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For Jim Doehring, President of Backpack Wines, great leaders inspect what they expect to ensure all business units function properly.  Backpack, which debuted in 2016 across Chicagoland, offers versatile rose and white wine blends packaged in recyclable cans that are ready for any occasion from tailgate to ski slope. Today, Backpack is available in 15 states at more than 800 stores nationwide. A proven wine industry veteran, Jim discusses why hiring people smarter than yourself is the long-term answer to your micromanagement problem.

Company description

For those seeking to enjoy wine wherever life may take them.  Backpack Wine is a fun addition to the times you spend with the people you care about. Brought to you by industry veterans seeking out the best grapes, our wines go straight from the source to you. Backpack Wines are all about enjoying delicious, versatile wines in their most straightforward and laid back form - in a can, perfect for a night around a campfire, the wedding of your best friend and all those moments in between.  Have fun, enjoy life, make things easy - skip the cork and grab a pack.

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Jim Doehring is President and Founder of Backpack Wine Company.  Doehring comes to Backpack Wine with a career’s worth of experience in the wine industry, having held leadership positions in sales and marketing management at Far Niente Wine Estates, Jordan Winery, Southern Wine and Spirits and Pacific Wine and Spirits. It’s this extensive background that has led Doehring to Backpack Wine.  Backpack is a premium canned wine sold in 250 ml cans, available now in two delicious flavors Snappy White and Cheeky Rose .  Backpack is now available in 15 states at more than 800 stores nationwide.

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“You can’t control everything” says Tess Roering, CMO at CorePower Yoga. Combining an intensely physical workout with the mindfulness of yoga, CorePower Yoga grew from a single studio in Denver that opened in 2002 to a network of more than 170 yoga studios across the United States. Tess discusses the importance of following a passion in choosing one’s career, and shares the most important lesson she has learned over the years.

Company description

Our mission is to show the world the incredible, life-changing things that happen when you root an intensely physical workout in the mindfulness of yoga.  Intensity for the body, presence for the mind. At CorePower Yoga, this is our promise. We are rooted in yoga and love the magic that happens when that practice is cranked up to eleven. We turn doubt into security. Strangers into friends. Rigid into fluid and stress into sweat.  We work every muscle and every emotion. We push past physical boundaries with open minds and beating hearts. We change our bodies and the way we view our lives.  In the end, we realize there’s a big difference between a workout that challenges your body and one that changes your life.

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Tess Roering leads Marketing, Sales, New Studio Openings and Retail for CorePower Yoga. She has more than 20 years of consumer marketing experience and most recently worked at Athleta, where she oversaw all marketing channels and opened their 1st-100th stores. Before joining Athleta she led advertising at Old Navy and then marketing strategy at Gap, where she drove the successful launch of Gap’s 1969 denim brand. She began her marketing career at Special Olympics International, before moving to the Gillette Company. Tess also worked as a brand strategist at Addis Branding Agency and then helped launch Hotwire.com, the travel website that is now part of Expedia Inc. Tess has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

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A true strategic thinker and design leader, Jennifer Nemec founded Ideation Studio Inc. in 2000 with the aim to ‘build brands, fuel innovation, and create growth’. Today Ideation Studio offers a broad scope of design services with a focus on design thinking and brand environment design. Pushing new boundaries, the multi-disciplinary design firm is currently working on incorporating virtual reality into the design process, and augmented reality for more immersive experience in brand environment design. What is the most important lesson Jennifer has learned throughout her career? What are her top three tips to make everyday life easier? Find out.

Company description

Ideation Studio is  a multi-disciplinary design firm.  Our Primary area of expertise is in creating Branded  Environments (Retail & Restaurant), as well as product design and graphic Design.  Ideation Studio is a full service design and environmental branding specialist that has expertise in concept generation, planning, interior design, merchandising display and graphic communications.  Our focus is translating a distinct Brand into an environment, integrating the customer experience and brand message into a cohesive package.

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In the year 2000, Jennifer Nemec founded Ideation Studio Inc., a design/think-tank-consulting firm.  Jennifer is a strategic thinker and design leader; she drives the firm's mission to 'build brands, fuel innovation, and create growth'.  Ideation Studio is a multi-disciplinary design firm that offers a broad scope of design services with a focus on design thinking and brand environment design.  Ideation Studio’s work includes retail store concept design, restaurant design, corporate branded environment design, brand identity design, product design, and systems design.  Ideation Studio provides cohesive design solutions from concept through documentation and completion. Jennifer’s emphasis on the processes of conceptualization, branding, user experience, research, and strategic positioning has enabled the Ideation Studio team to provide its clients with a valuable competitive edge.   Ideation Studio has become a National Award Winning Design Firm and is continually ranked amongst the Top Retail Design Firms in the world by VMSD magazine. The firm continues to be an industry leader by pushing new boundaries. Ideation Studio is currently working on incorporating virtual reality into the design process, and augmented reality for more immersive experience in brand environment design.

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“Always be fair” says Carlos Tortoledo, CEO and founder of National Museum of Mexican Art. National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) is the leading Latino arts institution in the U.S. and is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.  Known for outstanding national work in the visual and performing arts and in arts education, NMMA has become a national leader and mentor for culturally grounded institutions and community-based organizations, as well as for our advocacy of “first voice” and cultural equity issues. What is the greatest challenge nonprofit organizations face? What is the correlation between sports and arts? What did he learn from his worst boss? Tune in.

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National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) is the leading Latino arts institution in the U.S. and is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.  Our Museum is known for outstanding national work in the visual and performing arts and in arts education.  In the course of our work, we have become a national leader and mentor for culturally grounded institutions and community-based organizations, as well as for our advocacy of “first voice” and cultural equity issues.

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Carlos Tortolero is the Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in Chicago.   He founded the museum in 1982 and the museum opened its doors in 1987. From 1975-1987, Tortolero worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Chicago Public School System. He is a recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts from Columbia College (Chicago), 2016 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2017 from the University of Illinois (Chicago. He has served on numerous boards including the University of Illinois, the American Alliance of Museums, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Illinois Humanities Council, and Choose Chicago. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Ohtli Award which is the highest honor given by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico and is given to individuals “Who have distinguished themselves in the services of the Mexican community outside of Mexico."  He was awarded the City of Chicago’s highest honor in the arts – The Fifth Star Award and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance’s National Cuatro Festival Award, Chicago, in (2016). Tortolero has written for several books as well as numerous articles for national and international publications.  He has also made presentations across the U.S. and internationally. He has taught classes at University of Illinois at Chicago, The School of the Art Institute, and Northwestern University. Tortolero has a B.A. in Secondary Education and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.A. in Bilingual Education Supervision from Chicago State University. The National Museum of Mexican Art is the first Latino museum (1997) accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.  The second Latino museum was accredited in 2016. The National Museum of Mexican Art has become a national model for its exhibits, performances, arts education programs, advocacy of cultural equity issues, and as a model for how museums need to change. Twenty exhibitions organized by the NMMA have traveled across the country and eight have traveled to Mexico.  There are over 10,000 pieces in the Museum’s permanent collection. Over 150,000 individuals attend Museum’s exhibits and events. The Museum is the only organization in the nation to have won two White House Awards for excellence in youth arts programming.  The Museum also has a very extensive performing arts program.  The museum’s educational program is a national leader.

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“Stay dedicated and exploit your idea as much as possible” says Josh Levkovitz, owner and president of Zing Anything. Zing Anything specializes in health and wellness products which were developed after using various fruits, herbs and vegetables to enhance their flavor and health benefits. A serial entrepreneur, Josh is also the owner and founder of a medical device manufacturing business. Tune in to find out what is the most important lesson he has learned throughout his career.

Company description

Zing Anything brings you a refreshing new way to subtly infuse all-natural ingredients into your beverages and cuisine. Enhance the flavor and health benefits of water by using our Aqua or Citrus Zinger water bottles with fruit, veggies, and herbs to create refreshingly flavored drinks. Make deliciously flavored and fresh salad dressing with the Salad Zinger, or flavor your own oil and vinegar for sauces and marinades. You can stay away from artificial flavors, colorings, and refined sugars simply and smartly with the Zing Anything product line.

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Joshua Lefkovitz is a graduate of the Ohio State School of Finance, and the owner of 4 businesses based in Akron, OH.  In 2001, he formed Pain Management Technologies which is a medical device manufacturing business that sells roughly 300 products to distributors, dealers and government agencies across the US.  Shortly after in 2003, an ecommerce arm of the business, Helio Living, was established to expand the breadth of product offerings to over 10,000 items through importation and as well through domestic sourcing. In 2009, a consumer product development company was established to leverage the factory relations and distribution experience gained to date, as well as to expand the innovation pipeline into specialty products that have specific or broad application.  In 2011, the Zing Anything product line was developed and is currently being expanded. 

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As a startup based out of 1871 in Chicago, TextNinja is committed to solving one of the world’s worst transportation problems: distracted driving. Text Ninja’s connected car technology senses when you are driving, silences your phone, and can even send out a customizable text to your friends. Text Ninja Founder & CEO Jim Ramirez shares the most important lesson he has learned throughout his career, and discusses the importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone. What business advice would he give to his daughter? Find out.

Company description

As a startup based out of 1871 in Chicago, TextNinja is solving one of the world's worst transportation problems: distracted driving.  By combining the best technology and design to create a world-class product that addresses the problem at it's roots, and teaming up with national organizations for safety, TextNinja is putting a feasible solution for texting-while-driving into the cars of families across the nation.

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Jim is an engineer by training, an experienced traveler, and a dreamer. After spending 6 years with Accenture doing systems integrations, in 2012 he decided it was time to pursue his passion of bringing new ideas to market. With the firm belief that people should be in control of technology, Jim set out to solve one of the greatest modern problems in transportation history: distracted driving. His team researched the problem for almost a year before designing and developing TextNinja, a gamified solution that incentivizes people to drive text-free. It stands above the rest in terms of accuracy, ease of use, and flexibility, because it integrates with the latest in connected car technology, and is constantly evolving with the field. When not running around the halls at 1871, Jim can be found treating his mind and body to the great outdoors, or video chatting with his daughter in Australia.

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For Irvin Shapiro, CEO of Chicago-based DialogTech, micromanaging is the result of insufficient communication channels. Believing that great companies are built with great conversations, his company DialogTech provides marketers call tracking, call attribution and insights to improve customer journey optimization. As the CEO, Irvin is responsible for overall business strategy and corporate leadership. Tune in to listen to the experiences that helped Irvin form his personal leadership philosophy.

Company description

DialogTech is a pioneer in call attribution and conversion. In fact, as Ifbyphone, we invented the category. Our platform has a proven track record of handling over one billion minutes of phone calls since our inception in 2007. We are privileged to have over 5,000 enterprises, digital agencies and fast-growing companies as customers.

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Irv Shapiro is responsible for overall business strategy and corporate leadership as the CEO of DialogTech Inc.   Prior to that, Irv founded Metamor Technologies in 1985. During his tenure, the company was named an Inc. 500 company for two consecutive years and grew to more than 500 employees with $32 million in revenues. Following the sale of Metamor to CORESTAFF in 1997, Irv participated in 10 acquisitions, directed the growth of Metamor to $52 million in sales and helped create a $250 million consulting services group. In 1999, Irv founded the online education platform Edventions, which was later sold to Edison Schools in 2001. Irv then spent a year as the COO of Jemmco, a $500 million hedge fund. In 1996, Irv was inducted into the “Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame,” sponsored by The University of Illinois at Chicago, the law firm of Lord Bissell and Brook, and LaSalle National Bank. The following year, he was a finalist in the KPMG Illinois High Tech awards. In 2011 Irv was a Gold Winner in the Best of Biz Awards as Executive of the Year. As an experienced entrepreneur and successful business leader, Irv is engaged with the Chicago tech community, supporting the development and mentorship of young and emerging tech entrepreneurs. Irv earned a BS in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Chicago-based James Calvetti Meats, Inc. provides world class meat products, serving both domestic and international markets. Family owned and operated, Calvetti prides itself on its high speed, state-of-the-art processing facility to serve a variety of customers in the foodservice and retail industries. Jamie Calvetti, president at James Calvetti Meats, Inc. prefers to err on the side of caution, even at the best of times. What is the best business advice he ever received? What did he learn from his worst boss? Find out.

Company description

Chicago-based James Calvetti Meats, Inc. is one of the finest purveyors of prime quality, portion-cut meats in the industry, serving both domestic and international markets. Family owned and operated, Calvetti prides itself on its high speed, state-of-the-art processing facility to serve a variety of customers in the food service and retail industries. Committed to providing discerning customers with exclusive, restaurant-quality premium meats for an extraordinary dining experience. Calvetti provides only the finest meats, and its highly-skilled butchers cut to the most demanding specifications. Produces Halal products for the world’s consumers.

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Chicago-based James Calvetti Meats, Inc. is one of the finest purveyors of prime quality, portion-cut meats in the industry, serving both domestic and international markets. Family owned and operated, Calvetti prides itself on its high speed, state-of-the-art processing facility to serve a variety of customers in the foodservice and retail industries.

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Brad Becker, CEO of doc&i, leads this software company that is dedicated to doctors and hospital systems. Doc&i helps aggregate the right information to help doctors find the right medication for patients. Not only does this company provide information and services to doctors, but also the hospitals, patients, insurance companies – all of the players of the healthcare landscape.  Brad discusses the importance of listening skills in business communication, and shares the advice he would give to his friend.

Company description

Doc & I supports the mission of Health Care Providers and Covered Entities to provide better care for their patients. The Doc & I solution combines patent-pending technology with on premise expertise that works personally with staff and patients to maximize 340B program savings and patient care efforts.

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Brad's vast leadership experience and industry expertise position him to lead and build doc&i from inception to industry standard. Similarly to the early stage position of doc&i, Brad launched and helped build - in the Chicago market - a first in class product for dyslipidemia from 0% market share to a multibillion dollar Blockbuster position, while being honored with the President's Club Award for top 5% of sales Nationally. Brad received his Master's in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and is actively applying his learnings in Knowledge Management and Strategic Change to demonstrate the industry need for doc&i while fundamentally shifting the way physicians, hospitals, payers, and patients think about and make critical decisions around pharmaceuticals. Brad's previous leadership experience as a District and Regional trainer in the healthcare space along with his Hogan Certification as an Administrator and Interpreter in Personality Inventory (HPI), Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values and Preferences (MVPI) will help ensure doc&i is at the forefront of evaluating, hiring, and developing key talent and industry experts to drive the growth of doc&i.

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For John Guidos, Co-Founder of Chicago-based TurboAppeal, seeking perfection is the greatest error in business, causing either wasted effort or significant delays in moving forward. TurboAppeal, which launched in early 2015, leverages data mining and big data analytics to help property owners appeal taxes; and was recently acquired by Dallas-based Paradigm Tax Group, a property tax consulting firm. John shares his insights on how the pursuit of perfection can hinder progress, and why every customer interaction should be seen as an opportunity.

Company description

TurboAppeal is an evidence based, data-driven technology that works to present a more accurate property tax appeal on behalf of residential real estate property owners. To keep life simple, TurboAppeal makes the process easy by only requiring a few pieces of information from the homeowner (name, address, email, phone number). Moreover, TurboAppeal leverages data mining and big data analytics to provide a solution that can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

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In early 2015, John Guidos and his co-founders formed TurboAppeal, with the objective to provide a big-data and machine learning resource to all homeowners in an effort to efficiently ensure that all customers only pay their fair share of property taxes.  TurboAppeal went on to raise a Series A round of funding, which was led by some of the biggest names in real estate and technology, including @properties, Guaranteed Rate, Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Garland Capital, Camber Creek, and Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners.  Within two years, TurboAppeal had established itself as a household brand and achieved various nominations and awards, such as BuiltIn Chicago’s List of 50 Startups to Watch, Tech.Co National Startup of the Year Finalist, Chicago Innovation Awards Finalist, and it was a Moxie Awards Nominee for the Best Consumer Web Startup. In May 2017, TurboAppeal was acquired by Paradigm Tax Group, with the intent to replicate TurboAppeal’s established residential product into a comprehensive solution for the commercial real estate market. The acquisition solidified Paradigm Tax Group as the nation’s only technology-enabled property tax service and product solution for owners of both commercial and residential real estate. Prior to his involvement with TurboAppeal, John graduated from Purdue University in 2002.  He is also a licensed attorney having obtained his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in 2005.  While attending law school, he was a member of the Business Law Society and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society.  Over the past ten years, John has worked at various law firms in Illinois, at which time he has strengthened his property tax appeal techniques, litigation strategy and transaction practice.  He has also served as General Counsel for Integrity Marketing Solutions, LLC, and at the Law Offices of Guidos & Associates, Ltd. In addition to John’s professional endeavors, he also has a passion for helping fellow community members and volunteers with a variety of philanthropic organizations.  In the past, he has served as a Volunteer Attorney at the Willow Creek Community Church Legal Aid Ministry and as a Board Member of the McHenry County Regional Board of School Trustees.

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Company description

Doc & I supports the mission of Health Care Providers and Covered Entities to provide better care for their patients. The Doc & I solution combines patent-pending technology with on premise expertise that works personally with staff and patients to maximize 340B program savings and patient care efforts.

CXO BIO

Brad's vast leadership experience and industry expertise position him to lead and build doc&i from inception to industry standard. Similarly to the early stage position of doc&i, Brad launched and helped build - in the Chicago market - a first in class product for dyslipidemia from 0% market share to a multibillion dollar Blockbuster position, while being honored with the President's Club Award for top 5% of sales Nationally. Brad received his Master's in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and is actively applying his learnings in Knowledge Management and Strategic Change to demonstrate the industry need for doc&i while fundamentally shifting the way physicians, hospitals, payers, and patients think about and make critical decisions around pharmaceuticals. Brad's previous leadership experience as a District and Regional trainer in the healthcare space along with his Hogan Certification as an Administrator and Interpreter in Personality Inventory (HPI), Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values and Preferences (MVPI) will help ensure doc&i is at the forefront of evaluating, hiring, and developing key talent and industry experts to drive the growth of doc&i.

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Can architecture shape lives? Carrie Matlock, President of DLA Architects LTD holds that the architectural environments that we design can contribute to a child’s development. DLA Architects is a full-service architectural firm with a broad range of experience from tenant build-outs, renovations, and additions to new buildings; guided by the “Form Follows Learning” philosophy. Carrie is passionate about inspiring students to learn by aligning client’s educational delivery methods and goals with the architecture of a school building, and she discusses the strategy that keeps her company focused on their goals. What motivates her on a daily basis? Find out.

Company description

Back in ‘83, Bruce Dahlquist and Dwain Lutzow joined their families for dinner. As the evening progressed, the lively conversation moved from the upcoming summer release of “Return of the Jedi” and that new TV show “The A-Team” to the lofty topic of Great Architecture. Here at the dinner table, in the company of friends, is where the cornerstone of our firm was set. The two founding partners agreed that Great Architecture doesn’t just come from someone in a black turtleneck and frameless glasses, with an ego bigger than the building; it comes from someone who can roll up their sleeves, get over the idea that flashy is always better, and know their client's vision. What are your organization’s needs and aspirations? What is your organization’s brand, style and culture? How can your building be designed to reflect you? Can your building make your job easier and more cost effective? Iis our philosophy. We’ll work closely with you to learn about your organization and how it functions. This will inspire every space we design for you – a formula that for decades has bestowed our clients their own unique version of Great Architecture.

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Carrie Matlock is President of the firm. Carrie’s passion is inspiring students to learn by aligning our client’s educational delivery methods and goals with the architecture of a school building. She holds that the architectural environments that we design can contribute to a child’s development. As a leader in the firm, her attitude has become ingrained in our culture. It’s the impetus of our “Form Follows Learning” philosophy.