August 2015
Edition 4

Upcoming Events

August 26, 2015
Book Discussion

6:45 pm
House 406, Northbrook
Register Online

September 10, 2015
CFE Dinner Program
Guest Speaker:
Anne Pramaggiore

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
The Standard Club
Register Online

September 10, 2015
Business Attire Clothing Drive

(Prior to Dinner Program)
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
The Standard Club

September 22, 2015
NACD Distinguished Speaker Series Luncheon

11:15 am - 1:30 pm
The Standard Club
Register Online

September 24, 2015
CFA Chicago Society Industry Happy Hour

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Blackies
Register Online

October 22, 2015
WCD Presents Cybersecurity Risks From a Board Perspective

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Northern Trust
Register Online

October 29, 2015
SuperConnect 2015

5:30 pm
Jenner & Block
More Information

 Member Value

CFE offers members the opportunity to enhance the value of their membership by getting involved and joining a committee. If you are interested in getting more involved, contact a Board Member today!

Committees Include:
  • Board Access

  • Branding & Communications

  • Member Engagement

  • Membership

  • Philanthropy

  • Programs

Update Your Profile Today

CFE relies on members to keep their profiles up to date. Be sure to keep your profile current. If you need personal assistance with this, be sure to contact the CFE Administrative Office.

312-833-8782 | Email Us

CFE 35th Anniversary Celebration

Visit the website page for updates and information about this special event.
Click Here.

Chicago Connections

CFE is pleased to list various Chicago events that might be of interest to members. Be sure to check out the Chicago Connections page.

Board Access Committee News

Still seeking a board position? the BAC page provides articles of interest and open board positions for CFE members. Click here to view the latest Board Access Committee news.



A Message from the President...

CFE at 35: Celebrating Women, Success & Significance...and One Very Special Member

Sara HaysThirty-five years ago, a group of women shared a vision to create a premier networking group for women in finance. Thirty-five years later, the Chicago Finance Exchange remains a community of over 225 women leaders in finance dedicated to helping members achieve success and significance in their careers, organizations and the global marketplace.

Over a third of our members, as well as 13 of our Past Presidents, recently joined us for our Summer Social, the centerpiece of this year’s 35th anniversary celebration. The sun came out to warm us as we caught up with each other while enjoying the vistas afforded by the spectacular rooftop terrace at the National Hellenic Museum, as well as great food and wine. Indeed, it was an evening that reinforced everything that is special about our fabulous community of successful and significant women. Photo montages of CFE members over the years, as well as other mementos pulled from our archives enhanced the evening’s festivities.

(National Hellenic Museum rooftop - view more photos here.)

We also had the extraordinary opportunity this summer to celebrate the success and significance of former CFE member Cyndi Lafuente who unexpectedly passed away in March, 2012. Cyndi had designated a portion of her estate to CFE with the desire that it be used to continue CFE’s philanthropic work of helping low income women in Chicago. As stewards of Cyndi’s generous bequest, CFE evaluated a number of worthy organizations and, after full vetting, donated $125,000 of her bequest to the Metropolitan YWCA Chicago for expansion and relocation of the YWCA’s Logan Square facility, as well as programming such as computer training and the YWCA’s Economic Empowerment Program which provides members with one-on-one coaching to assist them in achieving work, financial and life goals. 

At the Summer Social, we announced that the balance of Cyndi’s generous bequest, approximately $25,000, had been awarded to New Moms and its Bright Endeavors program. Sharing the same founder as The Enterprising Kitchen which Cyndi supported while a CFE member, New Moms assists adolescent mothers attain financial literacy and self-sufficiency through its Bright Endeavors program by providing intensive training and a pathway out of poverty for young mothers in Chicago as they transition into quality, permanent employment. (A separate announcement was recently emailed to all CFE members)

We look forward to partnering further with both the Metropolitan Chicago YWCA and New Moms going forward. Special thanks to fellow CFE Members Dorothy Bossung, Donna Moore, Judy Andringa, Debbi Gillespie, Janice Lucchesi, Anna Rappaport, Karen Wuertz and Janna Sampson, all of whom worked diligently and earnestly to make sure the contributions made honored Cyndi’s legacy in a meaningful and lasting way.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and thanks to each of you for your contributions and for your commitment to CFE – a very special community indeed.

Sara Hays
2015 President

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago - Cynthia B. Lafuente Center Grand Opening Celebration

2754 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL


A number of CFE members were in attendance, with other local dignitaries, for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Cynthia B. Lafuente Center on June 27.

A commemmorative candle, inspired by Cyndi and created by Bright Endeavors, was sold at this event and the Summer Social. Thanks to the generosity of our members, over $1,500 was raised to benefit both organizations. In addition, the Lafuente Center has received over $3,000 in direct donations to date. We have a few candles left and will have them available for sale at the September 10 dinner program ($35, cash or check only).

Thank you to all CFE members who showed their support by attending. If you couldn't attend but would like to donate directly to the Lafuente Center, please visit the Lafuente website page to see how you can donate money or items needed for the Center. A wish list is posted on CFE's website. Thank you! Watch for more information soon about how CFE members can get involved in volunteer opportunities at the Lafuente Center. 

Clean Your Closets -- Business Attire Clothing Drive Planned for September 10

Once again CFE will hold a business attire clothing drive at its September 10 dinner. Clothing donations will benefit The Cara Program, an organization that focuses on helping men and women transform their lives by breaking the cycle of poverty. Clients receive life and career skills and job placement assistance. The most needed items include gently used, clean, interview-ready business attire, including:

Suits (accepted colors: black, grey, brown, dark/ navy blue)
Blazers or Jackets
Dress Shirts/ Blouses
Dress Pants
Socks or Hosiery
(new only please)

The most needed items are larger-sized clothing.  Thank you.

CFO Leadership Council Seeking Members

What is the CFO Leadership Council? 
The CFO Leadership Council is a community of senior financial leaders who meet monthly for professional development programs and peer-to-peer networking events. They launched their first chapter in Boston and quickly expanded to eight cities and counting! Their next stop....Chicago! 

Who Can Join?
Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents of Finance, Controllers, Directors of Finance and other senior financial executives are encouraged to join. For more information, or to join, click here to be re-directed to their website. In addition, you can contact CFE Member Joan Rockey.

Board Access Committee

The Comittee is working on a LinkedIn subgroup for members interested in getting on boards. Watch your e-mail for more details on how to participate.

The BAC is always looking for new board opportunities for CFE members who have an interest in this area. If you are invited to be on a board and want assistance preparing yourself for the opportunity please reach out to the committee. We will do everything we can to help you prepare. Additionally, if you are invited to serve on a board but have to pass on the opportunity please be a “CFE Ambassador” and tell them to reach out to CFE or, better yet, pass the “lead” on to Joan Rockey or Chris Maki, BAC co-chairs, to  follow up on the opportunity.

CFE Career Page to be Enhanced With More Resources for Members

CFE is planning to enhance its career page by providing members with more contacts and resources related to career transition and recruitment. If you work for an organization involved in assisting high level executives with resume writing, networking, interviewing, job search or more, and wish to be listed on CFE's website, please forward the appropriate contact information and a brief description of your organization's services to the Admin Office.

Sponsor a Candidate for CFE!

It's always a good time to think about bringing new, qualified members into CFE. In addition to the Board's recently launched program to proactively identify and recruit executive level women in finance, the organization relies on its membership to nominate candidates. We heard your feedback, and have streamlined the process and guidelines for nominating candidates over the past several years, making it simpler than ever to do so.

You can find membership guidelines, the nomination procedures and any necessary forms on the CFE website at "Nominate a New Member" under the Membership pull-down menu, or by clicking here.


Upcoming 2015 Dinner Program Speakers


September 10, 2015

#5 on Crain's 20 Most Powerful
Women in Chicago Business 2014

Anne Pramaggiore
President & CEO, ComEd


Thank You Event Sponsor:
V.G.G. & Associates at Merrill Lynch & Bank of America

Table Sponsorships Available


November 12, 2015

#11 on Crain's 20 Most Powerful
Women in Chicago Business 2014

Sandra Bruce
President & CEO, Presence Health


Thank You Event Sponsor:
Integrated Project
Management Company

 Table Sponsorships Available

CFE Celebrates 35 Years in 2015 -- Be a Part of this Special Year-Long Celebration and Consider Sponsoring a Program

Event: $3,000 (Limit 1 Per Dinner Program) - All Event Sponsorships Are SOLD OUT

Table: $1,500 (Unlimited)

View Sponsor Benefits Here

Women in Public Leadership:
Chicago Harris Executive Education
November 16-20, 2015

Take part in the Chicago Harris Women in Public Leadership executive education program. Discover smart new ways to build your brand, make your mark, and take your place in the public sphere. 

Women in Public Leadership (WIPL) is an intensive, pragmatic program that brings together prominent female leaders and distinguished scholars to equip and empower participants to break through the glass ceiling, to achieve top leadership roles in government, politics, philanthropy and advocacy, and to build the personal brand, power and influence to make the world a better place. 

The Program's Academic Director is Rebecca Sive.

Visit The University of Chicago website for more details. 
Early bird discount for alum.

Keep Up With CFE Colleagues - Member News

Congratulations to Gail Hasbrouck, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Advocate Health Care, has been named chairman of the American Heart Association's Metro Chicago Board of Directors. As chairman, Ms. Hasbrouck will lead a team of healthcare professionals and business and community leaders who guide the Association's activities throughout the Chicago area. Her two-year term as chairman began on July 1, 2015.  Read full article.

Laurel Bellows is thrilled to announce her election to the Executive Committee of the Council of the Inter-American Bar Association, the organized bar coalition of the Presidents of all the countries of the Americas, France and Spain. Not only will Laurel be working alongside Latin American leaders to address issues of consequence among Latin American countries and global corporations, but she is perfecting her Spanish idioms and mastering “What's App” in Spanish at breakfinger speed since her Latin peers love to chat. 

Sara Hays recently joined Allegis Partners and Major, Lindsey & Africa to launch a board search practice among the other executive search services offered by the companies which are part of Allegis Group, the largest private human capital management company in the United States with over 350 offices world-wide.

Pavilion Advisory Group’s CIO, Susan McDermott and several of the firm’s investment consultants have published a book - the “Fiduciary Primer”. This is a best practice manual based on the firm’s experience over several decades and participating in over 1,000 Investment Committee meetings. The book is designed to assist those responsible for governing asset pools, such as defined benefit and defined contribution plan, endowments, foundations and healthcare systems. The Fiduciary Primer is available for download to an e-reader from Amazon. It can also be accessed via free of charge. 

Christine Edwards was selected by the National Law Journal as one of a distinct, national group of distinguished leaders in government, business and law firms, recognized as trailblazers in regulatory and compliance. In the article, Chris comments on her Washington D.C. government relations experience, her effort in supporting women in the corporate setting, and the evolving role of the chief compliance officer.

View Ms. Edwards’ profile in The National Law Journal 2015 “Trailblazers: Regulatory & Compliance”. 

Congratulations to Linda Havard who was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She also received an honorary Doctor of Business from TCSPP for her work in the business and professional community, as well as her work with The Chicago School.

Congratulations Kelly Grier for being named new Midwestern Managing Partner at Ernst & Young. Formerly a Managing Partner, Kelly will now head the accounting firm's central region, the first time a woman has been appointed to that position. She takes over from Rick Fezell as vice chair and central region managing partner. Based in Chicago, she will oversee more than 8,000 auditors, consultants and tax professionals spread across 15 states, with nearly 2,700 of them here. That's two more states and double the number of professionals than when Fezell tackled the job three years ago. Read the full Crain's article here

Julie Scott elected as Board President - University of Illinois College of Business Alumni Association

Julie Scott, President of CTS Holdings, Inc., a hands-on Finance & IT business advisory and project management firm, has been elected as the Board President of the University of Illinois College of Business Alumni Association Board (CBAA) which represents approximately 60,000 University of Illinois College of Business alums worldwide. Julie remains very active with her Urbana-Champaign campus alma mater, and is also currently serving on the Selection Committee to identify the new Dean for the College of Business at Urbana-Champaign. Along with her husband, Julie established and maintains a scholarship program for U of I Business at Urbana-Champaign students interested in Entrepreneurship.
In addition to her this role, Julie also serves on the Board for the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA), representing all three U of I campuses, with over 700,000 alumni worldwide.

Catherine McGivney was recently interviewed for an article in the Chicago Tribune about the legal issues faced by software developers. Click here to read the interview

Leslie M. Savickas joins the Logan Foundation's board and brings to it the benefit of her long experience in a variety of financial roles in both the public and private sectors. A Chicago native, she has served as a corporate treasurer, commercial lender, and financial controller and has managed accounting, corporate finance, financial marketing, and investment functions. She has also served on charitable and civic boards and commissions. Her undergraduate degree in French was earned at DePaul University; her M.B.A., at Loyola University in Chicago; and a C.P.A. credential, from the State of Illinois. Leslie looks forward to contributing to the important work of achieving the foundation's mission. 
Anna Rappaport was quoted in a CNBC article.

Anna Rappaport had an article published online by Forbes, “Seven Retirement Gaps And What To Do About Them” is currently available on at the following address:


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