Saturday, February 20, 2016

Photo Recap: Women Driving Excellence at The Chicago Auto Show 2016

ChiILin' in Chi, IL With 
Women Driving Excellence 2016


Women driving and women drivers are no longer a punchline, but a serious force to reckon with! Thanks to Chicagonista and Women Driving Excellence (#WDE16) for raising the bar on Women's Day at The Chicago Auto Show once again and presenting an incredibly inspiring day of programing with some of Chicago's finest female movers and shakers. Every year I am in awe after Women Driving Excellence, and motivated to go out and up my game for the coming year and do something amazing.



Here at ChiIL Mama, we've partnered up with Chicagonista and Women Driving Excellence for 3 years now. It was my great pleasure to be invited back as an official writer/photographer for this fantastic annual event. Thanks to Nissan, Jewel, and all the great sponsors for supporting such an excellent showcase of diverse talent. We have been compensated for spreading the word. As always, all opinions are my own.

Check Out ChiIL Mama's Full Set of Original Shots from Women Driving Excellence 2016 Right HERE: 
(More favorites imbedded below.)


On February 16th, The Chicago Auto Show prominently featured Women Driving Excellence once again. This was my 3rd year covering it as one of Chicagonista's official writers. I've come to truly value this event and eagerly anticipate it. I'm actively job hunting right now, after years of freelance writing and managing both our family business and several award winning blogs, while raising my children, so the "Jumpstart Your Network – A power hour hosted by Chicago’s top Networkers" was of particular interest to me this year. I met many fascinating women and exchanged business cards with quite a few new contacts.



Next, the Honoring Trailblazing Women Presentation emceed by Janet Davies-ABC7 News was nothing short of inspiring. This year’s honorees included Lisa Madigan-Illinois Attorney General, Marilynn Gardner-Navy Pier President & CEO, Dominique Jordan Turner– Chicago Scholars President & CEO, Kathleen Henson-Henson Consulting Founder & CEO, Dee Alexander– Song Stylist. 


It was fascinating and encouraging to hear from each of the honorees in turn, and we couldn't have asked for a better emcee than the charismatic Janet Davies.



As if the Trailblazing Women weren't enough, they were followed by a panel of 3 Leading Women in Tech sharing their thoughts on trends, collaborating, startups, and how to foster relationships for business growth. New this year, the panel was lead by Katy Lynch, CEO at Techweek, with Elisa All Founder & CEO of 30Second Mobile, and Yana Nirshberg of ParadigmNEXT.

Of course we also adore joining MJ Tam, Beth Rosen, and Nancy Loo, who host the #ChicagonistaLIVE! Talk Show, Chicago’s first social talk show. We join them live as often as possible, for their monthly shows, and follow along on line and social media when we can't be there in person. Their rapport is a hoot and the shows are always lively and informative, with stellar guests. 


Finally, the 2016 WDR event featured a new GPS Pitch Engine Contest where five aspiring entrepreneurs made presentations to a panel of experts in search of rising businesses. The Pitch Engine Contest was presented in partnership with Inventorz Network Co-Founder Dhana Cohen and will be judged by Dahlia Saper of Saper Law and Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event.


Check out lots of recaps from the 4th year of Women Driving Excellence on line, by looking for the hashtag #WDR16. We can't speak highly enough about this celebration of women who help start, accelerate, fuel, and steer others to excellence. Sure the car puns are fun, but don't underestimate the caliber of women involved in all aspects of WDR. From the planners, publicists, and panelists to the incredible honorees, this event is a power house of wonderful women.


WDE is a collaborative community created to connect entrepreneurial and established women in business, philanthropy, media, government and community leadership positions. WDE provides women multimedia access to industry influencers using in person and digital social platforms.

The #WDE16 event was created by two social media mavens, MJ Tam and Beth Rosen of the popular ChicagonistaLIVE! online talk show. While there are many activities that appeal to women at the Chicago Auto Show, they felt the need to create a special program that would recognize women who exemplified unique vision and talent that fueled the fire of passion in the community. And passion and authenticity were the themes of the day, mentioned many times over in anecdotes, answers and advice.



It's incredibly empowering to celebrate women by lifting them up through the use of powerful social networks. And the WDE events are excellent at inspiring all women to continue in empowering and engaging other women to do greatness for each other. This annual event always includes a full day program honoring and celebrating innovative, entrepreneurial, accomplished, businesswomen in Chicagoland. 

For more information, and recaps, visit http://womendrivingexcellence.com/
follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, 
or join the conversation at #WDE16.

Once again, here at ChiIL Mama, we've partnered up with Chicagonista and Women Driving Excellence for 3 years now. It was my great pleasure to be invited back as an official writer/photographer for this fantastic annual event. Thanks to Nissan, Jewel, and all the great sponsors for supporting such an excellent showcase of diverse talent. We have been compensated for spreading the word. As always, all opinions are my own.

More Favorite Shots:





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