Visionary Leadership Award


to our 2016 Visionary Leader,​

Jodi Heiser, Vice President of Sales at ARRIS!


​ ​Thank you to our wonderful speakers!
avatar.jpg Christie Heffner

Hatch Beauty

A seasoned professional with more than thirty years of experience at executive levels in both public and private companies. Christie currently serves as Chairman of Hatch Beauty, a personal care branding, product development and manufacturing company.

Previously she served for four years as Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises, a new division of the renowned wellness lifestyle company created to extend the Canyon Ranch brand and content via licensing and business partnerships. From 1988-2008, Hefner was Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. making her the longest serving female chairman and CEO of a U.S. public company. During her tenure, she oversaw policy, management and strategy in all areas of the company. 

avatar.jpg Val N. Nicholas

Vice President & Creative Director
NBC News

Val is an award-winning television marketing and program production executive with on-air experience that drives ratings and CPMs. Val Nicholas started at NBC affiliate KCRA-TV in Sacramento California while a junior in college.  During that local station stint, Nicholas produced everything from news shows, talk shows, syndicated programming, specials, and sports programming and in management, he ran the marketing division and the special projects there. 
Currently, Nicholas serves as Vice President/ Creative Director at NBC News and is tasked with coming up with new businesses in which to expand the NBC News Brand. Nicholas also teaches Maximum Creative classes at many divisions around NBC Universal and the NY Film Academy. Nicholas has won seven Emmy Awards out of 24 nominations over his career, along with almost every other creative award in television​.

avatar.jpg Zoraida Sambolin

News Anchor
NBC5 News​

Zoraida Sambolin is the Weekday Edition co-anchor of NBC5 News Today. Sambolin rejoined NBC5 News in 2014 after spending two years at CNN. She originally joined WMAQ in the summer of 2002 and began reporting for Telemundo the following year. As the first Chicago on-air broadcaster to work at both English and Spanish language stations simultaneously, she has broken new ground for Latinos in the No. 3 market in the country. Sambolin launched "Nuestra Familia" on WSNS Telemundo. In the weekly series, Sambolin tackles a variety of topics on health and family life and provides resources and information to help Latino families in the Chicago area.


And thank you to our sponsors:​

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