Born in Toluca, Mexico, Yanitzin Sanchez loves the aromas and variety of flavors from her homeland. She has gained vast experience in haute cuisine in prestigious venues, such as the Ritz Carlton in Paris and The Mayan Palace in Cancun and Acapulco. She is now Executive Chef at Bar Takito.
Her talent and passion for the spirit of food have been honored by countless awards and recognitions, including a prestigious Michelin Award in 2011 and 2012 and Time Out Chicago’s Top 10 Best Restaurants in 2010.
Sanchez is also the creator of the Secret Society of Foodies in Chicago, where she offers up the intimate privacy of her Chicago home where guests feast on a five-course meal with wine pairings.
Lourdes Duarte | GN Moderator
Co-Anchor, WGN Evening News
Lourdes Duarte is a co-anchor of WGN Evening News at 4 pm. Prior to WGN Evening News, Lourdes spent three years as a co-anchor of WGN Morning News. Lourdes has won several awards including four Emmy Awards for general assignment and investigative reporting. Most recently, she won an Emmy Award for her story titled, “Unlicensed and Serving.” Lourdes also hosts “Adelante Chicago” on WGN-TV, which highlights the city’s growing Latino community.
Director of External Affairs and International Relations, 1871
Diana Lopez-Obaldo is the Director of External Affairs and International Relations at 1871. In this role, Diana establishes and fosters ongoing relationships with key international community leaders, public officials, non-profit organizations and major corporations as the front line liaison between 1871 and the community. Diana previously worked as a Multicultural Group Account Manager for Marketing Werks and an Account Executive for Relay Worldwide. In both roles, she focused on both the Multicultural and Hispanic markets. In these roles she created, oversaw and executed a variety of strategic marketing campaigns to help meet the needs of clients. Prior to Marketing Werks and Relay Worldwide, Diana worked at Telemundo Chicago in the Special Events/Community Relations Department; in this role she worked closely with community organizations, city officials and police departments to plan and execute annual outdoor festivals for Telemundo. Diana also arranged and coordinated public appearances, speaking engagements, festivals, parades and other outreach efforts for on air talent. Diana graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Fine/Studio Arts. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband James, eleven year-old daughter Johanna and eight-year old son James Jr.
Jacky Priego | GN Panelist
Manager, Brand Experience and Communications , YWCA
Jacqueline Priego joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the oldest and largest women’s organization in the region, as Manager of Brand Experience and Communications in August of 2015. She manages strategic communications and marketing outreach with an emphasis on media relations, social media and event planning. In her role, Jacqueline also serves as media liaison to news outlets throughout the metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs. Her passion for social justice and women’s rights has manifested itself in the form of a web series she wrote and will co-direct in the summer of 2018. The show, PinkSlipped, follows the lives of three best friends navigating their careers while coming to terms that they are greater than the sum of their stifling jobs, self-sabotage and cultural stereotypes. With more than ten years of experience in marketing and communications, Jacqueline has worked with Prometheus (an Omnicom company), the Chicago White Sox and Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
Araceli has a passion for the built environment. With over 19 years of design, development and project management experience, she has charted her career to work on a multitude of project types, facets of development and client base. Born in Chicago, she moved to San Luis Potosi Mexico at the age 9 where she completed her elementary, high school and prep school education, completely immersing herself into the captivating culture and embracing the colorful, bright architecture surrounding vibrant cities she often visited.
Araceli’s biculturalism has enabled her to navigate the job site and the board room seamlessly, where she often is the only female present and yet the one providing the team with overall direction. Her passion is for building by creating spaces that will enhance experiences and therefore impact lives. Her experience spans various sectors including the private, public and nonprofit sectors, where her focus has been on developing affordable housing and federally funded projects. Araceli earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Master in Advanced Architectural Design degree and Master in Real Estate Development degree both from Columbia University in the city of New York. In May 2016, Araceli was appointed to serve as a commissioner to the office of the Berwyn Historic Preservation Commission. She likes to spend her free time collecting rocks with her 4-year-old twins.