2014 Speakers TBD
2013 Keynote Speaker
Ellen Costello is Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Corp. and U.S. Country Head of Toronto-based BMO Financial Group, one of North America's leading financial services providers.
Ms. Costello is responsible for providing governance and regulatory oversight for all of BMO's U.S. businesses. This includes ensuring all U.S. activities of the bank are consistent with the values, principles and the strategic initiatives set by BMO and approved by the BMO board. She is a member of the BMO management and performance committees.
After joining BMO Financial Group in 1983, Ms. Costello held progressively senior positions in Corporate Banking and Treasury, serving in leadership positions in Derivatives, as Regional Treasurer in Asia in 1993 and in 1995 as Senior Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer. In 1997, she was appointed Executive Vice-President, Global Treasury Group, responsible for the foreign exchange, financial products, money markets, loan syndication/trading and managed futures businesses. In 2000, she was named Head of Securitization and Credit Investment Management; in 2003, head of BMO Capital Markets, New York; and in 2006 she assumed responsibility for Merchant Banking. Later in 2006 she was named Group Head for Personal and Commercial Banking U.S. and President and CEO, Harris Financial Corp. She was appointed to her current role in July 2011.
Ms. Costello holds a BBA from St. Francis Xavier University and earned her MBA from Dalhousie University. She serves on a number of boards, including the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, After School Matters, the Executives' Club of Chicago and the Financial Services Roundtable. She is a member of the Commercial Club, its Civic Committee, the Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Go to our Media page to read personal profile of Ellen Costello in Today's Chicago Woman January 2013 issue.
2013 Master of Ceremonies/Moderator
A Chicago native, Robyne Robinson is an award-winning American television journalist and entrepreneur.
Robyne began her professional career tracking news for WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana. Later, at WFAA-TV in Dallas she covered local politics, education and public affairs. While serving as the weekend anchor at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, she was awarded the Gannett-Paul Miller Fellowship for reporting Washington politics.
For 20 years she was a reporter and then news anchor/co-anchor for Fox affiliate KMSP in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. She was the first African-American anchor in the state of Minnesota and has worked with KMSP-TV since 1995, when KMSP was independent Minnesota 9.
In May 2010 Robinson left KMSP and broadcasting and announced her candidacy as the running mate of Matt Entenza, a DFL candidate in the August 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial primary. She had not previously been a candidate for elective office.
In addition to her work in front of the camera, Robinson is closely involved in several non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities area. She is on the board of the Outsider Art Center, a non-profit organization for disabled, folk and self-taught artists. Robinson is an honorary board member for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota and sits on the Advisory Board for The Soap Factory/No Name Gallery, a non-profit contemporary arts center affiliated with the Walker Art Center, one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art museums.
Robinson founded Exhibit, a non-profit arts collective that helped fund the creation of the Independent Feature Project/Minneapolis Producers' Fellowship, and has raised thousands of dollars for the Lupus Foundation by creating Voce, multimedia art and music events for and by women that raised Lupus education and awareness.
Robinson is also a jewelry designer and owner of Rox. Her company sells jewelry in stores throughout the Minneapolis area, as well as Chicago and New York. Her jewelry has been worn by artists such as Madonna, Nicollette Sheridan, and Paula Abdul. Her creations are also displayed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and have been featured on the Tyra Banks Show as well as several national publications.
2013 Cultural/International Speakers
In November 2002, Attorney General Lisa Madigan became the first woman elected to serve as the Illinois Attorney General, and one of only a handful of female Attorneys General in the country. In 2010, she was elected to her third term as Attorney General and now is the senior-most female Attorney General in the country.
Before her election as Attorney General, Madigan served in the Illinois Senate and worked as a litigator for a Chicago law firm. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a teacher and community advocate, developing after-school programs to help keep kids away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during apartheid.
Madigan earned her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She and her husband, Pat Byrnes, have two daughters.
Often recognized for her leadership and integrity, Madigan has brought a high level of activism to the Office of Illinois Attorney General. Under her leadership, the Consumer Protection Division has established a national reputation for aggressively safeguarding consumers from financial fraud and unsafe products. Madigan has dedicated the energy and resources of her office to protecting children and women from the dangers of sexual predators and established herself as a leader in the public's fight for open and accessible government.
Madigan is the Co-Chair of the 2013 Celebration of 100 Years of Women Voting in Illinois.
Visit the Illinois Attorney General website for a more extensive biographical profile.
Dr. Aparajita Sengupta is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Saint Mary's College (Notre Dame, IN) in the Department of History and the Gender and Women's Studies Program and a participant in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program, sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and locally administered by WorldChicago.
Dr. Sengupta is currently Associate Professor of History in Sanskrit College in the University of Calcutta. Before joining this position in 2009, she taught in the Universities of Jadavpur, Kalyani and Rabindra Bharati in Bengal, India, and was a Visiting Scholar in South Asian Studies in the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and publications have been mainly in the field of modern Indian women's history, especially in the context of British colonialism and Indian nationalism, and her first book – Domesticating Nationalism: Women and the Politics of Gender in Bengal, 1870-1930 – is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She is also a creative author in Bengali and has two published works of fiction to her credit.
She received her Bachelor's degree with Honors in History from Presidency College, Calcutta, and her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of Calcutta.
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2011 Keynote: Deborah L. DeHaas, Vice Chairman and Regional Managing Partner at Deloitte (Topic: "The Business Case for Diversity: Why Developing Women Leaders is Imperative to the Success of Global Companies") Deb is the Vice Chairman and Midwest Regional Managing Partner for Deloitte LLP, which includes offices in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines. With 5,000 professionals, Deloitte is the largest Big Four firm in the region...