High School Student
Alyssa Coughlin is a sophomore in high school who is especially passionate about acting. For someone who loves being on the stage so much, she knows that it is very likely that as a person of color, her stage and screen time will be limited. Despite these racial barriers, she still has big dreams, and hopes that her dreams will not have to suffer as a result of the lack of demand for actors like herself.
MD, University of Chicago Medical
Dr. Amy Faith Ho is an emergency medicine physician, writer and speaker. Her works include features in Forbes, TEDx, NPR, Chicago Tribune and media features on the TODAY Show, Discovery Channel and TLC. Dr. Ho takes a special interest in sharing a physician’s unique perspective on issues in society – violence, mental heath, addiction and healthcare policy – and uses her writing and speaking to do so.
President & CEO, Selah Freedom
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, CEO/President leads Selah Freedom, a national organization, providing solutions to local victims of sex trafficking. Fisher has been described as, “Part healer, part businesswoman, all resolve—if Selah Freedom is bringing light into the darkness, as the slogan says, then Fisher is the one behind the megawatt.” Selah Freedom educates over 45,000 annually, has residential safe houses in Florida and Chicago, leads at-risk teen prevention programs, and trains and equips law enforcement agencies.
Fisher speaks nationally about the root of sex trafficking, received the prestigious Tampa Bay Business Woman of the Year Award for the Nonprofit Category in 2014 and has been featured in various media outlets. Prior to Selah Freedom, Fisher worked in the Chicago area as a therapist and in leadership development. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a bachelor of arts in communications and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology.
Partner/Attorney, Mayer Brown LLP
Joanna is a partner in the Chicago office of global law firm Mayer Brown LLP and focuses on complex construction transactions. Joanna chairs Mayer Brown’s Committee on Professional Advancement and serves on its Partner Promotion Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee and Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She was a 2015 Fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago and serves on the Board of Directors of the Anixter Center and Cabrini Green Legal Aid. She is the proud mom of two sons.
Primary Directress, Alcuin Montessori
Margaret is an experienced Montessori teacher and consultant with over 15 years of experience. She has spoken at numerous conferences, given lectures and shared presentations for many years about different aspects of Montessori philosophy and child development in general. Her most recent conference presentation on Cultivating Charitable Minds was featured in Montessori Leadership magazine. Her consulting work connects her with schools and teachers around the world. Prior to her work in Montessori, she worked in various art galleries and in her personal art studio, which she continues to do. Margaret holds a Bachelors of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and University of North Texas with a specialty in Fine Art and Design.
Founder & CEO, Conic Group
Ruben Ocampo is a thought leader in design and strategic facilitation, who helps leaders imagine and enact visionary change through purpose-driven dialogue with their customers and workforce. His work experience spans three continents in the areas of organizational strategy, design and innovation management, and stakeholder engagement. He holds a Master degree in Design from the IIT Institute of Design and a MBA from Loyola University Chicago.
Founder, Giving Artfully Kids & Giving Artfully
Sitinee Sheffert is a wife, mom of 4 and social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Giving Artfully Kids, a curriculum teaching children the importance of kindness and giving through crafting and Giving Artfully, a platform connecting crafters and organizations needing handcrafted items. Prior to starting her own business, she was project manager and health care consultant for Stanford’s Children’s Hospital and UnitedHealthcare. She has her Masters in Public Policy and Masters in Health Services Research and Policy from the University of Minnesota.