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College of Business Alumni


Cindy Crocker - Emerging Business Leaders Event

The Drake Hotel in Chicago never fails to deliver a classy, exclusive venue. So when this year's Women in Business Leadership Event was held there again, of course, we were pleased with the atmosphere. Approximately 50 female business students attended this elite event, which was hosted for the second year in a row by Cindy Crocker (B.S. Marketing '80). Cindy believes that everyone who has a dream should have the opportunity to pursue it. She also believes that education is a powerful agent for personal, professional, and social change. These principles have guided her as she changes the lives of our College of Business students as a philanthropist and mentor.

Guest speaker Debra Cafaro, Chairman and CEO of Ventas. Inc. and named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, by Modern Healthcare was the highlight of the event. As the keynote speaker, she encouraged the audience to stay open to career possibilities. Instead of moving in a straight line in your career path, she stated that you should be open to a zig-zag approach. You may end up working for a company or in a field you never thought you would. Her inspiring words also talked about having a balanced approach to life. There are days, she says, where there is no balance, but over the long-run, the goal is to balance career and personal life.

Other NIU alumni gave one career tip each to the female students at the event. Thank you to the following ladies for their words of wisdom:

  • Christine Cole - McDonald's Corporation
  • Janyce Fadden - Rockford Area Economic Development Council
  • Sarah Griffin - McDonald's Corporation
  • Janet Viane - Sears, Roebuck & Co.

We were pleased to be able to develop and lead students through this type of forum.