BOARD OF DIRECTORS


YANA NIRSHBERG     Fluent in Russian and English, Yana is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and local influencer. She is the co-founder and managing partner at Paradign Next, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. Her success at Paradigm Next has come from delivering a seamlessly integrated brand experience and a greater measurable return on marketing investment (ROMI). Her company delivers brand identity, integrated marketing, inbound marketing strategy, web-design & development, startup incubation and product development services.  Yana is deeply rooted in the tech startup community in Chicago and abroad, and has strong relationships with emerging seed funds, VC’s, startup founders, and collegiate entrepreneurs. Additionally, Yana has had extensive experience in publishing and marketing. She was the Associate Publishing at Today’s Chicago Magazine (TCW) and remains passionate about promoting female leadership in the workplace. Yana has been featured on Russia Today, LUX & Concord and Ms. Tech as a global influencer. Most recently, Yana was featured as a guest panelist for Women Driving Excellence 2016.

YANA NIRSHBERG

Fluent in Russian and English, Yana is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and local influencer. She is the co-founder and managing partner at Paradign Next, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. Her success at Paradigm Next has come from delivering a seamlessly integrated brand experience and a greater measurable return on marketing investment (ROMI). Her company delivers brand identity, integrated marketing, inbound marketing strategy, web-design & development, startup incubation and product development services.

Yana is deeply rooted in the tech startup community in Chicago and abroad, and has strong relationships with emerging seed funds, VC’s, startup founders, and collegiate entrepreneurs. Additionally, Yana has had extensive experience in publishing and marketing. She was the Associate Publishing at Today’s Chicago Magazine (TCW) and remains passionate about promoting female leadership in the workplace. Yana has been featured on Russia Today, LUX & Concord and Ms. Tech as a global influencer. Most recently, Yana was featured as a guest panelist for Women Driving Excellence 2016.

SHANITA BARAKA AKINTONDE    MBA, M.ED, ABD   Shanita is on a mission to change lives. Utilizing the 15+ years of marketing and media skills she gained working as an Account Manager for top advertising and PR agencies such as BBDO, Burrell Communications Group, Porter Novelli, DDB and R.J. Dale Advertising, Inc. She is now teaching others how to maximize their potential currently, Shanita is Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago’s Communication and Media Innovation Department. To date, her core messages of education, excellence and empowerment have led this college professor, author, speaker, consultant, wife and mother to engage with thousands of audience members across 30 states. Diversity MBA Magazine selected Shanita as an Elite Member of the “Top 100 Under 50,” Award among countless other national recognitions. Shanita is also the proud President of The Alliance for Women in Media, American Marketing Association Communications Chair, First VP of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., and Metropolitan Club of Chicago Women Connection’s Committee Chair.    SPECIALTIES:    • Contributing Author, "Unleash the Leader Within You'“ • Certified Speaker and Trainer • Expertise in Marketing, Higher Education, Diversity and Leadership    PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE:    • Selling the Sizzle: How to Become Notable and Quotable™ • The C.A.R.E. Factor in Higher Education™ • Ain’t I a Woman? An Exploration of Female Leadership Styles™

SHANITA BARAKA AKINTONDE

MBA, M.ED, ABD

Shanita is on a mission to change lives. Utilizing the 15+ years of marketing and media skills she gained working as an Account Manager for top advertising and PR agencies such as BBDO, Burrell Communications Group, Porter Novelli, DDB and R.J. Dale Advertising, Inc. She is now teaching others how to maximize their potential currently, Shanita is Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago’s Communication and Media Innovation Department. To date, her core messages of education, excellence and empowerment have led this college professor, author, speaker, consultant, wife and mother to engage with thousands of audience members across 30 states. Diversity MBA Magazine selected Shanita as an Elite Member of the “Top 100 Under 50,” Award among countless other national recognitions. Shanita is also the proud President of The Alliance for Women in Media, American Marketing Association Communications Chair, First VP of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., and Metropolitan Club of Chicago Women Connection’s Committee Chair.

SPECIALTIES:

• Contributing Author, "Unleash the Leader Within You'“
• Certified Speaker and Trainer
• Expertise in Marketing, Higher Education, Diversity and Leadership

PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE:

• Selling the Sizzle: How to Become Notable and Quotable™
• The C.A.R.E. Factor in Higher Education™
• Ain’t I a Woman? An Exploration of Female Leadership Styles™