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Young Women's Leadership Network Chicago Launch

  • WeWork 20 West Kinzie Street Chicago, IL, 60610 United States (map)
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Join us to celebrate the launch of JWI's newest Young Women's Leadership Network in Chicago on Thursday, May 17th! 

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will served. 

Speakers include:

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Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart is the founder and president of internationally award-winning KOVAL Distillery, Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s. KOVAL is now one of the most widely-distributed American craft distilleries, with products available in over 50 export markets. Sonat is also the co-founder of Kothe Distilling Technologies, a distillery start-up consulting firm that educates people in the art of distilling and sets up distilleries for others in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. This past year Sonat was named Illinois Business Person of the Year by the national Small Business Association and inducted into the international French culinary organization, Disciples d’Escoffier. Sonat is also the president of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JD Corps) of the World Jewish Congress and sits on the Board of Chicago’s North Branch Works. Sonat has also made giving back a guiding principle of KOVAL: This past year the company donated to 390 charities through event sponsorship, donations, and mentorship. Before founding KOVAL in 2008, Sonat spent over a decade writing about German cultural history as a full professor in both the United States and Germany.

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Liz Traines is a career and lifestyle coach who empowers her clients to love their careers, thrive financially and live in alignment with their values. Through individual and group coaching programs, her clients learn to break through their fear and mindset blocks, allowing them to take transformational action. After experiencing what felt like perpetual burnout in her prior corporate finance executive career at Accenture, Liz began focusing on her personal development. She realized, that by leading with her curiosity, staying focused and breaking through her own fears, she had a passion for helping people live to their fullest potential. That clarity gave her the courage to quit her job, launch her business, and begin living with purpose and joy. She believes that when people enjoy more of their lives, they are naturally inclined to do good for others, something we need more of in our world today.


Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. Kwall is an internationally-renowned scholar and lecturer and has published more than 30 articles on a wide variety of topics including Jewish law and culture, authorship rights, and intellectual property. She is the author of several nationally-used casebooks as well as two monographs: “The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition” (Oxford U. Press, 2015) and “The Soul of Creativity” (Stanford U. Press, 2010). Kwall has received numerous awards for teaching and scholarship, and was named one of the 10 Best Law Professors in Illinois in 2006 by Chicago Lawyer magazine. At DePaul, she teaches courses in family law, property, intellectual property and family law, and the Jewish tradition. She has also taught at Tulane Law School and the Radzyner Law School in Israel, and has lectured about Jewish law and culture at many law schools, synagogues, and other venues in the U.S. and Israel. She earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree in religious studies from Brown University. She also has a master’s degree in Jewish Studies.


Kim Oster-Holstein is a brand architect, mentor, and serial food entrepreneur with a passion for creating food concepts/products that nourish our world community. Kim's expertise in innovation, ideation, product development, packaging look/feel/spirit, and vision/strategy for go-to-market have contributed to successful endeavors including The Crave Bar, Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels, and Industry Juice, of which she currently serves as chief mocktail officer. The company manufactures and delivers fresh, 100% all-natural, cold pressed juice to bars, restaurants, hotels, and anyone creating high quality, fresh, authentic handcrafted cocktails and mocktails. Kim is a dedicated mentor and philanthropist, and was honored as a JWI Woman to Watch in 2010. She currently sits on JWI's board of trustees (and served as chair from 2013 to 2016), and is a board member for KIPP Academy Charter School in Chicago. 

Chicago Launch Committee:

  • Vanessa Farkas
  • Marissa Freeman
  • Nicole Friedman
  • Rachel Giattino
  • Hannah Glick
  • Miriam Goldberg
  • Kyle Goldhoff
  • Sari Kreines
  • Nisa Kwall
  • Rebekah Lear
  • Sophie Macks
  • Jackie Perelgut
  • Emily Pevnick
  • Sally Preminger
  • Lauren Rosenberg
  • Carrie Seleman
  • Abby Shure
  • Shana Silver
  • Lindsay Singer
  • Eshley Spitzer
  • Melanie Studnicka

Become a Network member and every month you'll be able to network, build professional skills, and make new friends with an incredible group of young Jewish women.