Olympian Aja Evans

Beauty & the Beast Mode: Leadership Symposium

Empowering Emerging Leaders to Level Up

February 15, 2020 08:00 am -

February 15, 2020 12:00 pm

St. Jane, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA
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Join Olympian Aja Evans at the 2020 Beauty & the Beast Mode symposium, a 1-day event including workshops, networking mixer, and panel discussion featuring women leaders in Sports, Media, and Finance.  Build leadership qualities, gain valuable financial literacy skills, and embrace entrepreneurship through a network of influence and information from professional women.


Event Schedule:

Saturday, February 15th at St. Jane Hotel, Chicago, IL

8:00am: Registration & Breakfast

8:30-9am: Preparation for Elevation: Stepping into your Queendom with Dr. Janice Collins

9-9:30am: Coffee Chat with Aja Evans, Cari Champion, Nakia Sanford, and Amina Smith. Moderated by Kris Christian, Presented by Chicago French Press

9:30-10:am: Forward Focus: Zone in on your Finances with Elizabeth Sheenhan

10-10:30am: Breaking the Mold: Exploration into Sports Business with Kelli Masters

10:30-11am: Building an Empire: The Power of your Online Presence- Fireside Chat with Karen Civil and Aja Evans

11:00am-12pm: Networking Mixer featuring Wellness activations powered by Under Armour



Preparation for Elevation: Stepping into your Queendom

Realize that life's lessons and challenges are your preparation for elevation to lead, collaborate, transform and transcend what awaits you. Active Centralized Empowerment (A.C.E.) a paradigm and praxis developed by Dr. Collins over the past 15 years, teaches you how to reach your optimal performance and "calling" in life by being your authentic self and A.C.E.ing it!

Forward Focus: Zone in on your Finances

Despite the progress women have made towards closing the wage gap, studies show that women are still behind when it comes to investing their money.  One of the best way to reverse this trend is for women to become empowered with their finances at an early age.  In this interactive presentation Elizabeth Sheehan will share easy strategies that we can all use to take control of our finances.

Breaking the Mold: Exploration into Sports Business

Explore opportunities in sports business beyond your athletic career.  Learn about the experiences of women who have changed the game in sports law and sports management.  Hear what you can do now to prepare for a future in sports business and land (or create) your dream job.


Meet Aja Evans

Aja Evans is a decorated 2-time Olympian and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Bobsled athlete for Team USA.  The Chicago native began her journey in sports as a track & field athlete at Morgan Park High School.  While studying Sport Management at the Univ. of Illinois, Evans became a 5-time All-American, and 3-time Big Ten Champion. 

After competing in the 2018 Winter Games, Aja took a break from sport and created the Aja Wins! brand designed to inspire the next generation of future athletes, leaders and trailblazers. 

Building a strong foundation for success on and off the field shows Aja's dedication to a legacy of greatness and inspiring change.


Featured Guests

Karen Civil

Karen is the CEO & Founder of Always Civil, and has led the culture in digital strategy and entrepreneurship since 2008. The Harvard Business School graduate has  rebuilt communities in Haiti, including the Live Civil Playground for 300 students in attendance. From working with students to international stars like Nicki Minaj, Teyana Taylor, and Ryan Destiny at Star on FOX, she personifies visibility and success.

Dr. Janice Collins

The Emmy award-winning journalist, and Women’s Basketball ACC Legend Hall of Fame graduate from Wake Forest University, now serves as Assistant Professor for the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. the decorated Dr. Collins has a passion for empowering others and brings lessons in management, leadership, and collaboration to Beauty & the Beast Mode. 

Elizabeth Sheehan

Elizabeth Sheehan is a Financial Advisor at UBS Wealth Management where she is dedicated to providing her team's clients with a holistic wealth management process inclusive of thorough financial planning, insurance analysis, and estate planning.  Elizabeth is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®).  She graduated cum laude from Bucknell University with a degree in business management, and specializes in helping athletes best manage their finances.

Kris Christian

While working as a financial analyst on Wall Street, Kris discovered that she had a deeper passion for meeting the needs of people than making profits. This multi-passionate serial and social entrepreneur has made it her life’s work to deliver results and solve challenges from her lens as a millennial influencer and thought-leader.

Nakia Sanford

Nakia Sanford spent 14 years in professional sports, with her WNBA career spanning a little over a decade, her international basketball career took her to teams in 9 different countries. The tenacity she developed as an athlete has helped her build a legacy outside of the game in the financial services industry. Her passion is helping elite athletes make elite financial decisions, that create generational legacies. 

Amina Smith

Amina Smith is the millennial media maven of sports & entertainment. As one of the industry's most sought-after reporters/hosts, Amina has interviewed celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Shaquille O'Neal, Angela Bassett, Idris Elba and reported from the red carpet of the VMA's, NBA Awards, BET Awards and much more! Amina's mantra is, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work."


Who You'll Meet

  • Cari Champion

    American Broadcast Journalist | Television Host | Brown Girls Dream Foundation | Special Guest

  • Kris Christian

    Serial Entrepreneur | Founder of Chicago French Press & MADE Magazine | Moderator

  • Karen Civil

    Media Maven | Author | CEO | Live Civil | Featured Speaker

  • Dr. Janice Collins

    Global Media Producer | Documentarian | Journalist | Professor | Emmy Award Winner | Featured Speaker


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