Senior leaders of program develop leadership and professional development skills to leverage at work and in life

CHICAGO—September 7, 2015—Crain's Academy, a division of Crain's Chicago Business, congratulates 44 senior leaders who are graduates of the 2015 Crain's Leadership Academy program. Nominated by senior management within their firm, these high performers engaged in Crain's experiential leadership development program. The Crain's Leadership Program brings the best of personal development, professional networking, leadership exposure and civic outreach through discovery sessions and guest CEO speakers.

"We're proud to add professional development programming to our events line-up -- all with the goal of helping you succeed.", said Amy Shivvers, Director of Events at Crain's Chicago Business.

The next Crain's Leadership Academy begins Saturday, February 20, 2016. The nomination window is now open and space is limited ( Crain's will be awarding a scholarship to one of the nominees, gifted by the first class of Crain's Leadership Academy.

In addition, Crain's Career Launch Academy, debuts January 6, 2016. This full-day program targets undergraduates and recent college graduates. Participants will receive a strong foundation in business fundamentals to help transform their degree into their career. (

This Year's Graduation Class
Rose Ann Abraham, Partner, Baker Tilly
Tony Astorga, Director, Supply Chain Management, Coeur Mining Inc
Keith Bollman, Director of Fresh Meat, Topco Associates LLC
Tracy Draksler Brown, VP, Management Director, FCB/RED
Kara Carmichael, Director of PR, Choose Chicago
Michele Catalano, Manager - Talent and Leadership Development, West Monroe Partners
Jennifer Choi, Program Officer, The Democracy Program, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Brett Cosich, COO, Proven Business Systems
Tony DeNunzio, Senior VP, General Manager, Leapfrog Online
Mark Denzler, VP and COO, Illinois Manufacturers' Association
Laura Eslick, Associate VP of Hospital Operations, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare
Scott Farley, Development Director, Metropolitan Planning Council
Matt Flaws, Group Account Director, Commonground/MGS
Melissa Ginter, Market CFO, Great Lakes & Ohio, Aetna
Greg Hafemann, VP of Strategic Operations, Rasmussen College
Erica Heaverlo, Director of Treasury Operations, Textura Corporation
John Paul Jewell, Research Coordinator, Environmental Law and Policy Center
Alex Jokanovic, Management Director, FCB Chicago
Joe Kaczmarek, Chicago Specialty Finance Leader, McGladrey LLP
John Kaiser, Senior Manager, McGladrey LLP
Eric Kennedy, Director of Sales, Proven Business Systems
Aine Mallaghan, VP - Business Development, Invest Northern Ireland
Sean McCracken, Head of Middle Market Treasury Management Sales & Group VP, Wintrust Financial Corporation
William McGowan, Vice President, Clune Construction
Peter Newell, Vice President, Sandbox Industries
Kristen Nowak, VP of Service, Restaurant Equipment Service Group
Susan Pattock , Senior VP & Chief Administrative Officer, Miami Corporation
Lisa Rader, Director of Benefits, Kirkland & Ellis
Michael Redding, Vice Chancellor for Public and Government Affairs, UIC
Krystal Roberts, Director of Variable Operations, Advantage Chevy
Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, Director of Operations, ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba
Carrie Roesner, VP of Finance and Controller, Centro
Alesha Romatier, VP, General Manager, Leapfrog Online
Benjamin Rubin, Principal, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Intergro Insurance Brokers
Kristi Schuda, Tourism Sales Manager, Choose Chicago
Tim Smith, VP of Business Development, Centro
Kristian Stewart, Senior VP, Strategy, Analytics & Research, Commonground/MGS
Shelbi Sturges, Director of Creative Services, Topco Associates
Dale Tampke, Assistant Provost, Student Academic Services, Loyola University
Kristine Wexler, Principal, Senior Client Advisor, Bessemer Trust
Ryan Wills, Senior Manager, Textura Corporation
Sarah Wochos, Midwest Co-Legislative Director, Environmental Law and Policy Center
Adam Wojack, VP/Senior Superintendent, Clune Construction
Chiara Wrocinski, Director of Alumni Engagement, Kirkland & Ellis

Sample Participant Feedback
* "The best program I have seen to develop a well-rounded leader...",
* "An eye-opening opportunity to discover and grow as a leader, while also being exposed to Chicago business and its cultural community...",
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About Crain's Academy
Crain's Academy provides powerful experiential and professional development programs, bringing the best of personal and professional growth, business and leadership skills and civic outreach. The workshops and leadership development programs feature CEO speakers and thought leaders across industries. Past programs include Crain's Career Strategy Weekend and Crain's Leadership Academy. For more information about Crain's Academy please visit the website at