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Celebrating Women in Innovation

Celebrating Women in Innovation

Event Date and More Info Coming Soon.


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Speaker Bios

Sandee Kastrul

Sandee Kastrul is president and co-founder of i.c.stars, an innovative nonprofit leadership and technology training program founded in 1999 to prepare inner-city adults for technology careers and community leadership. Prior to i.c.stars, Sandee’s experience as an educator, diversity trainer, educational consultant and a performing artist drew her creative talents to the forefront. Her accomplishments include designing a comprehensive science and civics interactive program for GED students at Jobs for Youth, implementing a professional development program with Harold Washington College Career Center, developing experiential learning modules for over 70 schools and creating artist in residency programs as well as training artists to work in classrooms for arts organizations.


Amanda Lannert

Amanda Lannert is the Chief Executive Officer of The Jellyvision Lab and has been a key figure in driving the company since its founding in 2001. Under Amanda’s leadership, Jellyvision has become one of Chicago’s fastest growing tech companies, adding about 100 employees a year while remaining cash flow positive. the company has been recognized as the Best Software Company and Best Culture by the Moxies, the 2015 Lighthouse winner by the ITA, a top 10 best place to work in Chicago by The Chicago Tribune and the #1 place for millennials to work in Chicago according to Crain’s. Prior to joining The Jellyvision Lab, Amanda managed global brands for Kellogg’s while at Leo Burnett. Amanda was named CEO of the Year at the Moxie Awards in 2014 and 2015, Woman in Tech in 2016, and was recognized as 2016’s Industry Champion by the Illinois Technology Association.


Michelle B. Larson

Michelle Larson discovered astronomy in her 20s, when she pointed a pair of binoculars at the Moon. Now, as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Michelle leads a talented team that helps people of all ages explore and discover our Universe. Before joining the Adler in 2013, Michelle held positions in science engagement and administration at Utah State University, The Pennsylvania State University, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California–Berkeley. She earned a PhD in physics from Montana State University, where she studied neutron stars and realized her passion for sharing science with the public through a NASA project about our star, the Sun.


Stephanie Neely

The Honorable Stephanie D. Neely is a vice president and assistant treasurer at the Allstate Insurance Corporation.  She joined the company in December 2014 and is responsible for the management of liquidity, debt, capital, ratings and corporate structure issues.Neely has more than three decades of financial services experience.  Before joining Allstate, she was twice elected treasurer of the city of Chicago.  As Chicago’s treasurer and chief investment officer for eight years, she raised financial reporting standards and broadened Chicago’s financial literacy, community outreach and other programs.  Neely began her career as a financial analyst on Wall Street in New York City and has held municipal finance management positions at several financial institutions. She is a proud native of Chicago’s Southside and has a passion for assisting small business owners.


Allison Rosati

Allison Rosati is anchor of the award winning NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Rosati joined the NBC 5 family as an anchor and reporter in August 1990. Allison has been honored with numerous national and local awards for her work on stories, series and specials that impact our communities.

So whether Allison is being honored by the local war veterans organization for her support of the troops, or out in the neighborhoods to interview women for the political pulse of our times, she is known and applauded for her integrity, passion and commitment! Committed to community service, Rosati volunteers her time to many Chicago-area organizations. She is passionate about giving back and has a special affection for charities that benefit children in need.


Betsy Ziegler

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler is the first female CEO of 1871, now the Number 1 ranked tech incubator in the world. Previous to 1871, Betsy was the Chief Innovation Officer at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, responsible for portfolio innovation as well as integrating technology into the Kellogg educational experience. From 2011 through September 2015, she served as associate dean of degree programs and dean of students. Prior to Kellogg, she served as a principal in McKinsey & Company’s Chicago office where she led the firm’s Life Insurance Operations and Technology practice and co-led its Financial Institutions Operations and Technology practice. Ziegler holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and received a B.A. in economics from The Ohio State University, where she graduated with distinction.

A Glimpse Into The Past

2017 Celebrating Women In Innovation

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