Show cover of HerStories


HerStories is a series of frank conversations with leading women at the forefront of Chicago’s business, professional, cultural, nonprofit and educational communities. Join us as we hear their inspirational stories to learn who they are, how they got there, and what challenges they faced on the way. HerStories is brought to you by The Chicago Network, Chicago's premier organization for leading women, dedicated to empowering women to lead.


Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall Talks Education
In this episode, Maria speaks with Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Founding President & President Emerita of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Stephanie talks education, students with special needs, and her personal philosophy.
85:32 11/6/23
A Diverse Future with Gloria Castillo
Gloria Castillo, Former Director: Together We Rise, Chicago Community Trust joins us this week, discussing overcoming generations of gender bias, growing up in Wrigleyville, and working towards a more diverse and equitable future.
74:06 10/23/23
Feeding America With Claire Babineaux-Fontenot
CEO of America's largest charity, Feeding America, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot shares what it's like to grow up in small-town Louisianna with over 100 siblings, how Feeding America provided 6.5 billion meals during the pandemic, and how a dollar can turn into ten meals.
87:19 10/9/23
The Savage Truth: Terry Savage
Personal finance expert and author Terry Savage joins us this week to let us in on some little-known top personal finance tips. Terry also discusses buying a seat on the options exchange, becoming a TV and Radio personality, becoming the first woman to sit on McDonald's board of directors, and her secret vice as a financial expert.
66:49 9/25/23
Tina Tchen: Campaigning for the Future
Tina Tchen joins us to discuss her career, her work as  Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Impact Officer for the The Barack Obama Foundation, what it was like to campaign for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential election campaign, and gives us an insight into growing up as a child of first-generation immigrant parents.
84:06 9/11/23
Suzet McKinney: Beating the Odds and Saving Lives
From a young age, the importance of education was impressed upon Suzet McKinney. Taking this lesson to heart, Suzet has built a wildly successful career across multiple fields. As if becoming one of the United States' foremost leaders in  bioterrorism  and disaster preparedness and response,  Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, and leading  Chicago’s response to the H1N1 and Ebola outbreaks wasn't enough, Suzet now serves as Principal and Director of Life Sciences at Sterling Bay.
92:04 8/21/23
Sheila Talton: From Activist to CEO
In this episode,  Gray Matter Founder and CEO Sheila Talton takes us on a journey from fighting against racial injustice in her youth as a Black Panther, building a career in the face of racial and gender prejudice, to becoming the sole founder and  CEO of Gray Matter Analytics.
62:56 8/7/23
Paving the Way to Success With Anne Bigane Wilson
If you've ever walked down a Chicago street, chances are you're familiar with Anne Bigane Wilson's work. Following the passing of her father, Anne took the reigns at Bigane Paving Co.,  overcoming a steep and sudden learning curve, gender-based preconceptions, and even a massive warehouse fire to steer Bigane Paving Co. into the vertically integrated Chicago mainstay that it is today.
60:06 7/24/23
Designing a Better Future for Women with Ann Drake
With a career spanning everything from education, to interior design, and even warehousing, Ann Drake tells her story, and shares how she plays a crucial role in creating a better, more equitable future for women as President and Founder of Lincoln Road Enterprises.
66:41 7/10/23
It Started with an Oversized Violin: Yuan-Qing Yu
At the end of China's cultural revolution, a young girl in Shanghai played her first notes on an oversized, secondhand violin. Today, Yuan-Qing Yu is an international award-winning violinist, Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, and Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Join us to hear her story.
77:28 5/8/23
Maricela Garcia
Maricela Garcia has spent her life fighting to improve the lives of others. In this episode Garcia shares her story, from facing mortal peril as a young activist, to her work today as CEO of Gads Hill Center, a non-profit youth education and family resource center on Chicago's South Side.
72:07 2/27/23
Angela Williams
Former chaplain, musician, lawyer, and global citizen Angela Williams, President & CEO of United Way, joins us to talk living up to her family legacy, how faith has informed her journey, and how she came to lead America's largest privately funded charity.
51:31 2/6/23
Kimberly Moore
Kimberly Moore, President of KDM Engineering on dealing with loss while launching a new business, serial entrepreneurship, and what it's like to be the only woman of color in the room.
70:59 12/6/22
Christie Hefner
Christie Hefner, one of The Chicago Network's founding members, reflects on learning about movie theaters, Playtique, a former boutique clothing and music retail subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises, getting women into the c-suite, and the decisions that led to her many accomplishments today.
68:23 11/8/22
Celena Roldan
 This time on the HerStories Podcast, American Red Cross of Illinois CEO Celena Roldan gives us a rare look into what it's like to lead an organization that saves lives every day. 
62:53 10/24/22
Virginia Kendall
From studying law in night school while raising a family,  United States District Court Judge Virginia Kendall knows what it means to beat the odds. In this episode, Judge Kendall talks loss, what it's like to be underestimated, and recounts racing the clock to find and rescue a missing child in the gripping story of how the United States' human trafficking statutes came to be.
57:20 10/10/22
Diane Offereins
Discover Executive Vice President, President - Payment Services Diane Offereins Joins Maria this week, discussing technology and automation, mentorship, and innovation.
54:21 9/26/22
Tracy Baim
From family newsletters to President and Co-Publisher of The Chicago Reader, Tracy Baim talks journalism, family trauma, and what it's like to be at the forefront of the fight for LGBT+ rights.
76:49 9/9/22
Yonhee Gordon
From flying alone to the U.S.A. at three years old with nothing but a name-tag, to becoming Principal, COO and CMO of JMG Financial Group, Yonhee Gordon talks with The Chicago Network CEO Maria Doughty about life, learning, and leadership.
65:09 8/26/22