Emilia DiMenco has been the president and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago since 2013. The WBDC is an economic development organization launched in 1986 to provide start-up, emerging and established business owners with access to capital, contracts, contacts and information. Emilia works directly with employees, board members, corporate partners and clients to deliver support and acceleration of women’s business development across the Midwest.

Under her direction, the WBDC has expanded its WBE certification program in a nine-state Midwest region, opened a third office in Aurora, Illinois, and established two WBDC micro-loan programs with a lending pool of nearly $1.7 million. It has also expanded the Latina business programs offering bi-lingual business services, developed an eLearning library and launched an entrepreneurship program to serve military veterans.

Advocate Award Honoree