Contributors

Abby McDonald


Abby McDonald knows what it’s like to live life fiercely and courageously. She started out her Career in the Financial Services Industry 17 years ago with the intent of becoming a Trader only to be fired to her dismay. Through a lot of soul searching she stumbled upon the Executive Search business 13 years ago, while successfully running her own firm for the past 6 years called Dynamic Synergy Group Inc. Abby McDonald has coached and interviewed many people over the years and has developed a love and passion for helping women to discover who they “Really Are” in both their Life & Career. Her latest business venture is www.talkwithabby.com a spiritually infused, inspirational site offering Life & Career coaching services as well as providing a platform for Advice for those who seek it.


Adrienne Asselmeier


Adrienne "Dren" Asselmeier is a writer and marketing specialist. Dren has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and is a blogger, runner, over-achiever, and friend to everyone. She likes to write about science-based health and fitness, small business ownership, and motivational topics.



Alexis LaRee


Alexis LaRee is a Career Consultant and Career Development Facilitator with a passion for guiding Millennial women through career success. She provides services throughout the Seattle region for those who need assistance in determining what career will be suitable for their needs and personalities as well as for those who want to start a new career in a new industry. In 2013, Alexis established Alexis LaRee Career Consulting where she offers women a combination of career and lifestyle services by guiding them through resume writing, career satisfaction indication, interviewing techniques, navigating the office, taking care of the self, and more.


Amanda Boleyn


Amanda manages a consulting company that focuses on implementing sales processes and employee engagement strategies. She is also the author of the "Monday Morning Eye Opener." (Found on her website - amandaboleyn.com) Her weekly email encourages us to change the way we look at things so that the things we look at changes.



Baaba Grant-Acquah


Baaba Grant-Acquah is a fashion stylist, blogger and corporate client manager. She is a curator of style and knows where to find the perfect pieces for any wardrobe. She is continually inspired by her clients and truly enjoys the process of providing creative solutions to fit her client's needs.


Barb Mednick


Barbara K. Mednick is Associate Director of Corporate Communications for KPMG LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a passion for workforce issues/trends, particularly as they relate to women. Previously she ran a successful, Twin Cities-based PR and marketing communications consultancy and held senior account management positions at several top Twin Cities PR and marketing agencies. Barbara began her career as a journalist at a daily newspaper and holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a Mini-MBA Certificate from the University of St. Thomas. During her career, Barbara has written numerous articles and posts for various print and online media. She has garnered a number of industry awards for writing and successful PR and marketing communications campaigns conducted for clients. Also, she has taught a number of writing workshops for professionals and she blogs on the intersection of PR, marketing communications, and social media at http://bkminsights.blogspot.



Belinda Chiu


Dr. Belinda Chiu is a social change strategist, coach, and facilitator. Like you, she believes that everyone has the transformational ability to reach her potential and beyond. Dr. Chiu incorporates a practice of mindfulness to help individuals harness their natural strengths, achieve results, and carve their own paths towards professional fulfillment. For more tips, subscribe to the monthly newsletter, Why Not? on www.hummingbirdrcc.com or follow on @hummingbirdrcc.


Bobbie LaPorte


Bobbie LaPorte, is Founder and Principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. RAL & Associates produces the “When She Speaks” – Women in Leadership Series in San Francisco, sponsored by blue chip Bay Area companies. Before founding RAL & Associates, Bobbie served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM, GE and United Healthcare, as well as two healthcare technology start-ups. A certified career coach, she has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Harvard. She is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, and an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach. Bobbie is currently training for her fifth Ironman triathlon. When she is not coaching executives or Ironman triathletes she proudly serves on a number of Bay Area non-profit boards and happily rescues senior Golden Retriever dogs



Carolyn Stroud


Carolyn Stroud works in asset management at a commercial real estate investment firm in Chicago. Her previous experience includes mortgage banking, leasing, running a start-up and captaining an adult co-ed kickball team. Originally from Detroit, she has an undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College and an MBA from Pepperdine University. Carolyn is a voracious reader and passionate about growing outside her comfort zone. She recently completed her second marathon and is always up for a challenge.


Cassandra Ehrhart


Cassandra Ehrhart is a results driven, public relations professional. She's currently a senior at Indiana University, Bloomington. This semester she's working for Coca-Cola as a Brand Ambassador, Author Solutions, Inc. as a Marketing Intern, and serving as the 2013-2014 Director of Communications for IU's Public Relations Student Society of America. She’s a bona fide dog lover from a small town in Indiana. There's not much that makes her happier than her niece and red wine. Cassandra is passionate about the mission of CGN and is proud to contribute her knowledge as a rising career girl.



Christie Mims


Christie Mims is The Radical Fairy Godmother to the Woman Trapped in Her Suit. A job reinvention specialist, she is a certified professional career and transition coach with a background working for Fortune 500 companies, the Department of Defense, and large Federal agencies. As a former business unit director in a top consulting firm, she has been there, done that, and worn those uncomfortable shoes. So, while she knows that career transition is hard, it doesn’t have to be lonely! Feeling stuck in your suit? Grab her free job UNstuck kit over at www.therevolutionaryclub.com! (That is also where she keeps her sage career wisdom AND a side sass). It’s time to make your career happy!


Danielle Bilbruck


Danielle Bilbruck is an achievement-oriented and energetic professional in the sales world. She is dedicated to increasing efficiency and productivity in order to maximize profitability. Known for her ability to master a position quickly, Danielle has moved up the ladder several times in each company she has worked with. She is a direct and clear communicator, both in written and oral disciplines, and is excited about being a contributor to CGN. She is dedicated to motivating women of all ages around her toward excellence - simply because she expects it from herself.



Denise DeGennaro


Denise DeGennaro is a student affairs professional who helps undergrad and graduate students (and sometimes friends and family) at all stages in their transitions from school to career. She is an expert resume and cover letter writer and reviewer. Denise received her Master's in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, Denise enjoys all things girly and loves testing out the latest beauty and nail art trends.


Ellen Hunter Gans


Ellen Hunter Gans is a freelance writer and communications strategist. She's also a marathon runner, an Ironman triathlete, a wildly untalented cross-country skier, a newly minted Crossfit junkie, a yoga devotee, a wannabe culinary genius, a voracious reader, a grammar snob, a world traveler, an outdoorswoman, an oenophile, a mediocre gardener, and a secret fan of awful television. Her blog is at www.lifeinreviews.com, and her business website is at www.wordcoutureconsulting.com.



Ferne Sofio


Ferne Sofio believes in strengthening organizations and communities by developing people. For over fifteen years, she has mentored people young and more experienced to help them unlock and reach their potential. She values the unique qualities that make us different knowing we are much more alike than different. The analytical side of her brain aligns initiatives with organizational goals and key strategic drivers. To pursue her passions and begin a new chapter in her career, Ferne acquired a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. While the majority of her career was in marketing, management, and sales. Today, she leverages her experience, education, and strengths as a Training and Development Business Consultant in higher education. This role is a tremendous opportunity to build strong teams and impact organizational culture. She also connects people in business and industry with training and education, which have the power to transform lives.


Hannah Hylla


Hannah Hylla is a Marketing Manager for Fourteen Foods, the largest franchisee of Dairy Queen in the U.S., in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is truly thrilled to be spending her "free-time" doing something she loves - writing! Hannah is also a sports enthusiast, she graduated from the College of Saint Benedict (St. Joseph, MN) in May of 2013 with a bachelor of arts in Communication and played on the Women's Basketball Team for four years. In her free-time she enjoys traveling - she lived in Athens, Greece and Rome, Italy for six months and continues her love for travel through her career. It isn't likely that you will find her "at home" more than two weeks a month - she is usually on the road for work! You can contact her at hannah.hylla@gmail.com or on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.



Hillary Wright


Hillary C. Wright is a legal assistant the law firm of Mattingly & Nally-Martin, PLLC in Lebanon, Kentucky. She is also a freelance writer who has written for several publications including Glass Heel. Hillary graduated from Campbellsville University in 2010 with a bachelor of science in Mass Communications (Public Relations emphasis) and a 2nd major in English. She writes about career advice and women and gender issues. She lives in Springfield, Kentucky. You can contact her at hcamillewright@gmail.com or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


Jill Vived


Jill Vived is a freelance writer and marketing communications professional currently working as the Director of Marketing for Vivalta, Inc., a recruiting firm specializing in placing finance and accounting professionals in Denver and San Francisco she co-owns with her husband. Working in the search industry has given Jill a distinct perspective on careers and job search that she is excited to share with Career Girls everywhere. When she is not reading up on everything marketing, branding, and career related, Jill spends her time chasing around her two young children, dreaming up DIY crafts, and enjoying the great outdoors.



Kali Andress


Kali has had a passion for all things professional from the day she put on her first blazer. While attending the University of Kentucky, Kali was a member of the business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, and a Gatton Global Scholar, both of which successfully prepped her for the business world and provided her with career lessons outside of the classroom. For the past three years since graduation, Kali has planned events of all sizes, in locations across the country, for a sports association. Recently earning her CMP (Certified Meeting Professional), Kali has discovered her passion for the hospitality/events industry. With an interest in women’s rights and a belief that all women have the right to be strong AND beautiful, Kali started a blog, Kaliwood, to post about women’s issues, career tips, style, and life’s daily adventures. Kali hopes to empower women in the work force to be strong, confident and successful… and to do so while wearing fabulous shoes.


Katherine Toll


Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.



Katie Fleming


Katie earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, and is currently a Crisis Therapist in Chicago. Her therapy interests include health and wellness, relationships, trauma, and crisis. Katie is also a therapist with a group practice in Arlington Heights. Katie is thrilled to be a part of Career Girl Network, helping to guide all Career Girls towards overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Katie is passionate about animal rescue, running, and yoga. She is the proud dog mom of Gulliver and Duke!


Kelley Long


Kelley Long is a CPA/PFS and CFP® who believes that the true meaning of financial security means having choices in life. Formerly the head of her own practice, KCL Financial Coaching, Kelley parlayed the knowledge and experience gained from starting her own business into her dream job as the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Chicago-based CPA firm Shepard Schwartz & Harris. She’s also a volunteer and media ambassador for Feed the Pig and 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. In Kelley’s perfect world, everyone would feel great talking about their money concerns, fears, questions and problems, because then everyone would see that we ALL have those concerns, fears, questions and problems. Kelley lives in Chicago where she also teaches BODYPUMP group fitness classes at the Chicago Athletic Clubs.



Kelly Benko




Kelsie Kam


Kelsie Kam is a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Management Entrepreneurship and Spanish. She is from Kaneohe, Hawaii and although she misses seeing the mountains and the ocean every day, she is looking forward to experiencing all Chicago has to offer. Kelsie loves Zumba, but she will try to run outdoors more often to see the city. She is excited to work with the CGN team and hopefully inspire more women to better themselves both in and out of the workplace.



Kit Graham


Kit Graham is the author of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook and thekittchen.com, a food site focused on original and practical recipes. Kit's work has been featured on Refinery 29, Eater, The Frisky, 300 Sandwiches, One Woman Shop, Break Thru Radio and The Urbaness. She is also a founding member of The Second City Food Wine + Social Club and the Windy City Blogger Collective.


Kristen J. Zavo


Kristen J. Zavo is a finance and strategy professional, with a special interest in the retail industry. Having always been interested in the people side of business, Kristen loves to explore, reflect on, and share stories about the challenges and adventures of being a businesswoman. No topic is off limits - whether it's how to handle being the only woman in the boardroom, or figuring out how to to pack all the "essentials" for a 2-week business trip in just a carry-on! Outside of work, she loves exploring new places, spending time at the beach and meeting friends to workout (spin or yoga, anyone?!).



Lauren McCabe Herpich


Lauren's life has definitely consisted of a series of adventures, or as she would like to call them: Why Nots! She recently left her digital marketing position at a Fortune 100 company to take the risk of entrepreneurship and start Why Not Girl!, a website empowering women to try new things, live life as an adventure and say Why Not! Lauren holds a Masters of Integrated Marketing Communication from Northwestern University's Medill School and Bachelors in Journalism and Media Arts from the University of Arizona. You can get inspired to say Why Not! in your own life by visiting Why Not Girl! at www.whynotgirl.com.


Leni Schimpf


Leni Schimpf is a Public Relations Specialist at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington, DC. She works on a marketing team focusing on business development and growth opportunities for the firm. At the firm, she is responsible for all external and internal communications, social media, and anything related to the press. Leni is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she majored in Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations, and double majored in Government and Politics.



Lindsay Bosch


Lindsay Bosch is an arts and nonprofit manager who has worked in cultural institutions for over decade including the American Library Association, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Film Festival. Lindsay is interested in the self-driven (and often self taught) trajectory of women’s careers in nonprofits and writes about issues related to leadership, branding and work culture. Lindsay holds a Bachelors degree in Film and Media from Northwestern Univ. and a Masters in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the coauthor of the art history textbook Icons of Beauty: Art, Culture and the Image of Women.


Lindsay Laughnan


Lindsay coaches 20's and 30's women to improve their career, dating, health, and finances to live their Thirtylicious life. She partners with clients to help them design a career lifestyle that is a perfect fit for their priorities, dreams, and desires! Besides being passionate about coaching, Lindsay loves blogging, experimenting with green smoothie recipes, practicing yoga, exploring hiking trails, and purple nail polish.



Lisa Granshaw


Lisa Granshaw is a freelance writer and career consultant based in New York City. Her company, Media Career Consulting LLC, offers a variety of consulting services to young professionals interested in a career in the media and communications industry. She began her career as a NBC Page, worked as a production assistant at Nightly News with Brian Williams, and was a producer and writer for the TODAY Show's website. Her work has appeared on The Daily Dot, TODAY.com, Parents.com, Vetstreet, Blastr, and more.


Lucia Labouchere


Lucia is an independent performance coach and career consultant. She runs bespoke programmes that help business leaders and budding entrepreneurs to become clear on what their unique offering is and how it can serve them. She helps build momentum and direction in careers and lives so that her clients can enjoy a greater sense of purpose, more success and be truly inspirational. She works predominantly via Skype and is based between Italy, the UK and Malawi.



Marcy Twete


Marcy Twete is the author of "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works" and a career expert who believes in order to be empowered in your career, you must be surrounded with resources and a network that both supports and challenges you. Marcy began her own networking journey as a professional fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, honed those skills as a fundraising consultant, and in 2012 networked her way to nearly 1 million readers as the CEO of the professional development website Career Girl Network.


Marie Arcidiacono


Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.



Marilu Hagen


Originally hailing from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Marilu is currently a student the the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on track for graduating with a major in Communication Arts and minor in Integrated Liberal Studies. She is very excited to be one of the lucky summer 2013 interns for CGN and to gain experience as a marketing and public relations specialist for the company while bringing extra energy and positivity to the team. Her inspiration comes from powerful women working in the sports and entertainment industry and she has hopes to become one of these women herself as a sports agent or manager of team public relations. Marilu's favorite professional sport is ice hockey, having grown up with the Atlanta Thrashers, but her favorite sports team is the Atlanta Braves.


Melissa diLeonardo


Melissa is an East Coast native who has made Chicago her home! She has worked in the health and wellness field for over six years and lives to bike, hike, run, lift, and play. As a ReebokONE Brand Ambassador, Certified Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise, and a Registered Yoga Teacher, Melissa is down with good health. Voted “Best Personal Trainer” in the 2013 Chicago Reader’s Annual Poll and selected as a global finalist in the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Contest, Melissa instructs fitness and yoga classes throughout the north side of Chicago (spinning, boot camp, strength training). She a proud member and assistant coach at CrossFit Chicago and Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy . Co-founder of the Chicago-based wellness collective, True-2-Life, you can follow her on twitter, @mdsapphire. Let's dance!



Melissa Foster


A productivity consultant for startups founders and entrepreneurs, Melissa Foster is on a mission to help her clients and readers create flow in their lives... and get big things done. A certified life coach, Melissa's hyper-focused, energetic approach is coupled with wisdom, warmth, and wit. You can get more from Melissa by visiting her website.


Michele Cocouture


Michele is a goal oriented and overachieving career gal, style blogger and artist. She spends her days negotiating acquisitions for a Fortune 500 company. Seeking a creative outlet, Michele combined her business savvy with her love of fashion and started a personal style blog with the goal of inspiring other career women one pencil skirt at a time. Michele holds a Master of Business Administration from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Learn more about Michele's style by visiting her blog at http://cocouture.org or you can follow her on https://www.facebook.com/cocouturedotorg



Monica O'Connell


Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”


Peggy Harrington


Peggy Harrington is a bubbly and multitasking senior at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She is thrilled to be the Events Marketing Specialist for Career Girl Network. Peggy loves fashion, working out, planning fabulous events and traveling! She is currently a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista and writes a post for the What to Wear column every Thursday. Peggy lives her life according to one of her favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson which states that “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”



Rebecca Niziol


Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.


Sally Calloway


Sally Calloway is a Career Coach and an Expert Resume Writer known for landing an interview and getting an offer for every position she's applied for. Her passion for career development began back in college when her resume stood out among thousands of applicants landing her an interview to intern for "The Late Show With David Letterman". Bombing the interview ignited her pursuit to help others achieve their career success. Sally coach's job seekers and career changers of all levels, developing a competitive personal brand that resonates with their target audience through various communication platforms; social media profiles, resumes, job applications, job interviews. From college students to C-level executives, Coach Sally provides expertise in communicating a unique value proposition so that even passive career success seekers can stand out, land the job and get promoted.



Sara Hauber


Sara Hauber, M.A., is a certified wellness coach, yoga teacher, and functional-fitness specialist whose mission is to help you overcome obstacles to achieve radiant health and vitality. Since undergoing complete spinal fusion for scoliosis, Sara has been empowering others to transform their bodies, eliminate pain, and embrace joy, love, and life. In 2012 she introduced The Hauber Method™, her signature at-home method for eliminating back pain: haubermethod.com.


Sarah Jarvis


Sarah Jarvis is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Journalism focusing on Strategic Communication and Sociology. She currently lives in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California to earn her masters in Communication Management. She also works at Career Girl Network as a Marketing and Communications Specialist and generates social media content on a weekly basis for Rescue Desk – Virtual Assistant Services, which is based in Madison, Wis. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as attending concerts and movies.



Vivian Doan


Vivian Doan is a globetrotting foodie that balances her endless appetite with fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She is a certified yoga teacher, personal trainer (NASM), former Bar Method instructor, and certified in TRX Suspension Training and INSANITY. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego and completed her Masters at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Originally from Southern California, Vivian is currently anchored in New York City as a Public Relations & Marketing Consultant for lifestyle brands.