Traditionally, pearls are considered the gemstone for 30th anniversaries, and at WBDCelebrate on November 15 at Chicago’s Wintrust Great Banking Hall, the pearls flowed. Nearly 500 guests broke out their pearls for the 30th anniversary evening reception in honor of the Women’s Business Development Center. Successful business owners smilingly exchanged pearls of wisdom with each other in a festive atmosphere decorated with floral and pearl centerpieces. Even the lanyards for the nametags were pearl-like.
Guests got their groove on to the sounds of funky music, highlighted by a special performance from The Black Ensemble Theater that paid tribute to the history and future of women’s business ownership. Awards were presented to Michelle Vondrasek, president of Von Technologies, Innovative Business Award; Caren Schweitzer, president, WBE of the Year Award; Pamela Jones, president, Charboy’s, Vetrepreneur of the Year Award; and Kara Yokley, president of KMY Consulting, Deborah Sawyer Rising Star Award. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle received the Government Supporter Award.