Tag Archives: Carolyn Leonard

meet carolyn: trailblazer in chicago’s financial industry

“Some of the guys thought that because I’m blonde, I was dumb. So they would talk about their trading strategy in front of me. And I would just listen and absorb everything they were saying.”

Carolyn Leonard, DyMynd, People with Panache

Carolyn’s philosophy on investing: “Diversity does go to the bottom line: all diversity – racial, gender, sexuality. If you’re looking to invest in companies that will outperform their peers, look for diversity and depth of experience in the C-suite and the board of directors.”

Way to turn lemons into lemonade and jerks into teachers, Carolyn!

In some ways, Carolyn Leonard’s story isn’t uncommon. She entered a “man’s world” and was treated brazenly unequally—but that’s where any notion of Carolyn being average ends.

Carolyn, 73-year-old entrepreneur and founder of DyMynd, says in America there are 9.2 million women-led companies with an economic impact of $3 trillion. While discrimination like she experienced keeps lingering longer than seems acceptable or necessary, we women can change it—together. And we are.

As one of the oldest entrepreneurs in the country, Carolyn is a real-life testament to facing your fears, taking risks on yourself, and never giving up. From being one of the first women to trade on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange to starting her own business four years ago at age 69, Carolyn’s story tells itself. Continue reading

money smart week 2016 and chicago’s first feminist film festival recaps

One of my favorite things to talk about is also one of life’s most taboo topics:

Money.

Sometimes, I just want to straight-up ask people: “Hey, how much money do you make, and how did you get to that point? Is it a competitive salary in your field?” or “How do you invest your money?” or “Is 1% too high of a fee to pay for a mutual fund? How do you know that your financial advisor is legit?” I don’t want to do this because I’m nosy—it’s because, currently, everything I know about money is based solely on my own LIMITED experience.

It's the Money, Honey! panel: Terry, Kristen, Joanne and Ginny

It’s the Money, Honey! panel: Terry, Kristen, Joanne and Ginny

Although society dictates that it’s not polite to ask people such questions, money is one of life’s necessary evils. And I feel like I can never learn enough about how to earn it, grow it, save it, invest it, give it or spend it. Someday I hope to buy a condo or go to grad school or save for a future child’s college fund or help my parents in their retirement—but I can’t do any of those things if I don’t HAVE money first. That is why I was so pumped that last week was Money Smart Week 2016 in Chicago—a whole week of events put on by our good friends at the YWCA Chicago and DyMynd for the sole purpose of talking about earning, investing, spending and giving money! Continue reading

meet monika: badass entrepreneur and coach in chicago

Monika Black on People with Panache

What Monika lives by: “I don’t say no, and I’m always there when you need to dance. You should never have to dance alone unless you want to.”

You know those amazing conversations after which you’re so full of thoughts and feelings and inspiration that you feel exhausted afterward (in the best way) even though all you did was pretty much sit and listen? I was lucky enough to meet Monika Black a few months ago and that conversation was one I will never forget. After lots of stories and a little dancing, I came away with a renewed sense of purpose. You’ll see why.

Monika is one busy woman. She owns a consulting and coaching business called TandemSpring with her husband, Tomer Yogev. She co-leads DyMynd, the eHarmony of the financial world. It’s a ground-breaking company that uses assessment tools to connect women with the right financial institution, and she runs it with Carolyn Leonard, another fantastic woman you shouldn’t be surprised to see on PWP in the near future. Oh and she teaches psychology at DePaul University. But it’s not any one of these things that makes her unique. From the moment you meet Monika, you can’t help but notice her energy! I’ve never met someone with so much spirit in my life. Continue reading