened more than 150 women members of The ELC and their guests to Venue SIX10 in Chicago, IL for a full day of insightful panel discussions that featured corporate thought leaders and top business executives.

WLF kicked off on Tuesday, July 18th with the “Black Women On…” (BWO) panel discussion at the Art Institute of Chicago featuring top business and digital media experts. Panelists included Kyra Kyles, former Editor-in-Chief of EBONY Magazine, Erika James, Dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and Coniah Adams, Senior Media Planner at Burrell Communications. The ELC’s President & CEO Ronald C. Parker and EVP/COO Brickson Diamond delivered welcome remarks before the panel got underway. The discussion was themed "Black Women On...Your Brand Visibility & Social Media" and focused on leveraging social media networks to establish, elevate and protect your corporate, professional and personal online presence. The panel moderator, Caralene Robinson, former EVP & CMO, Brand Marketing & Creative of VH1, gave a few tips on using LinkedIn to get noticed by job recruiters stating "find out what the most popular keywords are for your career and integrate them into your LinkedIn profile."

The WLF program continued on Wednesday, July 19th with The ELC’s Ron Parker delivering welcome remarks to start the day. Ron stressed the importance of investing in the next generation of black leaders. He then introduced Celia Edwards Karam, Managing VP, Head of Small Business Banking at Capital One, who delivered remarks on behalf of Capital One as this year’s Presenting Sponsor. Celia shared an inspirational story of her personal journey and career path offering advice to women for how to secure next-level growth opportunities within their organizations.

The 2017 WLF Co-Chairs Denise R. Cade of IDEX Corporation, Stephanie Smith of DePaul University, and Charisse R. Lillie of CRLCONSULTING LLC also delivered greetings to the group and introduced fellow ELC member and WLF Program Design Consultant Tara Jaye Frank who provided an overview of the day’s theme and topics for discussion. The conversation throughout the day focused on a vast range of topics, including career advancement, personal brand development, physical and emotional well-being and self-empowerment.

Speakers included: Tara Jaye Frank, P3T Group; Marquetta Glass, MGS Innovations; Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Center for Talent Innovation; Joseph High, W.W. Grainger; Patricia Brown Holmes, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP; Celia Edwards Karam, Capital One; Valerie Rainford, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Janet Taylor, M.D., MPH, Community Mental Health; Lisa Skeete-Tatum, Landit; Lyndon A. Taylor, Heidrick & Struggles; Paul S. Williams, Major, Lindsey, & Africa and Denise R. Cade, IDEX Corporation.

A special thanks to our 2017 WLF sponsors for their generous contributions in support of this year’s event, including Capital One for participating as Presenting Sponsor of the Women’s Leadership Forum for the second consecutive year. Additional sponsors include: WLF Platinum Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase & Co.; WLF Silver Sponsor: Target; WLF Gift Bag Sponsor: Hallmark; BWO Silver Sponsor: W.W. Grainger; BWO Supporting Sponsor: CRLCONSULTING LLC.

Click here to visit The ELC’s Twitter page featuring top tweets and photos from WLF.

You can also click here to visit our photo gallery on Flickr and view additional photos from the event.




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