Doing the Work
It’s been about a year and a half since my appointment as the first female President & CEO for JCC Chicago was announced. There was quite a bit of talk about being a “first” and some asked why the need to talk about it at all. Of course we talked about it—we’re still talking about it.
Being the first is one thing, doing something with distinction is another.
Over the past year, some tremendous things have happened. As an agency, we joined the Movement-wide commitment to SafetyEquityRespect, a coalition to ensure safe, respectful and equitable Jewish workplaces by addressing sexual harassment, sexism and gender discrimination. Working with JCCs in Boulder, Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego—who have also prioritized this critical work—our Local Action Team will implement best practices internally and lead by example for our communities. Our actions will be visible and our voices will be loud. Listen up!
JCC Chicago was also accepted into JCC Association’s Women InPower initiative to advance professional women in the workforce. Among the five pilot communities across the country, we received a record-breaking number of applicants and are welcoming a class of 12 fellows for 2020. These dynamic, impressive women raised their hands to learn, grow and connect. They raised their hands to lean into their own professional development with an eye towards making a greater impact. They raised their hands to not only touch the glass ceiling but to break it.
JCC Chicago 2020 Women inPower Cohort
- Jillian Agdern, Associate Principal, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
- Laurel Van Allen, Senior Managing Director, Coherent Economics
- Hilary Coustan, Partner, Massey & Gail LLP
- Michelle Greenburg, Associate Vice President, Planning and Allocations, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
- Kate Kramer, Human Resources Manager, All Stat Portable X-Ray Services
- Tami Levy, Broker, @Properties
- Jennifer Loeb, Manager of Operations, English and Creative Writing Department, Columbia College Chicago
- Marilyn Mages, Director, Marketing and Membership, American Academy of Implant Dentistry
- Liz Roberts, Senior Vice President, Cresa Chicago
- Wendy Weissman, Manager, Corporate and Foundation Relations, JCC Chicago
- Hillary Wenk, Program Coordinator, JCC Chicago
- Lena Goretsky Winters, Founder/Owner, Winters Family Law Firm
These women represent both for- and non-profit businesses. They live in city and suburbs. And they will come together over the year to learn from female business leaders, receive mentorship from those who have helped pave the way, and recognize their own paths forward. What’s more, they will join our fourth cohort of Project Teen-Seed 613, a business and entrepreneurship program for Jewish teen girls, to celebrate their Launch Night projects and demonstrate the importance of continuing to advance as individuals and a collective.
A very special thank you to our esteemed Women inPower Steering Committee who enthusiastically jumped into this project to help shape the program, review all of the applications and provide guidance as the inaugural cohort launches.
JCC Chicago Women inPower Steering Committee
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor of the City of Chicago; Honorary Co-Chair
- Danielle Claman Gelber, President and Executive Producer, Acoustic Productions, Inc.
- Alison Gutterman, CEO/President, Jelmar
- Gerri Kahnweiler, General Partner, InvestHER Ventures
- Lisa Reisman, CEO Azul Partners Inc & Co-Founder MetalMiner; JCC Chicago Board of Directors, Vice Chair
- Phyllis Tabachnick, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan; JCC Chicago Board of Directors
This is the work that must be done. And what a privilege it is to be a part of eliminating the need to say “first female” anything. In the meantime, a very special Mazel Tov to my colleague, Stacy Shor, on being named the first female CEO for Jewish Child and Family Services. Here we go!
First Female President & CEO