Julie Howard


President and Chief Operating Officer, Navigant Consulting

Julie joined Navigant Consulting Inc. in 1998 and currently serves as its president and chief operating officer. She is responsible for the overall management of company operations, including business unit operations, strategic planning and human capital development. Julie plays an integral role in the development and implementation of strategic objectives and initiatives for Navigant. In this capacity, Julie holds responsibility for the day-to-day management of company profitability, operations and infrastructure, including international practice operations, business development, compensation strategy, professional development, marketing and communications, information technology and administrative operations.


Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin and has completed several Harvard Business School Executive Education Programs and the Stanford University Corporate Governance Seminar. Julie serves on the boards for the Association of Management Consulting Firms, Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Business School of the University of Wisconsin and the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago.



Andrea S. Kramer


Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Andie is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, resident in its Chicago office. She heads the Firm’s Financial Products, Trading and Derivatives Group; co‑chairs its Energy Services Group; and serves as a member of the Global Renewable Energy, Emissions and New Products Group. She is a member of the Firm’s Management Committee and is chair of its Gender Diversity Committee.


Andie focuses her practice on the world of derivative financial products (including their design, taxation, regulation and documentation) and energy and commodity trading, contract negotiation and dispute resolution. Her client responsibilities include tax and regulatory counseling, defense, legislative matters, documentation of customized over-the-counter products, trading policies and procedures, and bankruptcy and creditor’s rights issues. She advises a wide range of multinational businesses and financial services firms on the design, trading and risk management applications of financial products. In 2007, the National Law Journal named Andie as one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America.


Andie holds a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Illinois and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She is a board member and Chair Emeritus of The Women’s Treatment Center of Chicago, a board member and Executive Committee member of the Chicago Foundation for Women and is active with the Pro Bono Center for Disability and Elder Law. Since the late 1990s, she has been an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law.



Laura M. Linger


William Blair & Company, LLC

Laura Linger joined William Blair & Company in 2004 as head of client development for investment counseling within Investment Management Services. Laura has spent her twenty-six year career in management and client facing roles with high net worth individuals, their multi-generational families and endowments and foundations. She provides guidance and works to coordinate their relationship and professional services in investment management and financial advisory. Prior to joining William Blair & Company she was a Senior Vice President and Division Head for LaSalle’s Wealth Management Group.


Laura received her undergraduate degree in Business Economics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking. She is a Board Member of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Friends of Prentice Hospital, Steering Committee Member for the Senior Businesswomen’s Forum, and Investment Committee Member for Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She currently serves as an Advisory Member of WFMT and WTTW Planned Giving Committee and is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange. Laura formerly served on the Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Chicago Global Donors Forum, Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy and completed an appointed term in 2003 as the first Chairperson of the Advisory Board for Women by the State of Illinois Treasurer, Judy Baar Topinka.