Meet, Munch & Mastermind on Wednesday

Our most favorite NEW event of the year is coming early! Formerly held in October, Crain’s Small Business week has moved to May and is happening right now! We of course put on our favorite luncheon event at Shannon’s Irish Pub in Glen Ellyn, which takes place on Wednesday, May 4 from 11:30 am to 5 pm.


Meet, Munch & Mastermind: An Agenda to Reach Your Highest Potential From Women’s Business Experts is a Dynamic Networking Luncheon followed by educational talks designed specifically for women entrepreneurs. Participants will enjoy lively, enlightening education from business experts and be provided opportunities for brainstorming personal concerns/questions related to the topics discussed. Our first two events were inspiring and engaging, so you don’t want to miss this one!


Angel Simmons will discuss “The Launch Pad: Transitioning From Faithful Employee to Fabulous Entrepreneur.” Participants will gain a more realistic perspective of what’s really needed to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur as well as resources to help them cross over when they’re ready. Participants will leave feeling empowered to make the first step towards their dream. And, through some interactive participation, they will be affirmed by other women in the session.


Angel Simmons is a multi-talented artist with a B.A. from Columbia College Chicago. She has worked in youth and young adult ministry, conference planning and as a mentor to youth in Chicago’s Englewood community. She believes in the healing power of the arts and is committed to helping others discover their God-given gifts. Angel is an advocate for healthy and fulfilling relationships, and promotes love and connections daily throughout her social media networks and her blog, “Love’s Great Design”. She holds professional certifications in Soul Care and Biblically-based Counseling, Love and Relationships, Stress and Trauma, Grief and Loss Coaching, and is a certified QPR Gatekeeper for suicide intervention. Angel was crowned in 2015 as the Ms. Worldwide Illinois Ambassador for the Live Out Loud Charity, with her platform being suicide intervention, depression awareness, and grief and loss support.

Ingrid Morris will take the mystery out of numbercrunching with: “Do You Know Your Numbers?” The number of female entrepreneurs are on the rise! Women own 10.6 million businesses in the United States. They employ 19.1 million workers–that’s one in every seven employees. Their businesses account for $2.5 trillion in sales. Yet, 1 of 5 businesses fail. It’s not for lack of great product or services, but one of lack of financial acumen and operational knowledge. The question becomes, ” do you know your financial vitals; sale revenue, gross profit, net margins. This interactive discussions clears the financial fog, and gives women the basic financial understanding and knowledge to speak the language of finance and position their business for growth. Learn how to create financial projections, drive profitability, and increase your customer base.


Ingrid Morris has spent 20 years skyrocketing up the corporate ladder. Out of her love and affinity for numbers since the age of 5, she has utilized her gifts and talents to manage and grow financial portfolios that range up to $200MM in revenue. In 2014, “The Numberz Girl” opened Morr Solutions Unlimited; a revenue generation and life maximization firm for women. Most recently, she spends her time in Hollywood with celebrity clients helping them to create and sustain profitable careers through building financial projections and increasing their revenue portfolios. She is also the Founder of the ProfitFirst Academy for Women.

Delmar Johnson will share her HR Brain with  “Hire Right in the Shift, From Preneur to Employer: Don’t Let Your Guts Do All the Talking.” Like most business owners, you started your company wearing many hats and doing it all: sales, marketing, operations, product development, accounting and more!! Now that it is time to expand your business, do you know how to strategically add teammates to help accomplish your mission and goals without blowing your budget? This session will share vital tips to help business owners & leaders understand the what, how, why and when adding interns, volunteers, employees (Form W-2) and independent contractors (Form 1099) to their team is necessary and do it from an informed position.


With over 20 years of experience working with big corporations, small business owners and new entrepreneurs, human resource guru and visionary Delmar Johnson founded HR Brain for Hire™ as a trusted and resourceful solution for first time employers in need of affordable, efficient, and top notch recruitment, training and HR services. Delmar’s personal story, which includes multiple layoffs, life challenges, and her own dive into entrepreneurship, gives her a perfect mix of formal knowledge and “real life” experience that she pours into each client and their unique needs. Business owners love Delmar because her talent and passion for HR allow them to fall in love with their business all over again by getting them the right support that they so desperately need while saving them time, money, and headaches. In offering solutions, interactive workshops, and professional development training, Delmar’s goal is twofold: 1) to offer value-added solutions to women-owned business owners, positioning them as an” employer of choice” through the establishing of HR tools, standards and systems; and 2) to equip women to design their own career path by connecting who they are authentically to what they do to serve the world.


Our $30 luncheon includes a delicious meal, these fabulous speakers, and opportunities to make connections with other attendees. Join us Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM at Shannon’s Irish Pub, 428 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL.


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on our organization here.


My newlywed friends Lauren and Rory Coyne are in the Fixation exhibit at Zhou B Art Center’s second floor this month. It was a thrill to attend the opening last Friday and see their latest work.


Per Sergio Gomez: “Fixation is an exhibition and a publication of art and poetry focused on the physical/psychological preoccupation or obsession over an object or subject. The exhibition explores the subject of fixation as a continuous and elusive preoccupation of our human experience through written and visual art.”


“The curators invited 24 artists and 17 poets to create works based on their understanding and perception of the theme of fixation. The result is a group exhibition including painting, drawing, photography and poetry. Each work brings light to the artist’s own preoccupations unearthed by his/her personal fixations.”


I had seen Rory’s work in progress over the past few visits, and the resulting #wifelife is stunning.


Lauren scaled up significantly since Wunderkammer and her Heirloom mesmerized me.


We didn’t have much time to chat so I didn’t get their story of how their art relates to Fixation, but I didn’t feel the need to examine motives so much, though I have my theories based on the details in each art work.


I do have a few fixations of my own of course, and was a bit relieved to see none of them represented in the show. On the other hand, it would be interesting to ponder how I might express my fixation in an encaustic collage.


My favorite piece was Jaime Valero’s Water, Light and Movement #5 . It is an oil painting on board, but I had to look closely to believe that because it felt so photographic.


I know nothing about painting techniques so I merely reacted to the imagery, which is ambiguous due to the woman’s expression. So I cannot state why exactly I was so mesmerized, but I definitely couldn’t stop staring.

One artist did ask me to vocalize my interpretation of his work, but I bowed out, not knowing how to express my dichotomous visceral reaction into words.


Sometimes art should just speak on its own without critique or interpretation or research. Ultimately artists strive to connect with an audience, and too much information can create a self-consciousness about the layman’s interpretation of it.

It was lovely to reunite with other friends as we’d all been stuck in hibernation mode for far too long.

Fixation Friends

There is something about gathering and chatting with kindred spirits among vibrant art that makes the world feel a better and warmer place again.


The exhibit was curated by Sergio Gomez, owner of of 33 Contemporary Gallery, and Poets and Artists Magazine’s editor Dulce Menendez and has print and digital companion pieces in Poets and Artists Magazine.


I highly recommend you see the exhibit in person as the online photos do not convey the scale or the detail of the work. I look forward to reviewing the companion poems this weekend.


Zhou B Art Center is located at 1029 W 35th Street in Chicago, IL. The gallery currently also hosts Zhou Brothers: American Period and Things Forgotten…Remembered by Joe Milosevich.