Chicago Foundation for Women Announces 2018 Impact Awards Honorees
January 18 2018

Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) is proud to announce the 2018 Impact Awards honoring six local leaders for their exemplary work increasing resources and opportunities for women and girls. The awards will be presented on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at Venue SIX10 at Spertus Institute.

“With an incredible roster of nominees, the selection committee had a tough task,” CFW President and CEO K. Sujata said. “This year’s Impact Awards celebrate the diverse voices and strategies driving the movement for women and girls, whether through philanthropy or technology, as a health educator or a community organizer.”

This year, CFW will honor:

  • Iris Krieg, co-founder of Chicago Foundation for Women, 2018 Founders Award;

  • Etosha Ottey, founder of Chicago Black Women in Tech, 2018 Pioneer Award;

  • Janice Lopez, Women’s Business Development Center, 2018 Impact Award;

  • Nadiah Mohajir, founder and executive director HEART Women & Girls, 2018 Impact Award;

  • Ellen Schumer, co-founder and executive director of Community Organizing and Family Issues, 2018 Impact Award; and

  • BMO Harris Bank, 2018 Outstanding Corporate Citizen Impact Award.

“We are especially excited to honor one of CFW’s founders, Iris Krieg,” added Sujata. “CFW would not be here today, were it not for the vision and leadership of Iris and her co-founders.”

CFW co-founder Iris Krieg will receive the 2018 Founders Award in honor of her lifetime contributions to women’s philanthropy. Krieg, alongside Marjorie Benton, Sunny Fischer and Lucia Woods Lindley, founded Chicago Foundation for Women in 1985 to increase institutional funding for programs and services specifically for women and girls and to increase the representation of women in philanthropy. Krieg served as the foundation’s first Board Chair and provided strategic leadership in the foundation’s early days of operation.

Krieg also co-founded Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP) in 1981 with Joy Beaton to strengthen philanthropy supporting women and girls. CWIP produced research making the case for increased funding for programs for women and girls, in light of historic and persistent underfunding. Krieg continues to advocate for women and girls as a consultant and as a member of CFW’s Alumnae Council.

Etosha Ottey, founder of Chicago Black Women in Tech (CBWiT), will receive the Pioneer Award for her leadership and work on behalf of underrepresented women in Chicago’s Tech industry. CBWiT provides advocacy and education services to empower members, to build a community of women in tech and to create functional pipelines to tech careers.

The Impact Awards recognize leaders working to improve the lives of women and girls by expanding economic security, ensuring freedom from violence or enhancing access to health services. This year, CFW will honor:

  • Janice Lopez, Managing Director of Entrepreneurial Services at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) and Director of the Women’s Business Center – Chicago. Lopez works with women entrepreneurs, leading the Latina Entrepreneurial Accelerated Development Program, the Latina Business Program, and overseeing the Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Program.

  • Nadiah Mohajir, founder and executive director of HEART Women & Girls, a nonprofit organization that provides sexual health education and sexual violence awareness programming and advocacy to Muslim communities in Chicago and across the country.

  • Ellen Schumer, co-founder and executive director of Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), an organization dedicated to building the leadership, power, and collective voice of low-income parents – largely mothers and grandmothers – to improve life opportunities for their children and families.

CFW will also honor BMO Harris Bank with the 2018 Outstanding Corporate Citizen Impact Award in recognition of their community investments and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The 2018 awards were selected from among dozens of community nominations by a seven member volunteer committee: Sunny Fischer (chair), Marcy Carlin, Priscilla Levine Kersten, Anne Ladky, Maria Pesqueira, Janice Rodgers and Goli Sheikholeslami.

Additional information, including sponsorship and ticket information, is available at

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About Chicago Foundation for Women

Chicago Foundation for Women invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW funds organizations working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and access to health care and information. In addition to grantmaking, CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources and develop solutions. To learn more, visit