Conversations and Connections

Year after year, our most popular event; this year again at the beautiful Cliff Dwellers Club.

Join us to network and connect with fellow alumnae over a variety of topics at CWA's annual round-table dinner. Each table will have its own topic; we are proud to showcase discussions led by distinguished alumnae. Bring your own ideas and join the conversations with other graduates from various disciplines.


Table 1 - The Evolving Role of Women in the Political Process

Table Topic Leader: Mary L. Smith

Ms. Smith has worked at the highest levels of government including serving in the Clinton White House as Associate Counsel to the President and Associate Director of Policy Planning where she was responsible for a number of policy areas. She is currently Secretary of the American Bar Association, and a past president of the National Native American Bar Association. Mary is a graduate from the University of Chicago School of Law.



Table 2 - U.S. National Parks

Table Topic Leader: Adrienne Naumann

Ms. Naumann has provided intellectual property law services for 25 years, and has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of cutting-edge intellectual property topics. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association where she has served as Chairman of the Science, Technology and Law Committee. Adrienne was the Co-chairman for the Patent Committee of the Converging Technologies Bar Association for 2006-2007. She currently serves as Secretary and Board Member of the University of Chicago Women’s Alliance and has an A.B. from the University of Chicago.



Table 3 - UC Institute for Knowledge

Table Topic Leader: Macol Cerda

Ms. Cerda is the Executive Director of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. She has extensive experience in convening innovators, building partnerships, and mobilizing resources to develop multidisciplinary responses to pressing cultural concerns. Macol holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and two master’s degrees from Yale, including an MA in international relations. 



Table 4 - Trends in US Capital Markets – Public versus Private 

Table Topic Leader: Elizabeth Bleakley

Ms. Bleakley is an attorney and founder of a Chicago-loop law firm focusing on corporate and securities matters. In addition to serving as the Chicago Metro Chair for CWA, she is currently President of the Chicago Association of Business Economics and a Director on the Chicago Booth Alumni Club. She is Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section Emerging Companies Subcommittee and a former Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Business and Securities Law Council. Elizabeth has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. 


Table 5 - Working with NGOs (Non-Government Organizations)

Table Topic Leader: Andrea Sreshta

Ms. Sreshta is Co-founder of LuminAID, a for-profit company that partners with multiple disaster relief agencies around the world to distribute solar phone chargers and lanterns. LuminAID lights are supplied to international NGOs, including Shelterbox and Doctors Without Borders, and are purchased by campers and hikers, as well. LuminAID is a past winner of Chicago Booth’s Social New Venture Challenge and raised 500% of its initial funding goal on IndieGoGo. The company received offers from all five Sharks on ABC's Shark Tank, and ultimately closed a deal with Mark Cuban. Andrea has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. 


Table 6 - “What’s in a name that which we call a rose…” A commodity unless it is branded: We Have Become Our Own Brands

Table Topic Leader: Paula Ausick

Ms. Ausick worked as a global brand strategist and account planner at the big advertising agencies in Chicago—DDB, Foote Cone & Belding, Havas and Epsilon.  She lived through the on-going transformation of the advertising industry from ‘Mad Men’ to ‘Big Data’ to the Digital/Social Media World to the emerging world of ‘Artificial Intelligence/Virtual.’  At each stage, advertising mirrored and even led cultural and lifestyle trends in society.  Now in semi-retirement, she applies her branding expertise to help young women in building their own businesses. Paula has an A.B. from the University of Chicago. 


Register today!

Please read before registering: When registering in the blank text box rank the interest you have in each table 1-6 (1 being most interested and 6 being least). We will try and match you to your most preferred options.

Event details:
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Registration and networking
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Dinner and discussion


GUESTS: Discount parking is available for guests after 4:00 at the garage located at 17 E. Adams - enter on Adams between Wabash and State. Ask for a discount coupon at the check-in desk.




Event Information

Cost: $39.00 (includes dinner)


5:30PM - 8:30PM Tue 24 Jul 2018 ( Timezone: Central )


Cliff Dwellers Club
200 S Michigan Ave # 22
Chicago, IL 60604 USA

[ Get Directions ]

Look Who's Coming:

Adrienne Naumann
Charlotte Digregorio
Carla Funk
Joan Dorow
  Callan LLC
Elizabeth Bleakley
Macol Cerda
  U.C. Stevanovich Institute - Executive Director
Mary Smith
  ABA Secretary - Board of Governers
Andrea Sreshta
  LuminAID - Co-Founder
Anne Osterman
Lee Brozen
Meagan Spellman
Elizabeth Johnson
Elyse Miller
Samia Wahab
Leslie Recht
Paula Ausick
Annie Logue
Judy Thornber
Anna Lysakowski
Janice Keeler
Geraldine L Oberman, PhD
Eleida M Gomez, LCSW
Hazel Vespa
Julie Browning
Gina Cocking
  Colonnade Advisors LLC
Andrea Wood
Susan Smoley
Pamela Lurie
Janna Midura
... a total of 29 guests.
Note: to opt out from this list please sign in, go to My Account and change your preferences under My RSVPs.
Event Contact
Elizabeth Bleakley 2002 MBA