2301 S. King Dr
Chicago, IL 60616
Women Driving Excellence (#WDE17) will return to the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at McCormick Place, with a power-packed day of activities that honor and celebrate innovative, accomplished businesswomen throughout Chicagoland. It’s the fifth year for this collaborative community event that was created to connect entrepreneurial and established women in business, philanthropy, media, government and community leadership positions. WDE is a celebration of women who help start, accelerate, fuel and steer others to excellence. Through a series of panel discussions and activities that take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., participants will learn from industry influencers and receive multimedia access to them, using in-person and digital social platforms.
WDE was created by two social media mavens, MJ Tam and Beth Rosen of the popular ChicagonistaLIVE interactive online talk show, which addresses “city-centric hot topics.” They felt the need to add to the Auto Show’s programming for women. So they created WDE to recognize women who exemplify unique vision and talent that fuels the fire of passion in the community. They tailored WDE to celebrate these women by lifting them up through their powerful social networks, with the goal of inspiring all women to empower and engage with each other.
“We want to provide as much value as possible to the women who come out to join us at the Chicago Auto Show,” say WDE founders Rosen and Tam. “We are building on the success of the past few years and listening to what our attendees say they value most. So we’ve added more programming that focuses on women in the technology industry and women growing their own brands, businesses products and services.”
The programming will include two additions this year: a partnership with Chicago Woman magazine, which will be publishing a special WDE edition, and a Leading Women in Food & Wine panel discussion that will address the Chicago food scene. The discussion will be led by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Kit Graham and Jiwon McCartney. Back by popular request is a Leading Women in Tech panel led by Terri Brax. In addition, there will be a Leading Women in Business & Marketing panel led by Kendra Chaplin, founder and publisher of Chicago Woman magazine.
Event admission is free of charge. Reserved seating and Chicago Auto Show tickets are available for the first 100 who register for the event at http://womendrivingexcellence.com/. WDE is presented with sponsors Nissan, Chicago Tribune and Flat Out Bread. Follow the event on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation at #WDE17.
Women Driving Excellence Event Schedule – Feb. 15, 2017, McCormick Place
10 a.m.: Jumpstart Your Network – A power hour hosted by Chicago’s top networkers
11 a.m.: Honoring Trailblazing Women Presentation emceed by Irika Sargent, co-anchor of the CBS2 Chicago (WBBM-TV) weekday evening news at 5, 6 and 10 – This year’s honorees include legendary broadcast journalist Merri Dee, Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois CEO Celena Roldan, award-winning pastry chef and TV personality Gale Gand, strategic corporate adviser Christie Hefner, and DuSable Museum president and CEO Perri Irmer
1 p.m.: Leading Women in Tech sharing their thoughts on trends, collaborating, startups and how to foster relationships for business growth
2 p.m: Discussion with MJ Tam, Beth Rosen and Nancy Loo, hosts of ChicagonistaLIVE Talk Show, Chicago’s first social talk show
3 p.m.: Leading Women in Food & Wine Panel
4 p.m: Leading Women in Business and Marketing Panel