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Blagica Bottigliero - Women Built The Web  

Blagica Bottigliero is an Emmy winning veteran of digital marketing. A natural connector, Blagica has been involved in various facets of the worldwide web since the late ‘90s.  Blagica has seen the web grow from the basic popunder to more sophisticated algorithms.  Her experience includes creating websites for Maytag and Purina, helping found the eMarketing team at Orbitz, and leading social media at Motorola and Target. Blagica also founded and led her own startups and consultancies, led Edelman Digital’s Strategy division and Co-Chaired the Cook County New Media Council. Today, Blagica is the Vice President of Digital Media at Metaverse Mod Squad, a company specializing in helping companies bring real, human connections to their digital audiences. An avid technology user, Blagica is also the producer and host of the show, Ladies Talk Tech. She also speaks Macedonian and is conversant in French. In addition to presenting a talk today, Blagica has been a dynamic member of the first TEDx Oak Park Women Team as Social Media Leader.

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Renee Coover - A Message for Women: Taking Back Your Pregnancy Rights

Renee E. Coover practices employment law and has extensive experience representing businesses and individuals in employment discrimination, harassment, and breach of contract matters and counseling businesses on employment matters and polices. She has handled all aspects of employment and commercial litigation and prepared cases for hearing and trial in both Federal and State Court. Renee regularly handles employment matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Renee’s practice has revolved around advising businesses, filing and defending discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases, including claims filed under Title VII, PDA, ADEA, ADA, and FMLA. In addition to her employment practice, Renee serves as Associate General Counsel for the American Medical Spa Association (AmSpa) – the foremost association of healthcare professionals in the country providing education to the medical spa industry. Renee also regularly lectures at local and national conferences and seminars on regulatory matters in the medical spa industry.

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Cheryl Muñoz - The Good Food Movement: Building a Better Food System

Sugar Beet Food Co-op & Schoolhouse Founder, Cheryl Muñoz, is working to create greater access to sustainable food in the western suburbs of Chicago. Cheryl is now completing a three year project to build a community-owned food co-op that serves as a marketplace for local farmers in the Village of Oak Park, IL called Sugar Beet Food Co-op.  Through grassroots organization and community-based assets development, she raised $1.8 million in funding through local residents, grants, TIF funds and community banks. Sugar Beet Food Co-op will be a full-service grocery store as well as a leader in environmental sustainability, and will good jobs with health benefits for over 25 employees. Mrs. Muñoz also created Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a 501(c)3, that develops and facilitates food literacy training for all ages and organizes educational workshops on gardening, cooking and community health.

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Lisa Parker – Emcee -

Lisa Parker, of the Oak Park/River Forest area, joined Chicago’s NBC5 in 1996 and initiated the consumer arm of the NBC5 Investigates Unit. Lisa’s reports have since garnered numerous prestigious awards. Parker brings a depth and dimension to NBC5’s consumer reports, a style that brings real benefit for viewers. From the real stories of everyday consumers to the national issues, NBC5 Investigates takes on a wide range of topics, including children’s product safety, potential defects in automobiles and toxins in mainstream consumer products. Her reports have been the catalyst for change and new legislation on a wide variety of issues. Parker came to NBC5 from WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Virginia. Before that she worked as consumer reporter for WBAY-TV in Green Bay, WI. She started her career in broadcasting as a part-time camera operator and producer in Waterloo, IA. Parker speaks fluent Spanish. She is a 1988 graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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Heidi Brown - Money on the Table: Improving the ROI of Mid-career Female Professionals

Merging her experience in the financial markets with her passion for globe trotting, Heidi Brown founded Options Away, confident that the next big thing in travel will be options on airfare. A Canadian native born and raised in Toronto, she earned a degree in Economics from the University of Toronto before beginning her career trading global currencies. She eventually landed her dream job as a relationship specialist for a European bank, living in Germany and traveling throughout Europe for almost a decade. Heidi received her MBA in Finance and Strategy from the London Business School and shortly thereafter moved to the US where she bought a century home, started a family, and began working on entrepreneurial initiatives. As a founding member of 1871, the largest digital startup hub in the US, Heidi is active in the Chicago Entrepreneurial scene and regularly speaks publicly about startups and founders’ issues.

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Loren Mercola - Lead With Your Heart, Not Your Fears

IS THE LIFE YOU ARE LIVING NOW THE LIFE THAT WANTS TO LIVE IN YOU? If not, Loren Mercola, lcsw, cadc can help! She is a clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship counselor, sex therapist, school social worker, addiction counselor and owner of lifematters, inc.  With a collaborative counseling/coaching style, Loren offers guidance, support, education and strategies to empower you to achieve your goals and live your BEST life by being your BEST self! Loren is honored to be a speaker for TEDx Oak Park Women. She is excited to share her insights and her story in hopes of inspiring you to “lead with your heart, not with your fears” and achieve momentum moving forward! Loren has also appeared as an expert commentator on OWN TV (Oprah Winfrey Network).In her free time, Loren is an avid foodie who loves traveling, running, yoga, kick-boxing, playing golf, volunteering for Misericordia and enjoying all of the magnificent cultural activities in her hometown of Chicago.

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Lisa Thorton - What I’ve Learned as a Childhood Disability Doctor

Lisa Thornton, M.D. is a mom and a Pediatrician who specializes in the care of children with disabilities. She is passionate about providing reliable health information for families and believes that childhood is the best time to develop lifelong healthy habits for the body and mind. She is Medical Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation at LaRabida Children’s Hospital and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital.  She is an assistant professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Orthopedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Lisa has provided health commentary for numerous TV shows and other media outlets.  She has lectured to corporations and academic institutions and has led audiences to a greater understanding of a variety of topics including childhood obesity, childhood disability, and overall health and wellness. She is married with 3 children and has a brother with cerebral palsy.

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