2021 FSP Intern Career Conference
Keynote Speaker: Sunny Akomu Akhigbe
Sunny was born in Nigeria. In the first years of his life, he faced poverty and malnutrition. He was challenged by his family to live up to and exceed his potential, and he did. Since then, he moved to the United States, earned his MBA, and started “A Boy and his Dream Foundation.”
With the foundation, Sunny aims to inspire change and give a voice of determination and perseverance to everyone experiencing hardship. From complicated family situations to moving to the other side of the world, Sunny’s story of determination to succeed, no matter the cost, is a story we believe is one that inspires and gives hope.
Event Co-Emcee: Dimiya Martin
Dimiya Martin is a Senior Assistant Bank Examiner with three years of experience at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Dimiya began her career in 2018 and through her tenure, has led and assisted several examinations for a variety of banking institutions. Dimiya has been involved with the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) since 2018 as FSP was the catalyst for her employment at The Fed. Further, Dimiya has served as a board member of the bank’s Black Employee Resource Group BIG (Black Impact Group) since beginning her career at the bank in 2018 as well. Dimiya is currently a fellow in the Chicago United Corporate Inclusion Institute which allows her to further broaden her communication skills and enhance her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Event Co-Emcee: Quentin Harris
Quentin Harris has worked as a Rotational Credit Analyst over the course of 2.5 years gaining experience within Commercial Real Estate, Asset Based Lending, Wealth Services and primarily Commercial Industrial departments at Wintrust Financial Corporation. He attended the University of Missouri from 2014 to 2018 and graduated as a first-generation student with a Bachelor in Personal Finance and Business Minor. After leaving the University of Missouri, he made it his mission to be one of the best Commercial Lenders in Chicago, and with an upcoming graduation from Wintrust Rotational Program, he will be one step closer to working as a Portfolio Manager helping maintain a $1.2 Billion dollar portfolio within the Franchise Finance Department. Additionally, he owns Harris Tax and Consulting Services which specializes in the maximization and guidance of Federal and State Tax returns for young professionals. While the two jobs account for the majority of his time, off the clock Quentin enjoys sports, music (R&B, hip-hop and classical), chess, and being an active member in his community. Quentin is looking forward to creating his own scholarship fund in the near future and hopes to become a primary contributor in the growth of his community and culture.
Mindfulness Facilitator: Ela Aktay
Ela Aktay is a writer and certified meditation instructor whose mission is to help people lead less stressful and more mindful lives.
The New Abnormal: Thriving Professionally In Times of Uncertainty: Yaneth Medina
Yaneth Medina serves as the President of Elgin for St Charles Bank & Trust Company, N.A, a Wintrust Community Bank. Yaneth has more than 25 years of experience in leadership, banking, relationship building, workplace culture, and coaching and mentoring. She wears many hats and serves on many internal committees, including business development, compliance, and employee recognition. She also sits on several corporate level committees.
Yaneth’s strong work ethic and integrity have helped her achieve in her career. She is also viewed by colleagues as a supportive member of the management team and she understands the value of promoting and inspiring a positive culture in which everyone can thrive.
She also dedicates her time to serving several organizations in the local area. Currently, she is the Vice President/Board Member for Centro De Informacion. Centro is a non-for-profit agency whose mission is to empower Hispanics with the ability to effectively integrate into our greater community through the facilitation of information, education, citizenship and well-being. Additionally, Yaneth serves as Vice Chair/Board Member for the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce. Finally, Yaneth recently joined the board of Marklund, a non-for-profit organization that serves infants, children, teens and adults with serious and profound developmental disabilities and special healthcare needs.
Yaneth just recently received two recognitions:
Latina Style Magazine| Top 10 Corporate LATINA Executives of the year for 2019
Today’s Inspired Latina| Today’s Inspired Latina Woman of the Year for 2020
Yaneth’s family consists of her three wonderful boys, her parents, and her brother and sister. They have been her inspiration!
The New Abnormal: Thriving Professionally In Times of Uncertainty: Olga Camargo
Olga has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 2006, Olga authored a graduate thesis, which focuses on the imperative need for financial institutions to provide culturally-relevant financial services to better engage today’s culturally diverse society. She has based her financial practice and new FinTech App project on her research and community needs. Her overall mission is to join collective efforts to help close the U.S. wealth gap. Olga is also Co-Head of FARO Advisory (a division of TOROSO Investments) and provides investment advisory and retirement plan advisory (virtual) services to individual and institutional clients. Olga serves as the 2021 Chair for FORBES Business Council’s Financial Services Industry Group. Negocios Now named Olga among Chicago’s Most Influential 50 Latinos. Crain’s Chicago Business named Olga among “Chicago’s Most Powerful Latinos” in 2019. Olga earned both Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The New Abnormal: Thriving Professionally in Times of Uncertainty: Deborah Graham
As Senior Advisor to State Treasurer Michael Frerichs Deborah has extensive experience in City and State Government as an elected official and working in various government positions. Deborah acts as a surrogate for the Treasurer at events and meetings by publicly speaking about financial programs and service offerings and is a champion for people facing considerable social and economic challenges. Born and raised in the Austin community on Chicago’s West Side, Deborah got her first taste of community service volunteering with her grandmother feeding the homeless and coordinating services and activities for seniors through her church.
The New Abnormal: Thriving Professionally in Times of Uncertainty: Cassandra Henwood
Cassandra Henwood received her Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre Performance in 2011 from Rockford University. In addition, she has earned her Graduate Certification in Human Resources Management and her Master’s in Business Administration from Devry Keller Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining First Insurance Funding, she worked as a Personal Banker for Elgin State Bank, (Wintrust) a Universal Banker for MB Financial, and a Customer Service/Training Manager (HR) for Old Navy. She is honored to be involved with FSP for the first time!
Landing Your Next Role: Carl Davis
Carl Davis is the Vice President Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Corporate Recruitment in Mesirow Human Resources. He is responsible for spearheading the Diversity Equity and Inclusion & Recruitment efforts across multiple lines of business and consults with strategic decision makers globally to strengthen the value proposition within our Investment Management, Capital Markets, Investment Banking and Shared Services teams. Additionally, Carl serves on Mesirow’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council.
Carl has more than 25 years of experience in technology and financial services recruitment. Prior to joining Mesirow in 2016, he was a senior technology recruiter with JPMorgan Chase. Carl oversaw the recruitment of all technology professionals across all platforms, as well as vendor management for the largest revenue generator, GTI (Global Technology Infrastructure), while working with their asset management, fixed income and commercial community bank teams.
Carl is a proud board member of the Carl Davis Foundation and volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Carl earned a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts from University of Illinois at Chicago.
Landing Your Next Role: Emma Mihelich
Emma Mihelich is a Sr. Recruiter at CME Group with 6 years of Recruiting and Human Resources experience. She has led the Campus and Entry-level Recruiting team for the past 3 years and is passionate about helping students start their career. She enjoys being a part of process improvement initiatives that better the candidate experience. Emma attended University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a degree in Economics. She enjoys spending time outside with family and friends and going on walks with her puppy Otto!
Landing Your Next Role: Melanie Muñoz
Melanie Muñoz is driven by her passion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a passion that spreads to every realm of her life. In her own words, “DEI isn’t what I do, but more who I am.” As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant and Strategic Advisor she strives to create opportunities for all and support her clients develop creative solutions that result in impactful change.
Melanie specializes in managing DEI strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Business Resource Group Planning & Development, Facilitation, Program Management & subject matter expertise on BIPOC recruitment. She was formerly the Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Sr. DEI Consultant at The Kaleidoscope Group, a full-service Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consulting firm based out of Chicago where she currently serves as a contract DEI consultant alongside her independent work. Some of her former clients include Major League Baseball, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Groupon, Federal Reserve Bank System, Mailchimp and more.
In addition to advancing Diversity, Equity and inclusion with her clients she formerly served as President for Prospanica Chicago, whose mission is to empower and enable Latinx professionals to achieve their full educational, economic and social potential. She also helped lead Prospanica’s annual Summer Enrichment Program, providing professional development and college readiness for Black and Latinx students in the Chicagoland area.
In between leading the world of DEI in Corporate America, Melanie also leads DEI efforts in the context of her faith-based community at People Church Chicago where she launched PIXELS, a social impact organization that supports faith-based organizations and churches address issues of racial reconciliation, inclusion and equitable community development. Many pixels, one Picture is the vision. Through Pixels, Melanie has had the ability to develop, build and implement strategies & education specifically developed with a biblical foundation. She has received several awards including the Power of The Future Award by The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, Diversity MBA’s 50 under 50, Chicago’s 40 Latinos Under 40, and named one of the top twelve leaders in the U.S. as “Coors Light Lider” of 2020.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in Business from The University of Toledo in Ohio and earned her Master of Arts degree in Psychology, focusing on Diversity and Inclusion leadership, and Organizational Change at Cleveland State University. Melanie is also a Certified Diversity Practitioner from Cleveland State University & Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.