Board of Directors Slate of Candidates

Select your new Board of Directors for FY16! Please read the abridged bios pulled from the Candidate Information Form. The top 9 candidates will be elected to the Board and they will, in turn, select the Metro Chairs.

Below you will find the candidate's name, degree/year, metro city, and response to the following two questions:

  1. Summary: Briefly (150 words or less) describe any involvement as a volunteer or leader in any UChicago alumni activity, OR other volunteer or related work experience.
  2. If elected: What can you contribute to the CWA; and what do you expect to achieve by serving on the Board? Please answer in 150 words or less.

Barbara Andrews
AM'98, CER Graham School

Summary: For the past year I have served as the Chicago Metro Chair in the newly organized CWA. It has been an exciting year to work with a new Board and participate in the realignment of the organization. Along the way there have been some mistakes and some triumphs. My goal was to bring fresh ideas to programing and involve other Alumnae to expand the base of the CWA. I have involved two new Alumnae outside the Board and worked with another Board Member to create Programing.
I would like the opportunity to serve one more year and continue to work on expanding the base while raising awareness of the CWA. I believe the Programs created for 2015 are doing that and we can have an even more successful 2016.
If elected: I believe I have the vision to help create a wider Alumnae base for participation in the CWA. By doing this we can create additional bench strength to provide leaders for the future.

Isadora Blachman-Biatch
AB'11, AM'11
Washington, D.C.

Summary: I've been involved in numerous Chicago alumni activities including being a member of my Class Council, the Chicago Women's Association (CWA), the first class of Chicago Careers in Public and
Social Service (CCIPPS) alumni program for the spring trip to Washington, Women in Public Service Mentorship Program, the Maroon Loyalty Society, serve as an alumni interviewer for the College, established a Chicago internship program at the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute, will be hosting a Chicago extern in September.
If elected: I hope to encourage young University of Chicago graduates to work on creating a community and effective network in the DMV area and beyond. The University of Chicago provided us alumni with a strong educational foundation and critical thinking capabilities that make our alumni enormously effective in their fields. Current students and alumni should be able to reap the rewards of this strong group of individuals, in terms of networking, learning through planned activities, and providing a space for alumni to share their experiences.

Sara Daniel
San Francisco


Summary: During my time at the University of Chicago and beyond, I have been fortunate to encounter groups and organizations whose mission is in line with my passion for working with vulnerable populations or in the area of reproductive health. While in graduate school, I co-chaired our Global Health Student Interest Group and planned activities around global health issues and advocacy for the student body. For the last three years, I have been involved with an organization providing after-abortion support for women and their families. In addition to my volunteer duties I have participated in the training of new volunteers and organized social gatherings. Over the years, I have been able to maintain contact with these groups and grow into new roles as the need arose.
If elected: Over the last few years I’ve learned the value of relationship building and the role of small communities in fostering professional and personal growth. By serving on the CWA Board, I hope to facilitate lively discussions and grow a local CWA network by tapping into the diverse experiences and expertise of our members and beyond.

Karin Janowski
Summary: I enjoyed attending most CWA Events since its inception in 2006. In 2013 I joined the Board as Director of Communications and continued my involvement last year as a Director at Large. In the 90's I was on the Board of the UCWBG and I'm still a member. My other Board memberships are Thomas Ford Library Friends in Western Springs, IL and Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook, IL. I'm in my 22nd year of being a "Crafter" at Graue Mill and Museum, which means that I teach school groups that visit the Mill what it was like to live in Illinois in the 1850's.
If elected: I see my purpose as a Director at Large as supporting the President by
being available to help out wherever I can.

Mary Kupjack

Summary: I was one of the founding members of the University of Chicago Booth Business Book Roundtable and remained a member from 2002 through 2012. I chaired this roundtable from 2006 through 2011. As such I identified authors to present, set venues, hosted and introduced the authors. Some of the events were joint events with other roundtables or with the authors group of the Union League Club of Chicago.
I was a late founding member of CWA. I have been a board member, Controller for CWA and Member at Large for the National CWA to date. A supporting, hosting, identifying speakers and introducing those speakers.
Board member, Board Treasurer, Audit Committee, Operations Committee for Equip for Equality, Illinois group for protection and advocacy for people with disabilities 2000-2003.
If elected: Provide support, continuity, and an interest in helping with overall performance and supporting the development of well received events. Look forward to gaining a greater understanding of the University community, the great knowledge base of it's women and the interests of the diverse university.

Kristin Maschka
AB'91, AM'93
Los Angeles

Summary: Author, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood To Get the Lives We Want Today.” Maschka Enterprises, Inc. Founder and President. Providing coaching for executive women and for executive teams since 2000 to non-profit, education and high-tech clients.
University of Chicago Alumni Interviews - 1999 to present
Speaker, University of Chicago Los Angeles Career Month Event November 2013
Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley. Pasadena, CA. Board member. 2013 - Present
Pasadena Education Network ( Pasadena, CA. Co-Founder and Board Chair, 2003 - 2011
Mothers & More ( Elmhurst, IL. President, National Board of Directors. 2002 – 2006. A national non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of mothers
If elected: As LA Metro Chair, I hope to successfully launch an LA area CWA group with enough engagement to sustain the group beyond my one to two year tenure. As a member of the Board, I hope to contribute to the work of helping the CWA meet the interests of its members and the goals of UChicago for alumni engagement.

Hedy Ratner

Summary: I am the founder and President Emerita of the Women's Business Development Center in Chicago, the oldest--30 years--and most successful and largest women's business assistance center in the U.S. I was the founder of the Illinois Women's Political Caucus and Women in Film in Chicago. I was President of the YWCA in Chicago. I served on the National Women's Business Council appointed by President Carter. I served on the Illinois Women's Business Council and Illinois Commission on Women appointed by Governors Edgar and Ryan. I currently serve on the Business Enterprise Council at the state of Illinois, appointed by four Illinois Governors. I sit on the Cook County Human Rights Commission appointed by President Toni Preckwinkle.
If elected: I am interested in the Director at Large position on CWA Board. I can provide input in programming on the empowerment of women locally,nationally and internationally. I have been a leader of the women's movement for four decades. I hope to enhance programming and support for the University through CWA.

Shannon Runyon
Washington, D.C.


Summary:I was briefly on the organizing committee for the Boomers to Busters alumni sub-group where I organized a social event at the Corcoran Museum in conjunction their "Aliens Guide to the Ruins of Washington DC" exhibit. For me, it embodied all things UofC - quirky, artistic, educational, architectural, cultural, societal and social. It was a fun event that alumni of all ages enjoyed.
If elected: As a foreign service officer I often work on women's issues, both for professional and societal improvements in the status of women, most recently in support of Ambassador Russell's participation in the APEC 2014 Women's Economic Forum - which included working with Melane Verveer to ensure that our Chinese hosts provided a strongprogram. I have a breadth of experience addressing the challenges faced by women in countries and cultures as diverse as the former soviet union, the caribbean, south-central europe, and China. I am a proud U of C alumna and worked to improve the standing of women on campus during my time at the college. I have admired the programs held by CWA in Chicago wishing I could participate, and I believe firmly that DC needs more similar programs to connect women.

Akiko Tateishi
New York City

Summary: During my time at Chicago Booth, I started the Japan Club in 2009. I gathered support from fellow students, faculty, and corporations and made a case to the school why a Japan Club should exist. The Japan Club allowed many students to not only engage in the culture but also seek employment opportunities in Japan and offer a platform for students to network and learn about Japan. I also led a group of 40 people as a trip leader on the Japan Trip over the course of one week in 2010 and collected donations during the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. During my time at Chicago Booth, I also participated in a volunteer group that flew to Colombia over the course of one week. We spoke to various non-profit organizations in Bogota and donated and built houses in the town of Baranquilla.
If elected: I believe I would contribute greatly to the CWA organization. I would contribute to diversity. I would also contribute by bringing my professional network in finance and accounting/consulting. I would like to create a platform where women are able to network and socialize with each other and learn about the opportunities and challenges they face in their professions. I would personally like to understand the balance that women achieve in their careers and family life.

Judith Witt


Summary: I have been associated with the alumni mentoring program and have been contacted by recent graduates in the past few years for advice in the public education realm. One noteable instance is advising an MBA graudate in his start-up educational app company. The company is now out of its infancy with offices and contracts in 4 major American cities in addition to Chicago. I have also completed my first year as a Direcator-at-Large of the CWA. My involvement this year has been to
take the lead in organizing the 2015 Conversations and Connections event for the organization.
If elected: As a first year direcator-at-large of the Chcago Women's Alliance, I
have met and worked with a number of professional women and staffmembers of the University. They have entrusted me with the leadership of organizing the August, 2015 Conversations and Connections event held each year in Chicago. Since the directorship term ends on June 30, I would like to continue on in the same capacity to guide the event to its successful completion.