2018 WTF Awards Judges

Approved
Emilia DiMenco
Judge

President and Chief Executive Officer

Website URL: http://www.wbdc.org
Biography:

Emilia DiMenco was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on August 1, 2013 in a transition from co-founders.

The WBDC, since Emilia’s arrival, has dramatically expanded its direct lending program with now a pool of nearly $1.7 million. It has also expanded the Latina business programs offering bi-lingual business services, developed an eLearning library, launched an entrepreneurship program to serve military veterans, and opened six new offices.

Emilia is well-known for her contributions to leading civic and professional organizations. Emilia holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, both in finance, from DePaul University

Twitter: Twitter
LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Instagram: Instagram
Facebook: Facebook
Approved
Joan Hannant
Judge

Founder & CEO

Website URL: https://soma.edu/
Biography:

As the Founder and CEO of The Soma Institute, Joan oversees the strategic direction of the Chicago and Toronto-based company. Frustrated with the limited educational standards of training for health and wellness providers, Joan developed a new category of wellness called clinical wellness and built Soma into a nationally accredited and acclaimed provider of adult training programs and staffing solution.

Joan is a member of the Committee of 200, The International Women's Forum, The Women's Advisory Board at Metropolitan Capital Bank & Trust, and the Advisory Board of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University. She is also a founding member of the Women and Entrepreneurship Institute at DePaul.

Approved
Sonia Nagar
Approved
julie novack
Approved
Jill Salzman
Judge

Founder

Biography:

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, where she helps mom entrepreneurs build better businesses. A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then launched and sold a baby jewelry company before creating her current venture. She’s the author of The Best Business Book In The World and the best-seller, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs. Jill is a co-host of Inc. Magazine’s top-rated entertaining business podcast, Breaking Down Your Business, gave her own TED talk on 11/11/11, was dubbed a “mommy mogul” by CNNMoney, a “ Cool Mom Entrepreneur We Love” by MSN Live, and she was recently named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch In Tech as well as a Top 100 Champion Small Business Influencer after Forbes’ named The Founding Moms one of the Top 10 Websites For Entrepreneurs. She’s shared the speaker stage with Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Daymond John, Marilu Henner, and Desmond Tutu and she regularly appears on ABC7’s Windy City Live TV show. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.

Twitter: Twitter
LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Instagram: Instagram
Facebook: Facebook
Approved
Foram Sheth
Judge

Co-founder & Certified Coach

Biography:

Hi! My name is Foram Sheth and I'm a co-founder and certified coach at Ama La Vida (ALV). As the lead of ALV’s corporate coaching practice, I am focused on working with Millennials to increase engagement, reduce turnover and help high potentials prepare to be the next generation of leaders. I have found success by leveraging my consulting background of driving results through data while combining my strengths of empathy and individuality.

As an expert on leadership coaching and Millennials, I’ve been featured in publications such as CNBC, the Chicago Tribune, Yahoo, MSN, Glassdoor, Bustle, Glamour, INC, Monster and Zenefits.

I’m deeply passionate about working with underprivileged women for equal opportunity and education. On a global level, I aspire to build a future with Ama La Vida where coaching is accessible to people of all age groups and socioeconomic status.

On a personal note, I was born and raised in India until the age of nine. My family and I moved to the US so that my brother and I could have a better education and access to more opportunities. Adjusting to our new life in the United States, I watched my parents sacrifice a comfortable life for a struggling one. We knew no English, we had no money, and we left everything we knew and loved behind to start all over again. During this time, I quickly learned the lessons of hard work and resilience, characteristics that embody who I am.

Twitter: Twitter
LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Instagram: Instagram
Facebook: Facebook
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