BOARD OF DIRECTORS

YANA NIRSHBERG     Yana is known as a leading voice in media and marketing while continuing to leave her mark in her role as Managing Partner of ParadigmNEXT and BizCastHQ where she is the visionary behind award winning marketing strategy and content creation. She is also a contributing author of thought leadership articles for Forbes, among other publications.  As a serial entrepreneur and influencer, Yana has established herself as a thought leader in the realm of marketing and branding with a concentration in Real Estate. She is passionate about staying at the forefront of trends while sharing her entrepreneurial experiences with the next generation and collaborating with companies ranging from startups to middle market businesses to multinational companies. Through her extensive background in publishing and marketing, coupled with a natural proclivity for building relationships and connections, Yana is a true trailblazer in the area of brand development and sales enablement.  Yana has won numerous awards and has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, RT, ABC, WGN, NBC, Lux & Concord and Ms. tech, among others.

YANA NIRSHBERG

Yana is known as a leading voice in media and marketing while continuing to leave her mark in her role as Managing Partner of ParadigmNEXT and BizCastHQ where she is the visionary behind award winning marketing strategy and content creation. She is also a contributing author of thought leadership articles for Forbes, among other publications.

As a serial entrepreneur and influencer, Yana has established herself as a thought leader in the realm of marketing and branding with a concentration in Real Estate. She is passionate about staying at the forefront of trends while sharing her entrepreneurial experiences with the next generation and collaborating with companies ranging from startups to middle market businesses to multinational companies. Through her extensive background in publishing and marketing, coupled with a natural proclivity for building relationships and connections, Yana is a true trailblazer in the area of brand development and sales enablement.

Yana has won numerous awards and has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, RT, ABC, WGN, NBC, Lux & Concord and Ms. tech, among others.

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™

HANS BONNER   Hans is the Executive Director, Chicago MBDA Business Center at Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. He has worked specifically in Project Management and Management Consulting for High growth businesses for well over a decade. Hans works closely with clients to review financial proposals, assist clients in obtaining procurement opportunities and provides business consulting services.  Specialties: Supplier Diversity, Finance, Management Consulting  In his spare time, Hans also teaches English and German.

HANS BONNER

Hans is the Executive Director, Chicago MBDA Business Center at Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. He has worked specifically in Project Management and Management Consulting for High growth businesses for well over a decade. Hans works closely with clients to review financial proposals, assist clients in obtaining procurement opportunities and provides business consulting services.

Specialties: Supplier Diversity, Finance, Management Consulting

In his spare time, Hans also teaches English and German.

JEFF ERNST   Entrepreneur, investor + business leader with innovative, responsible spirits, food, beverage and CPG brands.  Global leader in developing marketing and business solutions for spirits, food, beverage and CPG brands that make impact. Move quickly to optimize business growth and brand value. Calling out antiquated methods and vanity metrics.  Creative first, capturing engagement, relentlessly driving data-driven improvement, crafting systems of influencers, advocates and paid media to deliver authentic marketing that grabs consumer trust and attention that generate real-world results.

JEFF ERNST

Entrepreneur, investor + business leader with innovative, responsible spirits, food, beverage and CPG brands.

Global leader in developing marketing and business solutions for spirits, food, beverage and CPG brands that make impact. Move quickly to optimize business growth and brand value. Calling out antiquated methods and vanity metrics.

Creative first, capturing engagement, relentlessly driving data-driven improvement, crafting systems of influencers, advocates and paid media to deliver authentic marketing that grabs consumer trust and attention that generate real-world results.