2021 Fall Conference Featured Speakers

Management Focus - Dr. Traci Ellis

Dr. Traci Ellis, J.D., SHRM-SCP, is Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Equity Officer, Chief Legal Officer at Illinois Math and Science Academy. Dr. Ellis is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator on building equitable, anti-racist and inclusive organizations. The author of The Exceptional Negro: Racism, White Privilege and the Law of Respectability Politics, her work and social justice advocacy have garnered recognition, including receiving a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Ellis earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business & Industry at Florida A & M University and a Juris Doctor degree at The Ohio State University, College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Illinois.

Dr. Ellis facilitates workshops on DEI topics such as bias, privilege, systemic and institutional racism, equity, cultural competence and anti-racism practices. She also consults with clients to develop DEI-related policies and strategic plans, including HR talent acquisition and retention plans created through an equity lens. Her client list includes organizations in the for-profit, non-profit, government, and education sectors. Traci is also a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, as well as a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Instrument, a tool to assess the cultural competency level of individuals and organizations.


Marketing Focus - Dr. Toya Webb

Dr. Toya Webb serves as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois. With a combined passion for higher education and storytelling, Dr. Webb is a systems’ disrupter, status quo killer and social justice advocate. Dr. Webb, a former breaking news reporter recently published an in-depth study on racial microaggressions outlining the impact of stereotypes in the workplace and amplifying the voices of Black women in leadership.

A fervent keynote and TEDx speaker, Dr. Webb is a recipient of numerous awards including a YWCA leadership award in Communications and Technology; she was named one of the Best Under 40 by the Kane County Chronicle and recognized as a mover and shaker (40 under 40) by the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. Additionally, she is the Ethics Committee Chair for the Chicago Public Relations Society of America and serves on the Diversity Committee for the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, where she also serves as a board member and District Director.

Dr. Webb is married to her high school sweetheart (a Yalie and Army combat veteran), and the couple has three sons.


Finance Focus - Rep. Janet Yang Rohr

Rep. Janet Yang Rohr represents Illinois' 41st House District, serving the Naperville and Warrenville communities. She began her first term in January 2021, joining the 102nd General Assembly.

Rep. Yang Rohr graduated from and previously served as a school board member for Naperville CUSD 203 schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in English and economics from Northwestern University and her masters in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

As a professional in the investment industry for most of the last two decades, Rep. Yang Rohr has been widely quoted and cited for her investment expertise. She's written and researched extensively on retirement and college savings plans, and she holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Rep. Yang Rohr and her husband, Dan, live in Naperville with their three children.


Accessibility and Inclusivity Focus - Dr. Jason Tanner

Dr. Jason Tanner is a Professor of Business at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois; Dr. Tanner is currently in his 18th year of teaching. He has taught a variety of business courses and has served as a dual-credit liaison, advisor, and on numerous committees.

In addition, Dr. Tanner has served in several roles on the IBEA Board, including President; he has also served on the NBEA Strategic Planning Committee.

Also, Dr. Tanner has been a past recipient of the IBEA Outstanding New Professional, Outstanding Independent Research, and Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year awards. He is also a past recipient of the IACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year and NCBEA Outstanding Contributions to Business Education by a Postsecondary Business Teacher awards.

Dr. Tanner and his wife Jen are the parents to four children, two of whom are on the Autism Spectrum.


Entrepreneurial Focus - Mr. Bill Wooditch

Mr. Bill Wooditch built a multi-million-dollar company from the philosophy: “To receive value, you first have to give value.” For over 25 years, he has created and implemented proven concepts, structures and narratives that support leadership development. He is a results-based speaker who inspires the quest for innovation, enrichment and self-fulfillment in personal and professional undertakings.

Bill’s second book, Fail More (published by McGraw Hill), a Wall Street Journal bestseller, provides insights and tools to take active, strategic measures to turn the sting of failure into the reward of growth. It reveals the setbacks that are both inevitable and valuable, and delivers practical ways of quickly moving past self-judgment and recrimination. By embracing failure, not just “getting past it,” you will fly past your competition, whether you’re building a startup, advancing in your career, or improving your personal life.

His bestselling book, Always Forward!, has been called “a game plan for life” by NBC’s Tracy Forner. His book is a product of the hard-won experience he earned as the top salesperson at a Fortune 500 company and, later, as the top producer for two consecutive years at the 6th largest insurance brokerage firm in the world.

Bill uses his experiences and insight to inspire individuals to pursue personal development and professional success with single-minded fervor, providing valuable guidance in leadership, sales, and becoming a game-changer in your own right.