Speakers


Amy Krymkowski

Amy is an energetic and creative coach and advisor recognized for building rapport quickly with her clients to engage them in meaningful learning experiences. Specializing in career and life transition, career development and performance management, Amy invites clients into meaningful and authentic conversations and structured practices that enhance skill development, increase capacity and improve performance.

Amy helps business leaders and professionals develop clarity and focus during periods of transition or changes in performance. She helps emerging leaders, newly promoted or mid-career professionals become more effective communicators and better decision-makers, especially when leading others. She guides professionals through job change, increased role responsibility, or team transition and helps them develop/enhance a professional image, promote their professional accomplishments, build and leverage key relationships and increase somatic (body) awareness. In turn clients gain greater focus, clarity, and purpose to successfully form new and supportive habits/behaviors that lead to enhanced productivity and leadership.

Amy has coached clients from a wide variety of organizations including Abbott, AIG, AON, Allergan, Comcast, CNA Insurance, J.C. Penney, McDonalds, PepsiCo, Texas Instruments, TransUnion, and Walmart.

BUSINESS and ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Prior to working as an independent coach, Amy worked as a performance management specialist and human resources consultant for several Fortune 100 companies in the biotechnology, retail and manufacturing industries. Amy served as a business partner offering solution-focused consultation and advice to managers and professionals on management effectiveness, risk assessment strategies, HR compliance and performance management. Amy has led training workshops on promoting a high quality work environment through effective employee relations. She has also designed offsite meetings for team building to enhance employee engagement, build trust and foster better communication and workplace satisfaction.

PUBLICATIONS and SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
She has taught and facilitied various career transition and coaching workshops as an outplacement professional for companies, governmental and non-profit agencies as well as in the local Chicago community including the annual Learnapoolza festival and through Dabble.com.

Lori Hilson Cioromski

Lori Hilson Cioromski - is the President of Essential Water Technologies, LLC, a WBE Certified specialty chemical water treatment chemical supplier and service provider offering cost saving solutions to help preserve client’s equipment assets through excellent service, education, technology and expertise.

CEO of HC Strategic Advisors, LLC assisting women business leaders to thrive through advice, mentoring and consulting on growth platforms, integration, challenges, WBE initiatives and exit strategies for entrepreneurship development at all stages of business.

Co-Founder and President of the Spirit Foundation, a non-profit 501c3, whose mission is to be the catalyst for aspiring female entrepreneurs to be self-sufficient and realize their dreams through educational programs, mentoring, scholarships and access to funding.

Lori was Senior VP & GM of Ravago Chemical and former CEO of the TH Hilson Company a Midwest specialty chemical distributor headquartered in suburban Chicago. TH Hilson was acquired by Ravago, a global leader in the plastics industry, in March of 2016.

Lori is the 2019 “Enterprising Women on the Year” for Essential Water Technologies, LLC and was the 2010 “Enterprising Women of the Year” for TH Hilson Company.

Lori was inducted into UIC’s 2015 “Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame”, received the “2014 Most Powerful & Influential Women Award” from the Illinois Diversity Council. She is also the recipient of NAWBO Chicago’s “2012 Business Women of the Year Award”. NAWBO Chicago’s “2011 Member of the Year Award”, the Emergency Fund’s “2011 Heart of the Community Award”, the 2010 “Enterprising Women of the Year” and The Business Ledger‘s 2008 “Entrepreneur Excellence Growth Award”.

Lori currently serves on the WBDC (Women’s Business Development Center) Advisory Committee and is a Past-President for NAWBO Chicago (National Association of Women Business Owners).

Lori received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Loyola University of Chicago; she enjoys horseback riding, golf, tennis, cooking, writing and spending time with her family and friends. Lori and husband Hubert have six children and one adorable grandson!

Magdalena Wrobel

Magdalena Wrobel is a Vice President and Senior Payments Product Lead for BMO (Bank of Montreal). In her current role, Magdalena leads a cross-border team of Product Managers in the US and Canada. She is a big promoter of building strong interpersonal relationships and focuses on employee empowerment and engagement.

With 19 years of experience across various banking divisions from Retail, Mergers & Acquisitions, Product and Project Management to Treasury Management, Magdalena brings a wealth of knowledge when supporting complex business relations. Throughout her career, Magdalena has worked for large, national banks as well as smaller community banks. Being part of a global bank now allows her the opportunity to make an impact and deliver unique solutions that meet the needs of large corporate and international clients.

Magdalena graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Italian Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has contributed her knowledge by speaking at various banking and technology functions such as Fiserv’s Forum and Signature User Group Conferences. Magdalena served as the Chair and National Product Manager for the Self-Services Chanel of the Signature User Group from 2011-2015 and until recently served on the Board of Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood as well as the Operations Committee of the Highland Park Community Foundation. Magdalena is a member of the Warsaw Committee (part of Chicago Sister Cities International) and International Women Associates where she proudly promotes her Polish roots and culture.

Magdalena resides in Riverwoods with her husband and their three children. In her free time, she travels and embraces her international family of Polish and Mexican heritage. She proudly spreads awareness of the importance of multi-cultural programs and foreign language education.

Julia Szumny

Julia is a first-generation Polish-American. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a Bronze Tablet Recipient ranking in the top 3% of the graduating class in 2018. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising, and minors in Public Relations and Communication. She also earned an Acting for Film diploma from the New York Film Academy. Julia currently works at a B2B Marketing Agency and plans to further her education by earning a Master of Business Administration. She has worked for Kind Snacks, Nickelodeon, Fendi Roma, Alyce Paris, and was the 2017 Queen of the Polish Parade. She is on a mission to inspire and empower others through her platform, Mentoring to Inspire the Next Generation, and her organization, Simply Unstoppable.

Magda Krance

Magda Krance is the director of media relations for Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she has worked since April 1992, initially as public relations associate, and subsequently assistant director of media relations and manager of media relations. In 2017 she was named director of media relations. Over the course of her tenure, her work has encompassed generating story ideas and arranging coverage of Lyric’s artists, productions, and special events by local, national, and international media; writing press releases; writing feature articles for the Lyric Opera News print magazine, Lyric Notes e-newsletter, and program book; overseeing production and event photography; extensive proofreading of program books, marketing brochures, emails, annual reports, and other materials; liaising with external organizations to arrange artist appearances; menu tasting for Lyric’s restaurants; and more.

Career highlights at Lyric include the company’s Ring cycles in 1996 and 2005, and the start of a new Ring cycle in 2016; William Bolcom’s three grand operas, starting with McTeague during her first season with the company (1992-93), continuing with A View from the Bridge (1999-2000), the genesis of which was detailed in an unprecedented nine-part series in The New York Times, which she arranged with national cultural correspondent Bruce Weber; and A Wedding in 2004-05, for which she persuaded Opera News Magazine to devote its August 2004 edition to Lyric’s 50th-anniversary season and Chicago in general (with A Wedding’s nuptial couple on the cover); the 2007-08 world-premiere coproduction of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, directed by Peter Sellars; and the world premiere of Jimmy López’s Bel Canto in 2015, based on the Ann Patchett novel.

From 1980 to 1992, Magda worked fulltime as a freelance journalist for several national and Chicago-based publications, including The New York Times, Time, People, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, Spy, Self, Playboy, The Washington Post travel section, Outside, Travel & Leisure, Travel Holiday, American Photographer, Vis à Vis (United Airlines' magazine), American Way, Oceans, and several others. Her feature articles and news reports covered a wide range of topics, including Harold Washington’s historic mayoral election, the advent of nuclear magnetic resonance for medical diagnosis, international travel, health issues, cultural trends, and more. She profiled columnists Mike Royko and Bob Greene, scholar Garry Wills, French chef Jean Banchet, restaurant entrepreneur Rich Melman, fashion mogul Luciano Benetton, satirist P.J. O’Rourke, the creators of Trivial Pursuit, street artist Lee Godie, and many others. From the late 1990s through the mid-2000s she wrote or contributed to several "round-up" features in Chicago Magazine -- e.g. "Best of," "Hidden Pleasures," "Where to Get Stuff Fixed" (which won a national award for best regional/city magazine service articles), "Best Farmers Markets," etc.

In 2004-05 Magda worked with the Polish filmmaker Bozena Garus-Hockuba, who produced an award-winning documentary about Magda’s mother and sisters, who were prominent in cultural circles during the interwar period in Warsaw.

From 1990-93 Magda collaborated with a group of Chicago-based women writers on a collection of essays, Reinventing Love, which was published in 1993 by Plume Books.

She “debuted” in PR as a part-time public relations consultant for the now-defunct musical ensemble Basically Bach (1990-91).

Prior to freelancing, Magda worked as an editorial assistant, assistant editor, and associate editor for Mariah, Mariah/Outside, and Outside magazine during its ownership transition, 1977-1980.

Magda holds a bachelor's degree in art and writing from Macalester College in St. Paul (1976) and a master of science in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism (1978). A native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, she has lived in Chicago since 1976. In 1978 she married Steve Leonard, a professional photographer (originally from Grand Marais, Minnesota, and also a Macalester graduate). Their son, Casimir Leonard, 29, lives and works in Chicago.

Magda has sung second alto with Bella Voce (formerly His Majestie’s Clerkes), a professional 24-voice a cappella ensemble, since 1992. Previously in Chicago, she sang with the professional ensemble Basically Bach under founder-director Dan Robinson, with the Bon Tempo Singers (a cappella octet), as a guest artist with Milly’s Orchid Show (created by Brigid Murphy), with American Ritual Theater Company (ARTCO) in several world-premiere performances of music by William Harper, with the Burgundian Consort, and with Colla Voce under Catherine Hall. At Macalester College she sang in the Concert Choir under Dale Warland.

Agnieszka Bastrzyk

Secretary-Treasurer, Polish Roman Catholic Union of America

Agnieszka Bastrzyk joined the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA) in 2008. Moving through the organization, she was most recently the Director of Marketing for over 7 years. As of August 2018, she was elected to be the Secretary-Treasurer. The oldest Polish organization in the United States, the PRCUA is a community-centered fraternal providing financial security via life insurance and annuities. In her role, Agnieszka focuses on overseeing financial statements, ensuring that records and minutes of the PRCUA are maintained according to the Constitution, and supporting other important functions.

With over 11 years of experience across various insurance areas including Underwriting, Sales, Agnieszka brings experience and enthusiasm to her role. A licensed life insurance producer, she attained the Fraternal Insurance Counselor Fellow (FICF) and Associate, Life Management Institute (ALMI) and Associate of Customer Service, Life Management Institute (ACS) designations and is currently pursuing the FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute).

Agnieszka graduated cum laude from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in International Business with a minor in Economics. With her husband Daniel and their three children, she finds inspiration and support for her many endeavors. She currently serves on the Polish American Chamber of Commerce as its Treasurer, on the Board of Holy Trinity Polish School in Chicago and is involved with several other organizations and groups.