Stages Summit inaugurates AWNY’s new Chicago branch


Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) is expanding to Chicago with its inaugural “Stages Summit” all-day, sold-out event being presented Tuesday, July 19 at the Tree Studios’ Ivy Room, noon to 6 p.m.

More than 20 highly accomplished female ad executives from New York and Chicago will share first-person narratives about seizing opportunities and confronting challenges in life and business.

“These powerful stories need to be told as we seek to accelerate women into leadership roles across our industry,” says Lynn Branigan, AWNY’s president / CEO. “Women are still under-represented in executive positions and the Stages Summit is designed to shed light on the obstacles women face and the avenues many have taken to propel themselves forward.”

Speakers include Mondalez International’s SVP/CMO Dana Anderson; Starcom’s Global Brand President Lisa Donahue; Hyatt’s Global CMO Maryam Banikarim; GE Digital’s Global Director of Marketing Innovation Katrina Craigwell; NBA’s CMO Pam El; award-winning Forbes journalist Jennifer Rooney; IPG’s chairman/CEO Michael Roth; Facebook’s Global Marketing Director Sarah Personette; CEO/founder of The Girl’s Lounge Shelley Zalis and many, many more.

Although the Stages Summit is sold out, you may be wait-listed for tickets by emailing

New Chicago organization set to launch in early fall

AWNY will be completely rebranded as it expands its geography and mission to accelerate women in marketing, media, communications, tech and innovation.

A new name for the multi-city organization will be revealed in early fall.

“Chicago will not have a separate board as the current AWNY boards include Chicago’s Anderson, Donohue, Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Rich Stoddart and Lisa Cochrane, former marketing lead for Allstate,” Branigan says.

“Through the work of the local committees we will give shape to the ongoing program. We have already assembled an AWNY Chicago Communications Task Force of about 15.”

The new women’s organization will fill a vacuum in Chicago — North America’s second largest advertising market – that began in the early 2000s after the Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago (WAC) was folded into the Chicago Ad Federation and became one of the many trade associations managed by Oak Brook-based Kellen

At present, its main event is the annual Advertising Woman of the Year luncheon.

The number of women who work in Chicago advertising is estimated at 13,000, or half of the total number of people in the industry.