March 2018 Print

President's Update

A Message from IWF Chicago President, Mary Lee Montague

Spring time greetings!

Spring is a good time to reflect on successes and opportunities as well as concerns. The Board of Directors met last week for a facilitated conversation and reflected…it was a great session and highlights include:


  • Strong commitment by volunteer leaders is evident

  • Developed, executed, and recently updated the Strategic ACTION Plan

  • Solid working relationship with Glatz Management Services administrative team

  • Noticeable connection between programs and mission and theme

  • Sophisticated partnerships (IWF Global; Chicago Council on Global Affairs; United Airlines)

  • Successful ‘reboot’ of Bylaws including Board terms

  • Kicked off Strategic Planning discussions targeting January 2019


  • Best way to communicate with membership?

  • Will members attend Signature Event planned for March 2019?

  • What is the best way to encourage members to complete their member profile?

  • What is the best ‘one liner’ to articulate the IWF message and value proposition?

  • Will IWF Chicago be ready to develop, manage, and take organization to the next level via a strategic plan within the year?

  • What is the best way to sustain our members? Engage our members?


  • New Website via IWF Global. We will be the ‘beta forum’ with our website on their platform!

  • Conferences after Melbourne include Miami, Barcelona, Vienna, Toronto, London, Detroit, Seattle, and more!

  • IWF Chicago Newsletter reformat!

  • New Strategic Plan!

  • Interesting and ‘membership driven’ programming and special events

  • Exciting Signature Event being planned!

  • Opportunities for YOU to be active in YOUR organization.

We appreciate you recognizing the hard work that goes into providing you programs, friendships, and global connections. There are many women that work hard to provide the platform for all of us to connect both locally and globally…please consider joining us.

Together…Building Bridges,


Mary Lee Montague
IWF Chicago President and Board of Directors, IWF Leadership Foundation
Managing Partner Nonprofit Practice, DHR International

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Program News

O'Hare Airport and United Airlines Tour and Reception Recap 

On Saturday, March 3rd, over 50 IWF Chicago members and their guests met at O'Hare Terminal 1 for a "behind the scenes" tour of United Airlines.  The event was hosted by Julie Stewart, Chief of Staff to the Office of the CEO,  and several other members of United's leadership team.   We began our tour with a look at United's baggage operations.   Did you ever wonder how your bags made it to your next flight when you only have a 20 minute layover or question how the decision is made to hold a flight if your connection is late?  We saw first hand United's impressive baggage handling process, including the importance of having above and below the wing support for each flight.  

From there we moved to the SOC-- United's systems operations center.   We had a chance to see how flights are tracked and gained a better understanding of how decisions are made regarding flight patterns and overall operations.  Fun fact-- the direction on the compass that the runway points equates to the runway number.  For example a runway pointing due west is called runway 27 because it is located on the 270 degree mark or a compass.   The same runway, heading in the opposite direction would be called runway 9 (because it is located on the 90 degree mark).

From the operations center, we headed over to the crew domiciles where we had a chance to see how the pilots and flight attendants prep before each flight.  Next we climbed the stairs to United's ramp control center.  Did you know that a plane must clear at least four control towers just to take off and land?   United flies approximately 36 million passengers through O'Hare every year, which is about 99,000 people per day, so imagine the amount of traffic that each of these towers must handle on any give day!

We ended our tour at the Polaris Lounge where everyone was invited to sample in the delicious food and drink of United's international first class lounge.   

Thank you to the Program Committee and our United Airline hosts for organizing such an amazing experience for our members and guests.

To view pictures from the tour, please visit the IWF Chicago photo gallery.

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Welcome New Members

The IWF Chicago Membership Committee is excited to announce the newest member of the Forum.  Please join us in welcoming this amazing woman; she would enjoy hearing from a local member.


Margaret McCurry
Tigerman McCurry Architects


Please take a moment to review the updated membership criteria.   If you know of a qualified prospect and would like to sponsor her, please complete the online sponsor form. It just takes a few minutes - the form is found under the Candidates tab or click hereA prospective member must have two member sponsors before the prospect will be requested to complete the membership application. Once all three required items are received (the two sponsor forms and the candidate application), the membership committee will review and present the candidate to the IWF Chicago board.

If you have questions about the membership process, please contact Michelle at the admin office: or the IWF Chicago Membership Chair Amy Dordek Dolinsky or Chair Elect Collete English Dixon


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Upcoming Events



Tuesday, March 20
5:15pm to 7:00pm

     Featuring Australian Consul General Michael Wood      

The Press Room
Members and Guests Welcome

Friday, April 6
11:45am to 1:30pm

     Ending Gender-Based Violence
   In partnership with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs  

One Prudential Plaza
Members and Guests Welcome


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hosted at IWF Chicago Member Homes
Select the location most convenient for you



Wednesday, April 25
8:00am to 10:00am


Member-Only Event - Limited Seating



May 2 - 4, 2018
Melbourne, Australia




Monday, June 25
5:30pm to 7:30pm

   Featuring Special Guest
Stephanie O'Keefe, IWF Chief Executive Officer

Cliff Dwellers
Member-Only Event



If you have questions about programs or ideas for future programs, please contact our Programs Committee.

If you need assistance with registering for a program, please email the Administrator's Office or call 815-806-4908.

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Amazing Women News


  Alice Peterson has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of SP Plus Corporation (SP+), a leader in parking management, ground transportation and ancillary services. 
Collete English Dixon was recently featured in Bisnow's 'Beyond the Bio" series. 
Check out Bisnow's 16 Questions with Real Estate Vet Collete English Dixon.
Beth Treacy, Treacy Marketing Group, is pleased to announce the completion of a brand strategy for linen rental icon BBJ, renowned nationally for its expansive collection of globally sourced fabrics, impeccable performance and collaborative design approach.

Share your amazing news with us!.  Send your news to and we will include your submission in an upcoming newsletter.  

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News You Can Use from the Admin Office


LinkedIn Group
You are invited to join the IWF Chicago Linkedin Group.  Don't miss out on member-only posts and conversation.  Here is the link to join:   


Membership Profiles

Did you know the IWF Chicago membership committee has added several new data fields to the Chicago member database?  Be sure that your profile is updated! In addition to your organization name, email address, and phone, please be sure to add or edit the important data fields that help us determine the make up of our forum membership.  Data fields include your industry classification, other women organization memberships, diversity.  Any changes made in the IWF Chicago database will be shared with IWF Global.   Login as a member to and view your member profile.  For step by step instructions, click here.


If you need assistance, please contact Michelle Fowler in the administrator's office:  815-806-4908 or email

Login Credentials - Members Section on Chicago Website
If you do not recall your login or password for the Chicago website, visit and choose the Members tab on the top menu bar.  Then click on the Forgot Username/Password? and provide your email address (the email that is on file with IWF).  You will receive an email with your login information and directions on how to reset your password.  If you continue to have problems email Michelle Fowler at or call 815.806.4908.

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Australia Pre and Post Tour Options

Registration is open for the Cornerstone Conference in Melbourne.  Below is a list of the 13 Chicago members currently registered to attend the World Cornerstone Conference in Melbourne, Australia.


Roula Alakiotou Roula Associates Architects, Chtd.
Laurel Bellows The Bellows Law Group
Susan Dooley Chicago Department of Aviation
Victoria Dudley TTX Company
Pamela Forbes Lieberman Former President, CEO & Board Member True Value
Eileen Henderson Syntec Holdings
Lee Ann Hoover Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Bets Lillo AbbVie Inc.
Elizabeth Melas Rush University Medical Center
Alice Peterson Williams Partners, LP
Sylvia Pozarnsky Column Capital
J. Usha Raj Children's Hospital University of Illinois at Chicago
Joyce Simon Retired, John G. Shedd Aquarium

If you have questions about the international conference in Melbourne, please feel free to contact any of the IWF Chicago Board members to learn more.



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IWF Global News

Announcing Harvard University's ALI Fellowship for 2019

The Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) is extending a special invitation to IWF members for its 2019 Fellowship Program.

ALI invites highly accomplished leaders transitioning from their primary careers to take on the world's most pressing problems. ALI Fellows focus on education, public health, gender equality, social justice, climate change, and other significant social and environmental issues.

Distinctive features of the ALI Fellowship include:

  • Cross-University Engagement. The Fellowship includes a rigorous core academic program led by distinguished faculty from across Harvard University.
  • Calendar Year Schedule. ALI Fellows join Harvard for a calendar year (January - December) with considerable individual flexibility.
  • Diverse Experiences, Common Purpose. ALI Fellows have 20+ years of demonstrated leadership experience and a shared commitment to make a lasting impact in the world.
  • Emphasis on Action. Fellows focus on outcomes -- identifying and making progress on a promising project for social good.
  • Partner Program. A spouse or life partner can accompany the ALI Fellow as a program participant.
  • Unique Coalition. The ALI experience continues beyond the Fellowship year with annual gatherings to foster lasting relationships and impact.

IWF has a storied history with ALI. The Advanced Leadership Initiative's Chair and Director is Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, founder of IWF Massachusetts. Numerous IWF members have also been valued participants in the program, including five members in this year’s cohort.

IWF members interested in pursuing the 2019 ALI Fellowship are asked to “Introduce Yourself” by March 31 in order to receive first consideration in the very competitive selection process. IWF members expressing interest after this date will be considered for remaining openings later in the selection process. Qualifying IWF members whose distinguished careers were spent primarily in the public or nonprofit sector will be provided with first consideration for any available financial support.

Learn more about the Advanced Leadership Initiative at its website and through this PBS NewsHour story, or email for further information. Please indicate that you are an IWF member.


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Job Postings

If you have a job posting you would like to share with the membership, please provide the general description and the contact information to the IWF Chicago administrator's office.  The posting will be included in an upcoming newsletter and will be listed in the Classified section in the Members Only section of the IWF Chicago website.    Send job postings to 

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Other Events of Interest

GrubHub: RestaurantHer
March, 2018
a new $1 million fund that aims to incentivize diners to frequent women-led restaurants across the country
CLICK HERE to learn more

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