Chicago iRelaunch Return to Work Conference Speakers - April 2010

Lunch Featured Speaker

Wisla Heneghan
Vice President, Associate General Counsel - Staples, Inc.



Wisla Heneghan is responsible for the management of the Staples Legal Department's commercial law practice. In her role, Wisla oversees the support of legal services to various Staples business groups, including its retail, business-to-business, and on-line divisions, and also directly provides legal support to various in-house clients. She joined Staples in 2000. Prior to this, Wisla worked at the law firms of Goodwin Proctor and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, both in Boston. Wisla was born and raised in Brazil and New York and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.


Employer Panel

Matthew Temple, Moderator
Director of Alumni Career Services - Kellogg School of Management

Matthew Temple is the Director of Alumni Career Services at the Kellogg School of Management. He has counseled alumni as well as full-time, part-time, and executive MBA students on a range of career issues including self-assessment, company and industry research, search strategies, networking, resume and cover-letter writing, interview preparation, negotiations, and job offer decision-making. Matthew has conducted career management workshops on many topics, helped organize international career treks, and advised companies on recruiting strategies. Matthew helped develop and facilitate a series of two-day workshops focusing on re-entering the workforce. He has worked as a Career Counselor with Harvard Business School and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Previously, Matthew served as the Director of International Business Development for Ask Jeeves, where he helped establish and manage joint ventures in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He has worked in investment banking, consulting, and marketing for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Accenture. In addition, he has worked in Asia and Europe.

Matthew holds a BA in European History from Harvard University and an MBA in Finance, Marketing and Organizational Behavior from the Kellogg School of Management. He resides in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Brizzolara
Brand Manager - Value Improvement - Sara Lee

Following the birth of her son in 1998, Jennifer decided leave a ten-year career successfully marketing products and services at three Chicago-based Fortune 500 companies. At that time, Jennifer chose to harness her creative energy by providing strategic marketing consulting services for small start-up businesses and later by building a web-based business which she ran at home between soccer practices, swim lessons, and playdates. These self-employment opportunities allowed Jennifer the luxury of staying actively involved in the daily lives of her two children while they were little and still connecting with work via a completely self-directed, flexible schedule.

In 2009, after both children were in school full time, Jennifer decided it was time to revitalize her corporate marketing career and joined Sara Lee as part of Returnships@Sara LeeSM - Sara Lee's initiative to attract, recruit, and retain experienced professionals who have taken a break from their careers. As Brand Manager - Value Improvement, Jennifer is responsible for streamlining product mix, creating portfolio value, and repositioning products for growth across the Foodservice Bakery business unit. She loves being back in the thick of things and coming home some nights to find her husband has just put dinner on the table (something she never quite excelled at)!

Jennifer received an MBA from Northwestern and a BA from the University of Michigan. She spent her previous working years in product/brand management and new product development roles with Ameritech, Citicorp/Diner's Club, and BP Amoco Corporation before deciding to strike out on her own. In addition, Jennifer spent a number of years volunteering at her children's school and her parish women's organization, and serving on the Executive Board of the Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare Society, a charitable organization providing aid for children in need.

Kathy Morgan
North America HR Demand Lead for the Resources Industry - Accenture

Ms. Morgan is responsible for leading a virtual team of HR professionals who manage staffing of 3000+ employees yearly as well as other HR processes such as performance management and employee engagement for more than 100 of Accenture client teams.



Ms. Morgan has been with Accenture for 20 years having various HR roles throughout her career including stints in finance and recruiting. A significant part of her role today includes resource forecasting and working with leadership to ensure Accenture's competitiveness in the marketplace. Although her scope is North America, Accenture's global network has increasingly provided her with experience working with off-shore delivery methods and developing location strategies for client teams.



Ms. Morgan graduated with honors from University of Illinois with a B.S. in Business Administration. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two young children.

Mary Schulte
Vice President, Financial Advisor - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Mary enjoyed the role of a stay-at-home mom with her three children for 13 years. In 1983, after becoming a single mom, she reentered the workforce. Her first job was a trip planner for the Chicago Motor Club, followed by working as an installment loan clerk and teller at Inland Steel Credit Union. Then opportunity knocked in the financial industry where Mary began her career as a sales assistant to the top Advisor in Chicago at Oppenheimer & Co. After acquiring the necessary education, licenses, and designations, she became his junior partner and then went on to be an equal partner with another Advisor at the firm.

In 1995 it was time to leave the nest and go out on her own at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. It was then she went back to school and became a Certified Financial Planner and built a successful practice and team which includes her son and son-in-law. In 2008, Mary and her team joined Smith Barney (subsequently bought by Morgan Stanley).

Mary considers giving back a "must." She teaches English as a Second Language for the School on Wheels. She is also on the board of DuPage PADS, an organization that serves the homeless, where she is a Race Director for a high profile fundraiser "Pads Run/Walk." Mary was named 2009 Non Profit Volunteer of the Year for the West Suburban Philanthropic Network. She was also chosen as one of three finalists for the National 2009 Volunteer of the Year given by Investment News in New York City.

Ann Watson
Senior Staffing Specialist - Northwestern University Central Human Resources

Ann Watson joined Northwestern University, Office of Human Resources - Staffing department in February 2008. Ann and her family relocated to the Chicago area from Cambridge in the UK, in March 2007. She now lives in Glenview, IL. Ann is part of a nine-person staffing team, including five other recruiters. The staffing department focuses on helping hiring managers with staff positions at the University. Ann is aligned with many schools and departments on the Evanston campus - such as McCormick School of Engineering, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, and the Provost and Office of the President. Ann has been working in the world of recruitment since 1990.

Most of Ann's career has been in the employment industry, primarily with Adecco, the world's largest recruitment agency in the UK. Ann worked first as a permanent placement specialist with Office Angels before moving into the role of Branch Manager in 1996. Ann was awarded the accolade of "Rookie of the Year, 1999" along with an award for excellence in the Recruitment industry. Ann Watson went to school in Cambridge, majoring in Business Administration and is now studying for her PHR (Professional in Human Resources). Ann is an avid reader/audio listener and enjoys a variety of novels, employment law magazines and books. Ann is a lifelong learner and really enjoys "knowing how everything works and fits together."


Relauncher Panel

Nicole Stephens, Moderator
Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations - Donald P. Jacobs Scholar; Kellogg School of Management

Nicole M. Stephens received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and her B.A. from Williams College. As a social and cultural psychologist, her research explores the ways in which the social world systematically influences how people understand themselves and their actions. Her specific focus is on how social class, race, ethnicity, and gender shape people's everyday life experiences, as well as important life outcomes such as educational attainment and health.

One line of Professor Stephens's research examines how experiences in different social class environments affect the ways in which people understand the choices that they make in their daily lives. Another line of research investigates how first-generation college students, from diverse cultural backgrounds, adjust in response to the mainstream culture of higher education. Together her research illuminates how seemingly neutral assumptions about what it means to be a "good," "normal," or "educated" person reflect the culturally-specific perspectives of majority groups in society, and thereby contribute to social inequality. The underlying goal of this research is to develop more diverse and effective schools, workplaces, and communities.

Professor Stephens's work is published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Psychological Science and has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times Magazine, the Miller-McCune Magazine, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Nancy Diesbergen, CPA
McDonald's Corporation



Nancy has a BS and Master of Accountancy from De Paul University in Chicago. She successfully passed the CPA exam after completing her BS. She began her career as a staff accountant doing audit work at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co for a year in Zurich. She then spent a year doing similar work at Ernst & Whinney in Chicago. Subsequently, she moved to McDonald's Corporation, where she worked in financial accounting and reporting.

Nancy left the workforce following the birth of her first child. She spent the next 18 years at home raising her four children. In September 2007, her husband died suddenly and she decided to return to the workforce. She called us at iRelaunch in April 2008, prior to our May 2008 Forum at Lake Forest, asking if there was any point in her attending since she had been out of the workforce for so long. We said "absolutely."

With renewed confidence and a better understanding of 21st century job hunting, Nancy diligently pursued opportunities with her former employers, E&Y and McDonald's, as well as with other firms. Happily, within seven months of starting her search, Nancy was rehired by McDonald's in the real estate accounting area.

Erika Grinius
Marketing Manager - Whitney Automotive Group

Erika started out her career as a social worker, completed her MSW, and then worked as a clinician for several years. She then decided to leave social work and pursued business instead, working in several different functions. After the birth of her daughter, she decided to leave the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. When her daughter was three, she entered a part-time MBA program in Fort Worth, TX. Upon moving to Chicago, she transferred to the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and completed her MBA in December of 2009.

While still in school, Erika completed an Internship in marketing at Whitney Automotive Group, an online retailer of automotive parts. Following the internship, and five years out of the workforce, Erika accepted a full-time offer with the company as a marketing manager, overseeing several different Internet marketing programs. She was recently promoted and is now coordinating marketing campaigns for their flagship brand www.jcwhitney.com.

Loryn Kogan
Director of Community Relations - North Shore Senior Center

Loryn's career began in marketing and advertising research at Leo Burnett and then Kraft Foods, where she rose to manage market research for several product categories before leaving to be a stay-at-home mom and raise a family. After exploring options for a career change and re-entry, she eventually became a trip planner part-time for OASIS Chicago which fosters lifelong learning for older adults. In 2006, this led to her full-time position as Director of Community Relations for North Shore Senior Center where she oversees advertising, public relations, publications, community education, special events, and food service for this social service and lifelong learning non-profit agency.

Loryn received her BS in Marketing from University of Illinois and MBA in Marketing, and Management Policy from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a member of the Publicity Club of Chicago, OASIS Advisory Council, North Suburban Service Council, and Community Advisory Committee of NorthShore University HealthSystem's Skokie Hospital. She volunteers at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Loryn lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband of 28 years and enjoys travel, music and movies. Her two sons are now in college, but ever the mom, she tries to watch anything her sons are involved in.

Loryn's inspiration is her mother, a relauncher before there was a name for it.

Susan Noyes
Founder - Make It Better.net

Make It Better.net is the brainchild of Susan Noyes, who practiced labor law at Sidley & Austin before deciding to lay down the law full-time with her six children instead.

Susan loves to network, build community, write, and organize lots of moving pieces. So she organized her sassiest and most-connected friends to launch a website for North Shore women in 2007. They launched an email newsletter in February 2008 which now has about 11,000 subscribers, and a print magazine last November. Susan also served on the New Trier Board Of Education and currently serves on the boards of the Music Institute of Chicago, Kenilworth Union Church, Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and the Women's Board of the Lyric Opera. Her motto: "A clean home is a wasted life."

 

 

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Success Stories

Maureen Byrne

Success Stories

Motivation, inspiration and ideas to shape your own story. Find your role models.


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"The Bible of Career Reentry"

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