Celebrating Pride: Made in Chicago

 thumb_thumb_thumb_HappyPride_Typographic_C1-01About This Event

Wonder how LGBTQ+ businesses in Chicago got to where they are today? Join us for an evening with some of the city's legendary industry rule breakers, creators and innovators.

At this exclusive panel event, we will host thought-leaders from a variety of industries — such as finance, food, or art — to explore how they made it in Chicago. Each speaker will share tips on how to create a unique product, service or brand that's pushing the boundaries of what we all thought was possible.

Join EvolveHer and General Assembly Chicago to celebrate local LGBTQ+ owned businesses and entrepreneurs in honor of Pride Month.

  • Check-In Begins 5:30pm
  • Networking 5:30pm - 6:00pm
  • Panel Discussion 6:00pm - 7:15pm
  • Q&A 7:15pm - 7:40pm
  • Networking 7:40pm - 8:00pm

Please note that by RSVPing for this event you are agreeing to receive communications from event partners.

Meet Your Panelists 

Colleen Egan Photo

Colleen Egan Director of People, Culture and Endless Possibilities,
Clarity Partners, LLC

Colleen started her career as a Nurse, but became frustrated with the slow adoption of technology in healthcare. She had an opportunity to become the operations leader at a public digital agency and that experience became the foundation for the rest of her career. 

She founded and served as the Chief Operating Officer for the award winning design and technology company Two Hundred Twelve Degrees | 212° with offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. 212’s diverse client list included Orbitz, McDonalds, Nike and pro bono clients like Zula USA. She went on to become the Chief Operating Officer and SVP of Production of Zula USA in Los Angeles, CA where she led the company and the production of the Emmy nominated PBS series The Zula Patrol, which was the first 3D CGI pre-school series on television. 

Returning to Chicago in 2006, she was introduced to Akoo USA and became their VP and Chief Operating Officer. She led the design, deployment and support of the largest DOOH network in the country. The proprietary tech platform was awarded patents across the world, was voted one of the best companies to work at by Adverting Age Magazine and a Rising Star Finalist by the Illinois Technology Association (ITA). 

In 2012, as a Principal Consultant with her own company Tiger Puppet Studios, she focused her work on Chicago tech start-ups working for clients that included StageBloc, Built In, ThinkCERCA and Catalytic. In 2013, Colleen was selected to participate in StartupBus North America, where her team created the healthcare app MyBestRx. She became its CEO and was selected as a Tech Cocktail hottest startup. 

In 2017, she became the Director of People, Culture and Endless Possibilities at Clarity Partners, a management and technology consulting firms that specializes in public sector work. Clarity has been recognized as an INC 5000 fastest growing company for six years in a row, a Crain’s Fast 50 for the last two years and a Chicago Tribune “Best Places To Work” company. Clarity has also won numerous awards for their work, diversity and commitment to community. 

Colleen was an ITA CityLIGHTS Prominent Woman in Tech Finalist in 2017, serves on several company advisory boards and sits on numerous non- profit boards and committees including Little Kids Rock, Women’s Sports Foundation, and Chicago United.

Bobbi & Kiona Mitchell Photo

Bobbi & Kiona Mitchell Founders and Owners,
Mitchell & Co. Salon and Spa

Bobbi and Kiona Mitchell created Mitchell & Co. Salon and Spa in 2015. Married in 2014 and both hairstylists, but with different strengths, they dreamed of creating a salon that was upscale yet welcoming to everyone - regardless of gender, sexuality, race etc. They aimed to break down those barriers that kept diversity out of upscale (Lincoln Park) hair salons. Hip, but not pretentious - known for beautiful color as well as barbering - Mitchell & Co. supports their local community – from the art on the walls to the furniture that clients sit in.

Dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of services, as well as products, Mitchell & Co. strives to bring upscale “downtown” services back to the neighborhood corner shop. Nestled on a quiet residential corner, Mitchell & Co. is honored to be a part of the Lincoln Park community and Chicago at large. We welcome everyone into our salon, without creating more labels to separate us.

Now, 3 1/2 years later, Bobbi and Kiona have brought a baby boy into this world - which only strengthens their meaning and purpose of the "family-owned business."

Ray Zupp Photo

Ray Zupp Art and Marketing Director,

Ray Zupp is the current Art and Marketing Director for FOURSIDED. Outside of his work with FOURSIDED, Zupp has spent the last decade of his life as Scenic and Costume Designer for stage/tv/film and as a Creative Consultant, working with numerous companies across the United States and the U.K.. He has had the opportunity to use his creative eye to design new ways to look at the world in countless mediums, and now lends his approach to creating a cohesive look and brand for companies like FOURSIDED--He is thrilled to work with a company that is so openly inclusive and proud of their LGBTQ+ identity.

Greg O'Neill Photo

Greg O'Neill Co-Owner & Co-Founder,
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine | Bar Pastoral Wine Bar & Bistro

Greg O'Neill, along with his life and business partner Ken Miller, is the Co-Owner/Co-Founder of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, as well as it's sister business Bar Pastoral Wine Bar & Bistro . Pastoral celebrates its 15th Anniversary this August.

Prior to opening Pastoral, Greg had a career in consumer products goods marketing both domestically and abroad. His professional experience includes executive marketing positions with Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive, Verizon, Polaroid and Macy’s Department Stores. He holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and dual bachelor’s degrees from Rutgers University.

After a successful 20-year global career in marketing, Greg decided that the next chapter of his career would involve something for which he had a passion. Through his postings to Hungary and Germany and travels to about 40 countries, he has come to understand that consumers around the globe appreciate the intrinsic value of quality, and Chicagoans are no different. At Pastoral, Greg serves shares operational oversight with Ken, and is also responsible for Marketing, Procurement and Pastoral's Commissary Kitchen.

Outside of Pastoral, Greg has very involved with the industry leading Specialty Food Association, where he served on its Board of Directors as well as its Retailer Network Council and Budget & Audit Committee. He also served as President and Chairman of the Board for the American Cheese Society, the leading organization promoting and supporting cheese in North America. Greg has served on the editorial advisory board of Culture Magazine, the Scholarship Committee for the Comte Association, the Board of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award foundation, and a founding member/board of the Good Food Retailer Collaborative. Closer to home, he also actively volunteers with a number of local and civic organizations.

Pastoral has been fortunate to have been twice named Outstanding Specialty Food Retailer of the Year in both 2007 and in 2012. Pastoral has also been featured three times in Oprah's Favorite Things, Williams Sonoma Catalog, The Today Show, The Food Network and a number of other features and honors. Greg and Ken were recently honored for the third time in Newcity's Big Heat—Chicago's Food & Drink 50.