By Richard Klicki,
Finding strength through passion and the support of others was the common theme of the 21 suburban business leaders honored Friday at the 22nd annual Influential Women in Business Awards, presented by the Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with National Association of Women Business Owners – Chicago and its presenting partners.
More than 200 people came to the Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center to celebrate the honorees and their success stories.
The Influential Women in Business awards are presented to outstanding women executives and entrepreneurs who excel in the business, civic and personal arenas. They were nominated by their peers and the final honorees were selected by a panel of Daily Herald Business Ledger executives.
Keynote speaker Donna M. Carroll, president of Dominican University in River Forest, spoke of the qualities of leadership and how it’s done „without ego,“ but with a combination of skills, disposition, empathy and humor that builds the people and organization you oversee.
„It’s about the good you do with the people you touch,“ Caroll said.
„Leadership is a lifestyle, not a job,“ she added. „If you don’t enjoy the work, it’s not worth the position.“
The honorees thanked those who helped them achieve their goals, and encouraged each other to be role models and mentors to young women so they can also find success.
„If it’s true that birds of a feather fly together, then I’m flying with quite a flock today,“ said Shefali Trivedi, executive director of Giving DuPage in Wheaton.
Peggy Sarason, regional vice president of Comcast in Schaumburg, spoke of three attributes that helped steer her path: be kind, be true and be brave.
„We are all part of the community and we can make a difference,“ she said,
Cherilyn Murer, president and CEO of CGM Advisory Group in Chicago, added the honorees, and all women of influence, should support each other „at the highest level, the CEO, COO, board of trustees, that’s where we should prevail.“
„And I encourage you all to follow your heart,“ she added.
Profiles of all the honorees will appear in a special section of the Business Ledger’s December issue, publishing Dec. 16, and online at dhbusinessledger.com
Presenting sponsors of this year’s awards are Republic Bank, Focus Capital Advisors and B. Gunther & Co. Marketing partners are National Association of Women Business Owners – Chicago Area Chapter, Small Business Advocacy Council and MRA – The Management Association.
Photos: Petra Stamatov