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Morning Keynote Speaker – Melody Spann-Cooper


Melody Spann-Cooper is Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON and WRLL Radio Stations in Chicago. 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 1690AM, the oldest Black-oriented radio station in Chicago. With its urban talk format, the station is lauded as a leading source of information and community empowerment. In 2007, Spann Cooper spearheaded the corporation’s expansion with the development of WRLL 1450AM, Chicago’s Home for Hispanic Independent Broadcasters. WRLL is committed to preserving the authentic voice and culture of Chicago’s growing Latino target market.

Other professional affiliations include: The Board of Visitors at Medill School of Journalism; Trustee of the Museum of Science & Industry; Trustee of the University Of Chicago Medical Center; Member of the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois; Member of The Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs; Board Member of The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, and Board Member of The Provident Foundation.

Her accomplishments in broadcast media have been recognized by numerous organizations that have highlighted her achievements in leadership and business including Crain’s Chicago Business; The Chicago Sun-Times; The Minority Supplier Development Council, The Women’s Business Development Corporation; and the Community Media Workshop.



Luncheon Keynote Speaker – Marlene González


Marlene González, Founder and president of Life Coaching Group, LLC. Marlene is a published writer and prominent speaker. She is co-author of the book “Latinization and the Latino Leader”; How to value, develop and advance talented professionals©, and she is a Career Coach columnist for the Latina Magazine. Her client list includes government, non-profit, and Fortune 500 companies. She is a leader in the cutting edge industry of executive coaching, leadership, organizational behavior management and training. Her company’s website is:

She offers programs that are simple, easy to understand and applicable. Her messages are universal because they speak to everyone—your whole organization will be captivated by Marlene’s magic, she will take you places you never expected. She is very positive and insightful. Her programs are fun, energetic and vibrant and so engaging that empowers people to change. A partial list of her programs includes Leadership Effectiveness, Multicultural Team dynamics, Organizational Culture and Awareness, Politics Can Make or Break Your Career: How to Navigate the Culture, the Politics and Network; Power up Your Career to the Top, Women’s Empowerment workshops, Mentoring and Coaching programs.

Marlene is a published writer and prominent speaker. She is co-author of the book “Latinization and the Latino Leader”; How to develop and advance Latino business leaders©, and she is the Career Coach columnist for the Latina Magazine, the only English-language magazine for acculturated young Latinas in the US, a readership of nearly 3 million with 10 issues per year. She is a contributing Blogger for Haceonline. She serves in multiple boards, councils and non-profit organizations such as National Council of La Raza, National Hispana Leadership Institute, HACE, New Future, and the National-Louis University. She also servers on “My Own Business Institute” (MOBI) Advisory Panel. Her experiences in the U.S., the UK, Germany, France and throughout Latin America and her native Venezuela have equipped her with a true global perspective. González has more than 30 years of corporate and business experience with Fortune 500 companies. She held many executive corporate positions in the US, Europe and Latin America in areas such as management, operations, product development and innovation; franchising and field service, training, learning and development. She is the former Senior Director of global training, learning and development for McDonald’s Corporation. She led the strategic execution of the global training strategies, executive development and learning technology platform for the entire enterprise that supported 2.5 million employees, 30,000 restaurants located in more than 140 countries; in addition, she partnered with six corporate and local universities for curricula accreditation and alignment in 5 continents in more than 40 languages. González is a certified Executive Coach and Insights Discovery licensed practitioner. She holds BA, an Executive MBA/PAG from IESA Business School in Venezuela, and also holds a graduate diploma on managerial Issues in the global enterprise from Thunderbird University, the Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix, Arizona.

González has been a recipient of many awards and recognitions such as Cambridge Who’s Who among executives and professionals, President’s Award for a Fortune 500 company, Team Awards, Manager of the Year, and was named one of the Top 100 Executives in Latin America by Dinero Magazine. She resides in Illinois with her husband Carlos of more than 20+ years; they enjoy traveling, and gourmet cooking.