Women's Executive Forum


General Information

Credit Hours

4.75 CAE Hours


March 11, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


W-Chicago.jpg W Chicago-City Center
172 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603


CEO: $300
Emerging Leader: $199
Executive Leader: $199

Woman of Influence Award 2020

koloughlin.jpgAssociation Forum is pleased to announce Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, President and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), as the 2020 recipient of the Woman of Influence Award.

Being named the 2020 Woman of Influence is a reflection her tireless leadership in advancing the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the association community. As a trailblazer, she has demonstrated with excellence a proven track record of innovation, impact and paying it forward through coaching, mentoring and service to others. Deborah’s outstanding accomplishments over her illustrious career are a beacon of success and a standard of excellence that only a few have or can achieve.

Deborah was the recipient of the 2018 Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Staff Executive Achievement and a past Chair of Association Forum.

“Honoring women in leadership is a core premise for ACHE,” Ms. Bowen said. “We strive to further diversity in healthcare through our work and research. Today, ACHE represents nearly 17,000 women in leadership roles. I’m proud to receive this honor from Association Forum, whose own efforts and values so closely align with ours.”

Ms. Bowen will be presented the award at the 8th Annual Women’s Executive Forum on March 11, 2020, at the W Chicago-City Center. She will also serve as the event’s lunch keynote speaker. The Women’s Executive Forum is an annual assembly of female association CEOs, C-Suite executives and emerging leaders designed to facilitate candid conversations around specific issues, challenges and opportunities.

The Woman of Influence Award was previously awarded to Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, DMD, executive director of the American Dental Association (ADA) and to Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

About Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE

Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, is President and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is board certified in healthcare management and a Fellow of ACHE and the American Society of Association Executives. Ms. Bowen currently serves on the board of the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity, chairs the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Overseers, and is a member of the International Hospital Federation Governing Council. Ms. Bowen has also held several leadership positions including chairing the boards of the Association Forum of Chicagoland and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Since becoming President and CEO in 2013, Ms. Bowen has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare and one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. She received a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The 2020 Woman of Influence Award is sponsored by:

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Keynote Speaker Announced

Cara Brookins
Best-selling author; rebuilt her broken family as she built her own house using YouTube tutorials

Cara Brookins built her own 3,500 square foot house by using YouTube tutorials. After surviving domestic violence, she was faced with the stark challenge of providing for her four children, with no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home—but without the means to buy one—she did something incredible. She built one from scratch, while rebuilding her family.

Cara offers strategies that apply to every level of your organization and will change the way you live and work. The author of eight books, including Rise: How a House Built a Family, takes you behind the scenes of her inspiring, gone-viral story. Cara has appeared on The Today Show, CBS, and Inside Edition and had her story featured in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and Southern Living. Her memoir was optioned for film, Rise, which will be released as a major motion picture featuring A-list actors in 2020.

Sponsored by:


8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Networking and Breakfast

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Ice Breaker and Speed Networking: Getting to Know Each Other

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote – Building the Best You
Cara Brookings, author of How a House Built a Family

Sponsored by Keppler Speakers Bureau

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

10:45 – 11:45
Conversation Circles
  • CEOnly Conversation Circle - Vulnerability in the Workplace
  • Executive Leader Conversation Circle – Owning Your Brand
  • Aspiring Leader Conversation Circle – Finding Your Leadership Voice

11:45 – 1:00 p.m.
Networking Lunch

12:30 p.m.
Woman of Influence Award Presentation and Remarks

1:00 p.m.
Crushing the Glass Ceiling: Alpana Singh, is an American Master Sommelier, restaurateur and local television personality in Chicago, Illinois.

2:00 p.m.
The Generational Debate – A Multi-Generational Conversation on Women and Work

2:45 p.m.

3:00 p.m.
Closing Keynote Speaker: Mindfulness, Trust and Transparency
Dorri C. McWhorter, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

4:00 p.m.
Key Takeaways and Application

5:00 p.m.
Women’s Executive Forum Reception

Other Features:
• Relaxation area onsite
• Speed Networking
• The Generational Debate – Vickie Louise