Three Inspiring Women to Speak at Annual Benedictine Summit

September 16, 2016

Lisle, Illinois ~ The national board president of Girl Scouts of the USA, a stateKathy Hopinkah Hannan, national board president of Girl Scouts of the USA representative and the CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago are the featured speakers of the 2016 Greater Chicago Women’s Leadership Summit hosted by the College of Business at Benedictine University.

The conference, which focuses on topics of work/life balance, culture and innovative leadership, will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium on Benedictine University’s Lisle main campus. This is a great networking event that provides an opportunity for professional development as well as building business connections.

Speakers include Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, Ph.D. ’16, national board president of Girls Scouts of the United States of America, State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

A 2016 graduate of Benedictine’s doctoral program in Values-Driven Leadership, Hannan is the global lead partner at KPMG LLP and the first woman of Native American ancestry to become president of the Girl Scouts. At KPMG, Hannan became the first female national managing partner of diversity and corporate responsibility where she founded the Women’s Advisory Board.

Recognized as an advocate for women in the workplace, Hannan received the “Most Powerful and Influential Women

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora)

Award,” from the Illinois Diversity Council, the “Outstanding Business Leader Award” from the YWCA and Diversity Woman magazine’s annual “Mosaic Woman Leadership Award.”

Chapa LaVia, (D-Aurora), represents the 83rd District of Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora. She is the chair of the House Elementary and Secondary Education and Veteran’s Affairs committees.

She has served on numerous task forces including the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation, Commission for High School Graduation Achievement and Success, Enhance Physical Education Task Force, Teacher Recruiting and Retention Task Force, Task Force on Charter School Funding and Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force.

In June 2015, Chapa LaVia announced a run for mayor of Aurora. Her 2017 campaign will focus on education, business development and job creation.

A leader in corporate and social change sectors, McWhorter is the CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and has been an active member of Chicago’s civic, business and philanthropic communities. McWhorter has helped lead YWCA into the digital age by re-launching the TechGYRLS program, which focuses on STEM awareness for girls age 9-14. In 2014, she was honored by the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation program and included in the inaugural list of “The Blue Network,” which is made of the top 100 innovators in Chicago.

She serves on the board of directors for several organizations including the Chicago Finance Exchange and Chicago Child Care 

Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan ChicagoSociety, and is a member of the Mayor’s Commission on a Safer Chicago and the executive council of Ms. Tech, an organization that provides women in technology ventures and innovative companies the inspiration, knowledge and connections to reach their full potential. McWhorter has received numerous awards including “Chicago United Business Leader of Color,” Diversity MBA Magazine’s “Top 100 under 50 Executive Leaders” and the Illinois CPA Society’s “Outstanding Leader in Advancing Diversity Award.”

Tickets are $30 per person. ($25 before September 30).

The summit begins with registration and a continental breakfast at 9:00 a.m., and continues with speakers and lunch until 1:30 p.m. The event is open to the public, but space is limited.

For more information or to purchase a sponsorship, visit or contact Nicole Placek at (630) 829-6406 or


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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