2013 Fall Mentoring Seminar

In Kildeer, IL on September 19, 2013

On September 19th, 2013 Level Up Mentoring kicked off the Fall Annual Mentoring Seminar. Many women came together to meet and hear the career stories of some of the most successful women in the Chicago Area. Their stories inspired, energized and motivated the women in the room to write their own plan for success.  Women from all over the Chicago area who were looking to change careers, start a new career after being out of the workforce, jump start an existing career or simply find a way to move from a job to a passion found inspiration and direction from the days events.


Carolyn Gable - keynote

Carolyn Gable

Carolyn Gable is founder and CEO of New Age Transportation, a $25M transportation company. Carolyn’s story is an amazing story of a woman, who has a high school education, was a waitress and a hairdresser and started a hugely successful global transportation business in a highly male dominated industry. Carolyn has won multiple awards including the Ernst and Young Award, Women’s Leadership Exchange Award in Chicago, Enterprising Woman’s Magazine’s, Top Women Entrepreneurs in North America Award, the WBDC Woman’s Entrepreneur of the year Award 2013. She is also a celebrated author of the book called “Everything I know as a CEO I learned as a Waitress”. Carolyn has started The Expect A Miracle Foundation that focuses on providing funds to single mom’s for after school activities for their children. As a single mother of 7 she understands the work/life balance issues facing many women today.

Wendy H. Irwin

Wendy Irwin

Wendy co-founded The Yellow Tractor Project, a national health and wellness nonprofit with nutrition gardening at its core. She subsequently co-founded Yellow Tractor, a social enterprise. Wendy finds the social entrepreneur space fascinating and is amazed by the game‐changing effect it has on our world today. She serves on Governor Quinn’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise.

Wendy has created development relationships with and for The American Cancer Society, The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, Parkways Foundation (philanthropic arm of the Chicago Park District), United Way and NorthShore University HealthSystem She is an advisor to MoneyThink, student initiative delivering financial literacy and promoting entrepreneurship to at risk high school students. Born at The University of Chicago, MT has expanded to over 30 campuses and most recently accepted national awards including the White House Campus Challenge Champions of Change Award and the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer Systems.

Nancy Gianni

Nancy Gianni

Nancy is the founder and CEO of GiGi’s Playhouse, a Down Syndrome Education and Achievement Center. As GiGi’s mom, Nancy turned her own experiences into action when she received her daughter’s diagnosis for Down Syndrome. In 2003 she opened her first center located in Hoffman Estates and has since added 14 locations throughout the US and Mexico with 3 more expected to open before the end of 2013! Voted Chicagoan of the Year in 2008 by Chicago Magazine, Nancy has repeatedly exhibited her uncanny ability to gather and motivate diverse groups to follow her vision.

Carolyn Tilden

Carolyn Tilden

Inspired by the desire to enjoy her work, Carolyn Tilden successfully transitioned from leadership roles in information technology, including holding officer level positions at Leo Burnett and US Cellular, to found her own company, CataQuest Consulting.

Carolyn now positions executive teams to lead bold strategies, motivating these leaders to successfully navigate high-stakes situations by shifting their collective performance level from surviving to thriving.

Carolyn has a master’s degree in marketing and organization behavior from Kellogg Graduate School of Management as well as coaching certifications from the Hudson Institute and Strozzi Institute. Her work is grounded in her first-hand experience leading large-scale, high-stakes corporate initiatives as well as by her personal journey to overcome roadblocks of her own making. Carolyn is an active member of the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.

Mary Kaiser - founder

Mary Kaiser

Mary Kaiser, founder of Start with Strengths, is an organizational development consultant and a coach. For the past 20 years, she has led many individuals through growth and change, as well as multiple organizational change projects for Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), Watson Wyatt and her own firm. Her client base is diverse and her experience comprehensive, building a rich base of personal and organizational development expertise. She has a Masters in Organizational Development from the Center of Organizational Development at Loyola University, is a certified coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. Her clients include Accenture, Baxter Healthcare, Allstate, John Deere, Goldman Sachs, Hyperion Software, Credit Suisse and Infant Welfare Society.

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