Admit it: Men have been running the superhero show for way too long. When Batman V Superman was announced, one of the things we were most excited about was the first live-action blockbuster appearance of Wonder Woman. We haven’t seen the film just yet, but judging by the trailers she seems to be there to break up the fight between the two clashing heroes.

Since March is National Women’s History Month, what better way is there to celebrate strong thought leaders in Chicago than highlighting nine wonder women throughout the city? These ladies might not be demigods, but they’re certainly heroes in our book.

Star Cunningham



Founder and CEO of 4D Healthware

4D Healthware is a multi-platform software that allows patients dealing with chronic illness to track their health in real time without needing the constant visits to the doctor. Their app complies with all HIPAA regulations and tracks the patient’s data 24 hours a day. Cunningham founded 4D Healthware in 2011 when she recognized that patients with chronic illness had less control over their lives and schedules.

Jen Quinlan



Vice President of Marketing for Rithmio

Rithmio connects with motion sensing devices to track and analyze gestures and other small, detailed movements. This information is then used by companies to create gesture-based products such as wearables, smartwatches or connected sports equipment. Some of their investors include Intel and KGC Capital. They were also recently featured at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, where they participated in a motion capture panel. Quinlan is the Vice President of Marketing for the company and has been with them since 2014. She wears many hats, doing everything from marketing to public relations, community relations and more, all while being the company’s main spokesperson.

Marie Tillman



Founder of Mac & Mia

Mac & Mia is an online style quiz and subscription box for busy moms that find themselves falling behind on keeping their kids “look” hip and stylish. Founded by Tillman in 2014, the company sends a subscription box full of children’s clothes to people’s doorsteps. They do everything from newborn to 6-year-olds and their style quiz means that the clothes sent out will fit the child’s style perfectly. The best part? You only pay for the clothes you keep; the rest you send back with a prepaid label.

Heidi Brown

Heidi Brown

Founder and CMO of Options Away

Options Away is an online flight and travel planner that allows users to find flights and hold their seats for days or even weeks while travel plans are finalized. Plane ticket prices fluctuate everyday and Options Away is the perfect way to hold on to a price while you find your hotel or make other arrangements. Brown, founder and CMO, wanted a way to combine her knowledge of finances and marketing with her love of traveling and recognized a problem; flights are extremely hard to hold on to. The company was founded by her and her husband and it definitely makes traveling much easier.

Jessica Tenuta

Jessica Tenuta


Co-Founder of Packback Books

Packback Books was founded by three college students who were fed up with outrageous textbook prices, one of them being Tenuta. Their idea was simple: create a cheap and easy way for students to access their textbooks. So they built a digital platform to do just that. One of their most innovative features is their one day eBook rental. Instead of paying the whole price for a textbook that will only be used once before the big final, textbooks can be rented for one day starting at just $5.

Melissa Anderson

Melissa Anderson


Chief Revenue Officer of Public Good

Public Good helps nonprofit organizations connect with donors and raise funds online with a goal of making fundraising as easy and streamlined as possible. They also allow donors to search around and learn more about each cause before they donate. Anderson is the Chief Revenue Officer and was part of the founding team in 2015. Her role deals primarily in assisting the growth and expansion of the company.

Rosie Castrejon

Rosie Castrejon

Director of Finance for Reverb

Reverb is an online marketplace for all things music and instrumental. It serves as a place where musicians can buy and sell everything from used guitars and drums to DJ equipment and amps. Castrejon is the Director of Finance for the online market platform and has multiple years of experience dealing with accounting and specializing in the music industry. She’s been with the company since 2013 and has helped expand and run Reverb’s Preferred Seller initiative.