Angela M. Keaveny is the Founder and Owner of ROWDYDOW bbQ WorldWide, LLC, a company born from a single family recipe, that has grown into the premier, authentically smoked, socially responsible pulled pork and brisket food company, on a mission to be the #1 selling, globally distributed and favorite American BBQ brand experience, in both foodservice and retail. Born and raised in Virginia, Angela is a creative spirit, with an eye for opportunity and ‘hustle to make it happen’ attitude. Her ‘rowdydow’ inspiration for starting her own business was like a lightning bolt from above – an ‘a-ha!’ - when she realized her Dad’s infamous pulled pork in a sweet vinegar barbeque sauce should be shared with the rest of the BBQ lovin’ world! In 2007, after a move to Chicago from her home in Virginia – armed with nothing but a handwritten recipe – she decided to take a chance and bring the “back home” barbeque recipe to life. The rest is her 7-year “overnight” success story, now almost a decade in the making.
Alicia Driskill | GN Panelist
Founder & CEO, evolveHer
Alicia Driskill, Founder of evolveHer, curates events and workshops that help women evolve and live a life they love. Prior to launching evolveHer, Alicia worked as Vice President of Global Partnerships at WME | IMG, one of the world’s most innovative companies. She also served as a Senior Executive at Live Nation and People.com.
After a 17 year career in entertainment media working alongside the industry’s most elite, Alicia decided to evolve her own career path and disrupt the Chicago market by opening evolveHer, Chicago’s first creative workspace designed for women. EvolveHer provides a beautiful workspace that fuels creativity and educational resources that evolve the way women connect and collaborate.
Alicia has always been a strong advocate for women. She worked on the founding team of the Together Live Tour and led business development for Pearl xChange, a women’s empowerment event co-founded by Nicole Richie & Ramey Warren. Alicia also serves as an active Luminary Member of Step Up, a non-profit organization that helps girls fulfill their potential.
Suzanne El-Moursi | GN Panelist
President, Uplift Data Partners
Suzanne is an accomplished leader with over 16 years experience specializing in digital transformations, brand strategy, growth marketing, entrepreneurship and startup operations. Following 13 very successful years working for leading corporate brands (IBM, HSBC, GE Healthcare, SapientNitro) leading innovation and growth strategies, her passion for entrepreneurship led her career shift to build startup businesses since 2012.
She joined Power2Switch, a deregulated energy shopping platform, as Chief Marketing Officer in 2012 and experienced an acquisition by Choose Energy, a portfolio company of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, in 2013. She continued with Choose Energy as Vice President of Marketing leading brand development and marketing to take the marketplace national across all deregulated energy states. In 2015, she joined Mira Fitness as Creative Director leading growth strategy, marketing & product design. She joined Uplift Data Partners in 2016, a drone technology service company provides enterprise clients full implementation of drone technology.
Suzanne is characterized as a high-energy leader, a relentless optimist, and a creative thinker who thrives on the success of building healthy teams, cultures and businesses. She’s been recognized by Built in Chicago, as one of the leading women in Chicago driving the Digital Entrepreneurial Renaissance. Suzanne sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Children's Choir in addition to serving as an advisor within the advisory group for Women in Commercial Drones, part of the Commercial Drone Alliance. She holds a Masters of Science (MS) in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Chicago - Chicago Booth.
Barbara Best | GN Panelist
Principal & Founding Partner, Capital Strategies Women’s Forum
Barbara’s primary focus is to raise awareness of her firm’s institutional investment advisory, private wealth advisory, and asset management services and to co-lead the Capital Strategies Women's Forum. Barbara’s passion is to financially empower others, especially women, so they are free to live the life of their dreams.
Larvetta Loftin | GN Panelist
CEO & Founder of L3 Agency
Larvetta believes, ‘Your personal energy feeds into your business.’ She lives by that as the CEO and Founder of the L3 Agency (formerly L3 Eventeurs), a full-service marketing and communications agency focused on influencer marketing and delivering authentic content for brand engagement. For over 16 years, she and her company have been responsible for executing award winning marketing and branding campaigns for Verizon, Bacardi, Toyota, McDonald’s, CVS Pharmacy and The Chicago Community Trust, to name a few. While growing her agency, Larvetta has also built an incredible career as a content creator, brand marketing strategist, authentic speaker, media personality, master networker, community advocate and social entrepreneur. As a successful industry leader for over 20 years, she saw an opportunity to pivot her agency as a thought leader for women and millennials. She recently launched her own web series on Youtube for women of color in Chicago to pitch for capital. She serves on the board of directors of Brand Chicago and on the Chicago Leadership Team for Upward Women. Although she has received numerous awards for her personal achievements, she believes in a collaborative, relationship-based approach in her work. She also attended The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth on performing a high performing enterprise and participated in the Google Digital Business Cohort. In her free time, she mentors and empowers young women and girls on creating scalable businesses- Her motto ‘doing what you love with kindness, grace, and excellence.’
Kelley Kitley, LCSW is a Chicago native and owner of SERENDIPITOUS PSYCHOTHERAPY, LLC on The Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago. She is a sought after international women's mental health expert and author of an autobiography of survival ‘MY self.’ Kitley has appeared in over 100 publications, podcasts, live news, and radio including WGN, NBC, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Parent Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Self, Shape, and is a columnist for Fitness Magazine, Recovery Connection, and Thrive Global. Kelley has shared her experience, strength, and hope on national media outlets such as Dr. Oz and as a TEDx speaker.