Honoring trailblazing women who start, accelerate, fuel and steer others to excellence!

Business Leaders Debi Lilly and Anupy Singla kicked-off the first of the 3-part Fall Leadership Series


Being honest, helpful and willing to help others were just among the ways that Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event Chief Eventeur, suggested to grow your personal brand when she spoke to the crowd of entrepreneur women who had gathered for the “Personal Branding” event as the first of the three-part series of the Leadership Collaborative with The #ChicagonistaLIVE Show andRead More …

Join us in person – #wdelcs Leadership Collaborative Series


When women collaborate they can change the world. Over the past five years Women Driving Excellence has honored some of the most incredible, influential, and inspiring women in Chicago. Women who are proving that they are more than trailblazers they are true mentors. Our goal with Women Driving Excellence was to build an event where all women could come andRead More …



The 4th Annual Women Driving Excellence at the Chicago Auto Show was a full day event held on February 16,2016 title sponsored by Nissan. This year’s #WDE16 honored five trailblazing women who start, accelerate, fuel and steer others to excellence:  Kathleen Henson, Founder of Henson Consulting, Dominique Jordan Turner, President and CEO of Chicago Scholars, Lisa Madigan, Attorney General of Illinois, Dee Alexander, vocalist and songwriter, and Marilynn KellyRead More …

CBS & NBC Coverage of #WDE16 – Women Driving Excellence

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CBS News on Women Driving Excellence from Women Driving Excellence on Vimeo. NBC News Chicago on Women Driving Excellence from Women Driving Excellence on Vimeo.

Announcing #WDE16 – 2016 Women Driving Excellence on Feb. 16, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Full Speed Ahead: Women Driving Excellence Returns February 16th at the Chicago Auto Show January 18, 2016 (Chicago) – On February 16th, (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place: 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive) Women Driving Excellence (#WDE16) will return to the Chicago Auto Show for the fourth year in celebration of women who help start, accelerate,Read More …

Lisa Madigan [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree

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Lisa Madigan’s public service record is one of many “firsts.” The first woman elected to serve as Attorney General of Illinois, Madigan is now the senior most female Attorney General in the country. She is also the first Illinois Attorney General to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly three decades. Since taking office in 2003, AttorneyRead More …

Dee Alexander [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree


Dee Alexander is one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected female vocalist/songwriters. Her talents span every music genre, from Gospel to R&B, from Blues to Neo­Soul. Yet her true heart and soul are experienced in their purest form through her performance of Jazz music. From a soft, sultry traditional ballad, to a contemporary Jazz­Funk groove; from a high flying swing, to a scat­filledRead More …

Marilynn Kelly Gardner [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree


A visionary, strategist and passionate advocate of our city – that’s how Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Bruce Rauner and many others describe Marilynn Gardner. As President and CEO of Navy Pier, Inc., one of Chicago’s most visible non-profits and the Midwest’s leading leisure destination, Gardner has built a strong reputation as one of Chicago’s most respected female leaders. Since being appointed toRead More …

Kathleen Henson [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree


For more than two decades, Kathleen Henson has enjoyed a diverse career in public relations and communications, working with some of the country’s most recognizable companies and brands. With unequaled energy, charisma and drive, Kathleen expertly and instinctually connects people, events and ideas to create big media moments that generate impactful, lasting buzz. Owner of her own PR firm with headquarters overlooking the iconic Chicago River, Kathleen is constantlyRead More …

Dominque Jordan Turner [Bio] – Women Driving Excellence 2016 Honoree


Dominique Jordan Turner is currently the President and CEO of Chicago Scholars, an organization whose mission is to uniquely select, train, and mentor academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and Chicago. Dominique is passionate about creating equal education opportunities for underserved youth.  She believes that education is not a meritRead More …

"There are two ways of spreading light ... To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it" ~ Edith Wharton, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist