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Emilia DiMenco

About

Emilia DiMenco is the President and CEO of the WBDC, spending her time working directly with the WBDC team, Board members, partners and clients to ensure the organization is supporting and accelerating business development and growth for those they serve while advocating for women and all diverse business owners across the Midwest. Since Emilia’s arrival, the WBDC has dramatically expanded its financial advisory and capital program, which has resulted in directly provided $3.3 million in debt capital and secured multi-millions in debt and equity capital from other providers. It has also expanded its certification program in a nine-state Midwest region, opened additional offices in four major markets, and opened three additional offices in the Chicago Metro region, amongst other program developments. Emilia is proud to advance the mission of the WBDC as an advocate for women and other underrepresented business owners. She is proud of her work to drive business diversity and fuel innovation to increase the economic impact of the businesses and communities she serves. She lives and breathes the WBDC’s mission and her hope is that one day organizations like the WBDC will, once and for all, level the playing field for women and minority business owners. She hopes to inspire the leaders of tomorrow who will continue the fight for equity. Before working with the WBDC, Emilia spent over 30 years at BMO Harris, eventually being elevated to executive vice president in the corporate and commercial bank. She also led BMO Harris’ Women in Business Initiative, which made the Bank the bank of choice for many women business owners. Currently, Emilia is immersed in the Chicago business community and is a member of the Economic Club, The Chicago Network, Federation of Women Contractors, City Club of Chicago and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, she was selected as a member of the Chicago Tribune's "The Blue Network," featuring more than 100 of Chicago's most compelling innovators and entrepreneurs. Emilia is also a recipient of the 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award, a recognition awarded to exemplary leaders who achieve excellence in their business or professions, have served the community in a meaningful way, and actively assisted women to achieve their full potential. More recently, Emilia was recognized with the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by the Daily Herald Business Ledger in 2018 and featured on Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Women Executives Over 50 list in 2019. Nationally, she is a leader in Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), helping the organization develop policies on access to capital for women-owned businesses. Emilia holds a B.S. and an M.B.A. degree in finance from DePaul University.
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