Teesee's Town: Entrepreneur Kali Evans-Raoul receives 'Woman of the Year' honor

Hyde Parker Kali Evans-Raoul, president of The Image Studios in the West Loop, receives the 2009 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year – Rising Star Award from the Women’s Business Dev-elopment Center at its 23rd Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, the oldest and largest women’s business confab in the country, today at noon, at Navy Pier. With more than 25 years in the personal care product and service industry and experi-ence in both creating and running a business, Evans-Raoul, founder of The Image Studios in 2000 as part of a commitment to help others understand, define and present their own message, works with companies and individual clients.

Evans-Raoul holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked in research and development, marketing and consumer education for a range of companies, including Soft Sheen (L’Oreal), Kraft Foods and the boutique hair care and beauty company Dudley Products. While in undergrad she helped finance her education by setting up and managing an investor-backed beauty salon in Pittsburgh. She’s also consulted in the development of cosmetic lines. Additionally, she’s married to State Sen. Kwame Raoul (13th) and they have a son, Che, 7, and a daughter Mizan, 5.

“The women business owners we honor as Entrepreneurs of the Year are extremely successful business owners who have a proven passion for their business and a commitment to supporting other women,” says Hedy M. Ratner, WBDC co-president. Penny S. Pritzker, innovative business builder, civic leader and philanthropist, will keynote.

Dee Robinson Reid, founder and president of Robinson-Hill Group Inc., keynotes the conference’s Women’s Business & Buyers Mart. It features more than 200 government and corporate buyers who are committed to purchasing products and services from women business owners, as well as, access to top business experts and resources, contract opportunities, networking and business collaboration.

Reid will join several other nationally recognized wo-men business owners who will headline a Breakfast Forum moderated by Sun-Times financial columnist Terry Savage. Always a lively, candid discussion, speakers will share personal stories of business success, as well as the greatest challenges they have faced and offer advice for overcoming those challenges.

Robinson-Hill Group is the parent company for Ben & Jerry’s Super Premium Ice and Yogurt franchises at Midway Airport and Navy Pier. In addition, the company is a franchisee of Cheeburger Cheeburger, Jamba Juice and Johnny Rockets and is the managing partner of Hudson News ORD JV, which owns over 25 news and gift locations at O’Hare International Airport. Reid is vice president and COO of OTG DCA and OTG ORD that owns full-service restaurants and gourmet markets at Reagan and O’Hare Airports. Late registration is available online at www.wbdc.org or call (312) 853-3477, ext. 24. It includes all conference events. Individual tickets for the Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, Women’s Business & Buyers Mart and Forum Breakfast are also available. At the Podium – Dr. Maya Angelou, celebrated poet, author, playwright, actress, professor and civil rights activist, addresses the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 24th Annual Luncheon on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel. The event celebrates the achievements of women and girls, and raises funds for the Foundation’s grants and advocacy throughout the Chicagoland area. Expected: a diverse audience of more than 2,000 guests who represent business, philanthropy, government, nonprofit, media and other Foundation supporters.

Since 1986, the Foundation has awarded more than 2,700 grants totaling nearly $17 million to hundreds of organizations that make life better for women and girls in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Foundation’s core values include equality, empowerment, diversity, collaboration and integrity. Its work is rooted in three principles of women’s human rights: economic security, freedom from violence, and access to health services and information. Visit www.cfw.org.

Board Biz – John W. Rogers Jr., CEO of Ariel Investments, addresses strategies for serving on public and private boards as well as the importance of developing a diverse board in a global society, when he addresses Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2009 Management Leadership Forum on Thursday morning at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel. Pamela McElvane, an African American woman, publishes the internationally distributed publication targeting multicultural professionals in corporations, government, entrepreneurship and graduate business schools. Other presenters will include Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, president of DePaul Univ., and Michael Critelli, retired chair and CEO of Pitney Bowes.

Following the presentation, McElvane is inviting the media to participate in a Q&A and Fireside Chat. For more, visit www.diversitymbamagazine. com or call Redessa Harris at (773) 536-4230.

Happy B’Day – to media bro Ron Childs (Flowers Communications); a special “daughter,” Jan Hooks; Otis Wilson, Roz Atchison, who celebrated with over 30-gal pals (senoritas) at Zapatista’s, Denise Gresham Rawls and Tamron Hall.

Whazup! Whazup! – Chicago NABJ (Nat’l Association of Black Journalists) presents “How to Use Social Media to Get a Job and Advance Your Career” (or just make yourself more valuable at your current job), a workshop to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, blogging, MySpace, etc. on Sept. 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Utopia Restaurant. Panelists: blogtrentrepeur and former Milwaukee Journal columnist Tannette Johnson-Elie, Red- Eye digital editor Scott Kleinberg and Silicon Valley’s C Cole Dillon.

Magic Mood – Dr. Arthur Brazier, of the Apostolic Church of God; Dr. Carol Adams, secretary of the Ill. Dept. of Human Services; and Chicago Transit Authority Commissioner Deverra Beverly received awards “for contributions and services to people who live in Chicago’s inner city neighborhoods” during the Inaugural Gala hosted by the Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization Inc. Genealogist Dr. Rick Kittles accepted the MAGIC Award for Dr. Eric Whitaker of the University of Chicago, who along with his family was vacationing with President Obama and the “first family” on Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod, Mass. Terry Cummings, retired NBA forward, serenaded guests with songs he recently recorded, and Freddie Jackson, who rocked the house for old times’ sake, provided entertainment.

The mission of MAGIC, headed by Dr. Joseph Strickland and located in Woodlawn, is to organize and mobilize residents of the community and the surrounding areas to create and stimulate social change.

Attn: Jazz Junkies – Cassandra Wilson, ’09 Grammy winner “for best jazz vocal album,” performs Sept. 25, 8 p.m., at Rockefeller Chapel to kick-start the Hyde Park Jazz Festival which begins Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. and continues through 2 a.m.with worldclass headliners and local emerging artists performing at some 100 indoor and outdoor neighborhood stages in Hyde Park for 15 hours of free nonstop jazz. Among performers: Ernie Adams, Dee Alexander, Ari Brown, Tammy McCann, Maggie Brown, Alan Burroughs, Ken Chaney’s Awakening, Corey Wilkes, Ernie Adams, T.S. Galloway, Pharez Whitted, Ray Silkman, Audley Reid, James Perkins, Naomi Millender, Willie Pickens, Yoko Noge, Skin-ny Williams, Ryan Cohan, Richie Cole, Orbert Davis, Ernest Dawkins, Miguel and Sylvia De La Cerna, Jimmy Ellis, Jon Faddiss, Von Freeman, Julia Huff, Kenwood Academy’s Jazz at the Wood, Jazz Me Blues Band and John Wright. For a schedule, log on www.hydeparkjazzfestival. org.

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