Professional Development Panel
View from the Top:
C-Level Women on Getting the Most Out of Your Career
5:00 p.m. - networking reception
6:00 p.m. - panel discussion and Q&A
7:30 p.m. - reception for panelists & Luminary Circle members
Join Step Up & Host Committee
Shelley Fulla, Bela Gandhi, Kate Gleason, Christine Gallagher Kearney,
Rebecca Michuda, Kate Pancero, Jenny Weigle, and Shelley Fulla
for a dynamic panel discussion with
industry-leading women who are changing the face of business:
Betsy Sobiech (moderator) - partner, Tiara International
Paulette Dodson - general counsel & corporate secretary,
Sara Lee Corporation
Erica O'Malley - partner, Grant Thornton LLP
Violet Sistovaris - senior vice president & CIO, NiSource, Inc.
Linda Torakis - president, McKechnie Vehicle Components
Event Highlights Include:
pre-panel networking with dynamic women
complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres
valuable insight from industry leaders during panel discussion
the opportunity to learn more about what Step Up is doing in the community for women and girls
special incentives if you join, renew, or upgrade your Step Up membership at the event
Luminary Circle members are invited to a post-event networking reception with the panelists at 7:30 p.m.
Not yet a Luminary Circle member?
JOIN or UPGRADE to attend.
about the panelists
years ago, Betsy started her own consulting firm that quickly merged with
ClearSpace, LLC. Together they formed a consulting practice focused on
leadership development, executive coaching, and team effectiveness. While
working with leaders and teams, Betsy began to notice that the clients who were
women wanted something unique: an opportunity to grow and develop themselves alongside
other women. Pulling together her background in philosophy, women’s studies,
training, human behavior, and systems change, Betsy was part of the team that
created Tiara International LLC and currently works in many capacities for the
organization including coaching, speaking, designing, and delivering programs.
a coach and consultant, Betsy has worked with organizations such as Exxon Mobil
Aviation, Hewitt Associates, Nicor Gas, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, St.
Gregory the Great High School, Standard Parking, Allstate, McDonald’s, Mesirow
Financial, PepsiCo, the American Hospital Association, McKechnie Vehicle
Components, and more.
Betsy Sobiech is a founding partner of
ClearSpace, LLC and Tiara International LLC. She is certified in Strategic
Attraction Planning®, Best Year Yet®, and The Effective
Facilitator™. She trained as a co-active coach through The Coaches
Training Institute. She participates continuously in personal growth and
development courses and coaching programs. Betsy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in
Philosophy and Religion from Truman State University and a Master’s Degree in
Organization Development from Loyola University Chicago.
Paulette Dodson is general counsel and corporate secretary of Sara Lee Corporation.
Dodson was previously chief counsel of Sara Lee Corporation's North American Operations. In her role, Dodson was the lead legal advisor and strategist to the North American business heads and led a team of lawyers who were tasked with providing broad-based legal support.
In addition, Dodson is chair of the company's Minority Forum, an employee affinity group focused on the success of Sara Lee's diverse employees.
Dodson joined Sara Lee Corporation in January 2007 after fourteen years with Tribune Company, where she was assistant general counsel, publishing, responsible for managing legal affairs for the operating units of the publishing business across the United States. In addition, she served as general counsel to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, and the Daily Press in Virginia.
She currently serves on the board of directors for the Chicago Bar Foundation as 2nd Vice President and the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms.
A native of St. Andrew, Jamaica (West Indies), Dodson earned her bachelor's degree from City College of New York and a law degree from Cornell Law School.
Violet Sistovaris is senior vice president and chief information
officer (CIO) at NiSource Inc. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource is a
Fortune 500 energy company. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8
million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching
from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Violet provides
leadership and direction to the NiSource supply chain services, information
technology, and real estate and facilities management departments.
to her current position, Violet was the vice president of the Customer Contact
Centers for several years. Violet also held leadership positions at NiSource in
the areas of human resources, executive recruiting and management development.
Before joining NiSource in 1994, Violet was vice president, training & development,
at Centier Bank in Merrillville, Indiana. Her banking experience centered in
the areas of marketing, training and development, and sales administration.
earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso
University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Indiana
Linda Torakis is the majority owner and manager of MVC
Holdings, LLC. In addition, she is president of McKechnie Vehicle Components
and is responsible for the Sales, Engineering, Program Management, IT and
Organizational Development activities. McKechnie Vehicle Components (MVC) is a
wholly owned subsidiary of MVC Holdings, LLC. The company is a leading
manufacturer of interior and exterior decorative trim products for the
Prior to becoming one of the founders
of MVC Holdings, Linda’s most recent experience was as director of organizational
development at Barton Malow, a large construction company where she worked for ten
years. Prior to that, Linda held similar positions with Alexander Hamilton Life
Insurance and Household International. In addition, Linda had her own
consulting business and had numerous clients including Ford Motor Company,
Johnson & Johnson, and Whirlpool. She has a BGS Degree from the University
of Michigan, Dearborn.
Thank you to our generous event sponsors for supporting our efforts to help women and girls reach their potential!
Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law
Grant Thornton LLP
McKechnie Vehicle Components
contact Kristen at 312.253.4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org