Live Webinar: Stories from the Frontline: How Leading Women Continue to Advance and Evolve Business in Chicago


Join PRSA Chicago for a discussion featuring some of Chicago’s most accomplished women in business for an inspirational and aspirational conversation on empowering the next generation of women leaders.

These women in leadership will share stories that:

  • highlight how they have impacted and evolved their respective industries;
  • define how allyship and mentoring can shape the career trajectory of women;
  • illustrate the struggles and triumphs along their professional journeys; and,
  • provide insights on how they’ve chosen to push through boundaries that women often face in business.

When: Tuesday, Aug. 18; 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: Online Webinar (FREE for Chicago chapter members)
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, Aug. 18; 5:00 p.m. (Registration is required to receive the virtual meeting link from Zoom Webinar.)

Can’t attend the live virtual webinar? Register for the event, and we will send you a link to the recording after the live event.

Questions? Please send an email to [email protected].


Melody Spann Cooper
President, WVON 1690 AM | Chairman, Midway Broadcasting Corporation
Melody Spann Cooper is Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, a best-inclass African-American owned media boutique whose properties include radio and digital platforms. The properties combine to provide niche programming to Chicago’s thriving Black and Hispanic populations. As Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, she joined an elite list of America’s female broadcast owners after purchasing the company’s controlling interest in 1999.

Midway Broadcasting properties include WVON 1690, the oldest Black-oriented radio station in Chicago. With its urban talk format, the station is recognized nationally as a leading source of information and community empowerment. In 2007, Spann Cooper spearheaded the corporation’s expansion with the development of WRLL 1450, Chicago’s Home for Hispanic Independent Broadcasters. In fall 2020, the corporation will launch VON-tv, a digital streaming network reaching more than 100 million households on ROKU, Apple+ and Amazon Fire.

Spann Cooper’s other professional affiliations include: Commissioner of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission; Vice Chair of the Illinois Broadcasting Association; Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Obama Library Foundation; Executive Board Member of Chicago’s tourism board, Choose Chicago; Trustee of the Museum of Science & Industry; Executive Committee Member of the Business Leadership Council; Executive Board Member of The National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, and Co-Founder of the Color Us Women Organization.

Spann Cooper’s accomplishments in broadcast media have been recognized by numerous organizations that have highlighted her achievements in leadership and business. She recently added ‘author’ to her list of accomplishments with the release of her first book, The Girlfriend’s Guide To Closing the Deal.

Spann Cooper holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University of Chicago. She is married and the daughter of legendary radio personality Pervis Spann “The Blues Man,” the co-founder of Midway Broadcasting Corporation.

Virginia Devlin
CEO, Current Global
Virginia Devlin is Chief Executive Officer of Current Global, a midsized communications agency that is part of the Interpublic Group. Since 2006, she has led consistent growth by focusing on recruiting and retaining top talent, establishing long-term client partnerships, and delivering impactful, award-winning work.

Virginia thrives on developing results-driven marketing campaigns that combine business strategy with creative savvy. A 2017 PRWeek Champion of PR and 2014 PR News Top Women in PR Award honoree, her board experience includes the PR Council, the US trade association for public relations firms, and the Public Relations Society of America Chicago chapter. She has judged various industry award competitions including the CLIO, PRWeek and SABRE North America awards. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and serves as a board member and CMO for the non-profit Ryan Banks Academy, which aims to be Chicago’s first boarding school for at-risk youth.

Carolyn Grisko
President and CEO, Grisko
After beginning her career in journalism at Chicago Public Radio, then government and politics in the Richard M. Daley administration, Carolyn Grisko founded Grisko LLC in 1995. For the past 25 years, her integrated communications agency has worked on issues and causes that changed the shape of our city and region – from opposing an airport in Peotone to supporting the expansion of O’Hare; to outlawing smoking in public places and helping elect Mayor Lightfoot. Her agency is also the creator and protector of the Ventra brand, and works with businesses and non-profits to reframe narratives and fuel missions that drive measurable results. Grisko is a leading member of IPREX, the global partnership of independent communications agencies.  


Christie Zielinski, APR
Vice President, KemperLesnik
Christie Zielinski, APR, is a vice president with KemperLesnik, responsible for providing strategic PR counsel to clients in the consumer products and services, real estate, and business to business industries.

Zielinski has 20-plus years of public relations industry experience, bringing a focus on driving bottom line results for clients and expertise in strategy and message development, media relations, media training, social media, corporate social responsibility, issues management, and crisis communications.

Previously, Zielinski spent 15 years at Cushman/Amberg Communications in a variety of leadership positions, working on behalf of such clients as BainUltra, DeVry, GE Healthcare Financial Services, Protiviti, Sandals & Beaches Resorts and U.S. Cellular.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America.

Program Details


$0.00 Chicago Chapter Member: FREE

$10.00 Non-member

All ticket sales are final. Substitutions may be made at any time.

August 18, 2020
5:30 PM CDT - 6:30 PM CDT

Live Webinar