past highlights

2012 Conference Wrap-up

The WBDC Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, is the oldest conference and business opportunities fair for women in business in the country, and the premier event for women business owners in the Midwest.  For 25 years the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference has offered women business owners real-world solutions to the current problems they are facing and the opportunity to increase the profitability of their businesses by building relationships with corporate and government buyers, business experts and other women business owners.

The 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference took place September 20, 2012 at McCormick Place-West in Chicago.  The event featured a full day of inspiring and educational workshops, panels and speeches from the top businesswomen in the nation. 

The Women’s Forum Breakfast featured Sue Bhatia, CEO of Rose International, Inc.; Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. and current executive chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises; Laura Ricketts, director of Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball and chairman of the board, Chicago Cubs; and Richelle Shaw, CEO of RTS Publishing, LLC.  The panel was moderated by Terry Savage, Chicago Sun-Times financial expert.

The Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon honored the following awardees:

Woman of the Year - Cassandra Sanford, CEO KellyMitchell Group
Woman of the Year
– WBE Success – Heather Sanderson, president, Overture Premiums & Promotions, LLC
Woman of the Year – Rising Star
– Danielle Hrzic, president and co-founder, Gourmet Gorilla
–Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO, WBENC; and Joset B. Wright, president, NMSDC
Corporate Support
– Allstate Insurance Company, Cheryl Harris and Margaret Klinsport

 The luncheon keynote speaker for this year’s event was Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter.

2011 - 25th Anniversary

Keynote Speaker: Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Women's Forum Breakfast Panelists: Leylani Cardoso, Maxine Clark, Cathy Hughes, Lynn Tilton


Left: Hedy Ratner, Co-President & Co-Founder of WBDC unveils the WBDC 25th Anniversary Logo
Top Right: Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivers the keynote speech during the Awards Luncheon.
Bottom Right: Women's Forum Breakfast panelists pose with WBDC co-presidents Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner.
From L-R: Leylani Cardoso, Lynn Tilton, Carol Dougal, Hedy Ratner, Maxine Clark, Cathy Hughes and moderator Terry Savage


Please click here to see more highlights from the 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference.


Keynote Speech: Terry Savage interviewing Mellody Hobson
Women's Forum Breakfast Panelists: Janice M. Christiansen, Sheila C. Johnson and Brenda Loube

Left: WBDC Board of Directors Chairperson, Debra Jennings-Johnson.
Top Right: Chicago Sun-Times Financial Expert Terry Savage interviews Mellody Hobson during the Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon. 
Bottom Right: (From L-R) : Terry Savage, moderator of the breakfast panel alongside panelists: Brenda Loube, Sheila Johnson and Janice Christiansen, with Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner.

Please click here to view more highlights from the 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference.


Keynote Speaker: Eileen Fisher
Women's Forum Panelists: Julie Cyra, Chef Lala, Ellen R. Gordon, Doris "Dee" Robinson Reid

Left: Keynote Speaker Eileen Fisher address the luncheon attendees.
Top Right: Breakfast Panelists (L-R) Ellen R. Gordon, Doris "Dee" Robinson Reid pose alongside Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner, WBDC Co-Presidents, with panelists Chef Lala and Julie Cyra and moderator Terry Savage.
Bottom Right: Entrance to Women's Business & Buyers Mart
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