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Leadership Team

“Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Emily Herkenhoff

Membership Outreach Chair

Emily currently works for Conagra Foods, a consumer packaged goods company newly relocated to Chicago, IL. Before moving the across the Midwest at the beginning of last summer, she lived in Omaha, NE working in transportation. Now positioned within the demand planning sector of supply chain at Conagra Foods, she is working towards an APICS certification to develop her professional supply chain knowledge. Emily is a new member of YPC and is looking forward to representing the board as the Membership Chair.  Aside from networking with peers and working she enjoys attending concerts and rollerblading down by lake.

Libby Schleider

Corporate Relations Chair

A Chicago transplant by way of Mizzou (Go Tigers), Libby Schleider launched her career in Real Estate shortly after moving to the city. As a licensed Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Libby is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients and specializes in bringing peace of mind to first time home buyers.

As the Corporate Relations Chair, Libby will procure and maintain relationships and sponsorships for YPC’s continued growth.  Outside of work, she's an active member of her church, involved in local ministries and planning a wedding with her Venezuelan fiancé.  An athlete by nature, she enjoys all competitive sports and running on the Lake Front Trail.

Mike Ryan

Marketing Chair

Mike is a life-long Chicago resident, digital marketing professional and startup enthusiast. Mike first got involved with marketing at iProspect, running ad campaigns for a wide range of clients including The Limited, Barilla, and Amway. After iProspect, Mike joined myFootpath, an Inc 500 Award-Winning company and then went on to be the first marketer at Keeper - one of the fastest growing startups in Chicago.

Dan Izzo

2017 Executive Director

Dan is currently the Director of Sales & Hospitality for Intersport, a sports marketing services company headquartered in Chicago. A native of the Chicago suburbs, he received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from The University of Arizona in 2007 and a Masters in Sport Management from Drexel University in 2012.

Dan has been involved with YPC since moving back to Chicago in the fall of 2015. When he is not networking Dan enjoys all things Chicago sports, taking advantage of the summer and walking his neighbors dog Maggie!

Benard Teko

Community Outreach Committee Member

Benard is currently a Valuations Analyst at BMO Financial Group, a financial services institution that serves personal, business, and corporate clients.  An alumnus of Illinois State University, he doubled majored in Finance and International Business, with a minor in French.   Benard moved to the U.S. at 12 years old and is trilingual.  Benard proudly served 3 years in the U.S. Army on active duty in Logistics and 5 years in the Army Reserves in Psychological Operations, while attending college.

His interests lie in mentoring, teaching, self-development, public speaking, finance / investments, health, fitness (lifting, running, yoga, meditation), psychology, politics, community service, literature, writing, and reading.

Katherine Tallis

Community Outreach Committee Member

After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg with a degree in Advertising in 2011 and graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Marketing & Public Relations in 2014, Katherine utilizes her degrees by working for Amada Machine Tools America in Schaumburg. Katherine is in charge of hospitality, promotions, special events planning, marketing and sales. Prior to Amada, Katherine had internships with the Chicago Yacht Club for social media and marketing, along with a second internship at Criminal Class Press for public relations. When Katherine isn’t busy at the office, you can find her expanding her networking skills by volunteering, painting, gardening, cooking or playing her piano.

Fred Cadena


Problem finder. Data Scientist. Senior Manager at @AccentureTech. Salesforce Guru.

Experienced Consultant and Relationship Manager with 9+ years experience in, managing projects as either a consultant or as the business owner and solution architect. Extensive experience delivering business value from strategy and technology projects with a focus on CRM, cloud services, data integration, business intelligence, and analytics.

Deep financial services industry experience along with experience in technology, telecommunications, not-for-profit and other sectors.

Scuba diver. Likes cigars, wine, & brown spirits.

Saachi Shah

Community Outreach Chair

Upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Saachi joined Accenture's Technology Strategy group in Chicago. Her project experience includes IT Strategy, IT Roadmap, Operating Model and Spend Analysis across the telecommunications and resources industries. Outside of work, Saachi enjoys volunteering for non-profits and taking various fitness classes (boxing is the best!).

Jason Pirock

Corporate Relations Committee Member

With a background in marketing and merchandising, Jason has over 8 years of experience in the retail industry. In his current role with General Growth Properties, Jason oversees marketing for 20 properties in the southwest portion of the country along with national retailer relations and partnerships. Prior to GGP, Jason worked for Sears Holdings Corporation and Target Corporation after getting his degree in Marketing Management from The University of Akron. He is also a member of the St. Jude Young Professional Board.

Cody Czmyr

Membership Outreach Committee Member

Cody is currently a Senior Membership Specialist at The Executives' Club of Chicago. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management and Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University. and enjoys making personal connections with each member and painting a picture of how The Exceutives' Club membership can be an intricate part of someone’s network. His business background has given him the chance to perform hands on database management, and fine tune my customer service and growth/retention skills. Cody is also a mentor at Year Up Chicago, a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults with a combination of hands-on skills development, coursework eligible for college credit and corporate internships. Cody also enjoys volleyball, running theater and art.

Taylor Polachek

Community Outreach Committee Member

Taylor is currently the Business Development Associate at Corporate Concepts where she is part of an innovative team within the company representing DIRTT (Doing It Right This Time). With 5+ years of sales and marketing experience, Taylor is responsible for creating new relationships and building brand awareness in the Chicago market. Taylor received her Bachelor’s Degree from Butler University and Juris Doctrate from Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Outside of work, you can find Taylor always rooting for her favorite Chicago sports teams, hopping on a flight to see some part of the world with her soon-to-be husband or spending time with her two dogs, Maverick and Olive.

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