Business Ledger honors influential suburban women business leaders

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

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.

2019 Influential Women in Business honorees

  Award recipient Sarah Brown, director of human resources for the Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort, holds her award during the Daily Herald Business Ledger Influential Women in Business Awards ceremony at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook Friday. Joe Lewnard/
Joe Lewnard/jlewnard@dailyherald.comMore than 200 people attended the Daily Herald Business Ledger Influential Women in Business Awards ceremony at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook Friday.

2019 Influential Women in Business honorees

• Ann Berberich, vice president of practices and talent, Paradigm Technology, Chicago

• Joanne Bratta, executive director, St. Mary's Services, Palatine

• Sarah Brown, director of human resources, Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, Oak Brook

• Kyra Cavanaugh, president and founder, 15Be, Park Ridge

• Katie Clancy, founder, Clancy & Associates, Ltd., Lisle

• Tara R. Devine, partner, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., Waukegan

• Anne Doligale, senior vice president, treasury management, Signature Bank, Rosemont

• Judy Foley, founder and CEO, Navigate Transformation, Buffalo Grove

• Devan Hines, vice president, LaSalle Network, Chicago

• Arlene Levin, partner, Wipfli LLP, Lincolnshire

• Whitney McDaniel, director, High Conflict Mediation Institute, Plainfield

• Jessica McGrail, owner and founder, Dollar & Sense Bookkeeping, Inc., Batavia

• Sara Mikuta, risk advisory and forensic services partner, Wipfli LLP, Westchester

• Cherilyn G. Murer, president and CEO, CGM Advisory Group, Chicago

• Jasmine Panayotov, managing partner, Proceed Innovative, Schaumburg

• Grace Rizza, president, Identity Dental Marketing, Bloomingdale

• Peggy Sarason, regional vice president of finance, Comcast, Schaumburg

• Rosemary Swierk, president, Direct Steel and Construction, Crystal Lake

• Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese, president and CEO, Naper Settlement, Naperville

• Shefali Trivedi, executive director, Giving DuPage, Wheaton

• Lisa Wentzell, director of marketing and tourism, Downers Grove Economic Development Corp., Downers Grove

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