Our Speakers

Magdalena Wróbel

Vice President, Treasury Management Advisor – First Bank of Highland Park

Magdalena Wrobel joined First Bank of Highland Park in 2017 as a Vice President, Treasury Management Advisor. In her role, Magdalena focuses on establishing and maintaining strong relationships with all business and non-profit clients to ensure the bank is meeting their banking needs.

With over 17 years of experience across various banking divisions from Retail, Mergers & Acquisitions, Product and Project Management to Treasury Management, Magdalena brings a wealth of knowledge when supporting complex business relations. Throughout her career, Magdalena has worked for large, national banks but prefers the community driven bank model which allows her to bring unique solutions based on specific customer needs.

Magdalena graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Italian Studies from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has contributed her knowledge by speaking at various banking and technology functions such as Fiserv’s Forum and Signature User Group Conferences. Magdalena served as the Chair and National Product Manager for the Self-Services Chanel of the Signature User Group from 2011-2015. She currently serves on the Board of Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood as well as the Operations Committee of the Highland Park Community Foundation. Magdalena is also a member of the Warsaw Committee (part of Chicago Sister Cities International) and International Women Associates where she proudly promotes her Polish roots and culture.

Magdalena resides in Riverwods with her husband and their three children. In her free time, she embraces her international family of Polish and Mexican heritage. She allocates her time in spreading awareness and support of multi-cultural programs and foreign language education while co-managing www.fundayforkids.com

Karolina Marinescu

Dr. Karolina Katarzyna Marinescu (Mirowska) was born in Wroclaw, Poland. She came to the US at age 12. After graduating form Albert G Lane Technical High School, she began her undergraduate studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. While taking a summer Anatomy and Physiology class at Dominican University, she found tremendous mentorship and support, which prompted a permanent transfer there. During her studies at Dominican University she simultaneously completed the Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic training. She graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and in 2004 went on to study medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. After completing her Medical Doctor degree in 2008, she selected Internal Medicine as her area of training. Dr. Marinescu completed her Internship at the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and her residency at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, where she also served as a Chief Resident, and later as a fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. Dr. Marinescu returned to Chicago for one last step in her medical training, completing an additional fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant, and Mechanical Circulatory Support. She currently holds the Assistant Professor of Medicine appointment at Rush University Medical Center, in the Section of Cardiology. Dr. Marinescu is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Cardiology.

When she is not working, Dr. Marinescu enjoys spending time with her husband Victor, a staff Cardiologist at Edward Hospital in Naperville, and her two sons Alexander (6) and Michael (4). Dr. Marinescu enjoys travel, reading books, dancing, yoga, and expanding her footwear collection.

Mary Wisniewski

Mary Wisniewski is the Chicago Tribune transportation columnist and author of the award-winning biography “Algren: A Life.” She appears frequently on local current affairs programs, including WBEZ’s “Morning Edition” and WTTW’s “Chicago Week in Review.” Wisniewski is also past president of the Chicago Headline Club, and teaches creative writing courses at the Newberry Library.




Amy Krymkowski

Amy is a motivating and inspirational leadership coach and trusted advisor.  She currently works as a certified coach with Challenger, Gray & Christmas and leads and facilitates individual and group coaching sessions for business executives, leaders and professionals facing or experiencing change/transition in their job, career and in life.

She holds space for her clients to help them identify their hidden talents, deepen their self-awareness and emotional intelligence to inspire authentic leadership and real action. She also leads workshops and day-long retreats for women that enhance self-awareness, improves self-esteem, and generates a positive mind-set.

Ms. Krymkowski began her career in Human Resource Management, with a specialty in Employee Relations and worked in several industries including biotechnology, retail and manufacturing for several Fortune 100 companies including Genentech, Men’s Wearhouse, Pillsbury and Rockwell Automation.

She has a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Human Resources and Labor Relations and a Bachelors of Arts degree from University of Wisconsin- Madison in Psychology and a certificate in Women’s Studies.

Magdalena Fudalewicz

Magdalena Fudalewicz currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Alderman Gilbert Villegas of the 36th Ward; she was appointed to this leadership position in May of 2015. Currently, as the Chief of Staff, she is the only Polish native with the highest-ranking position amongst staff in Chicago’s City Council. Magdalena has dedicated her career to public service, and every day she works to help others and improve our communities through public service, legislation and political outreach.

In 2017, Magdalena earned her Master of Science from DePaul University in Business Management; in 2013, Master of Arts from Northwestern University in Public Policy & Administration; and in 2007, Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University in Political Science & Latin American/Latino Studies. She successfully completed the prestigious Illinois Women’s Institute Leadership as a Class of 2016.

As an outgoing professional she has a wide range of experience in private and public sectors for over 10 years. Prior to be her tenure with the City of Chicago, she was the Director of Strategic Initiatives at City College of Chicago – Daley College. Her career in the public sector began when she worked on the Cook County Board of Commissioners as the Director of Public & Multicultural Affairs in the 8th District. Her experience in the private sector is deeply rooted in the legal field where she worked on Immigration Law as well as Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury Law.

Magdalena was born in Poland and has resided in Chicago for majority of her life. She is a positive, energetic, goal-oriented and challenge-ready individual, who is trilingual in English, Polish and Spanish. Aside from her busy professional life, Magdalena enjoys competing in triathlons, and travels the world as often as possible. She is known for her professionalism, witty personality, cultural awareness and willingness to always help others.

Christina Ciecierski

Christina Ciecierski is Associate Professor of Economics at NEIU. Her research focuses on the impacts of price and policy variables on consumer lifestyles, particularly in the area of young adult substance use. The course of her career has centered on promoting health equity among young adults, immigrants, populations of low socio-economic status (SES) in the state of Illinois as well as populations native to less and mid-developed countries in the world. Christina’s expertise, leadership, and motivation stem from a productive university teaching career, a strong record of research in the areas of economics and public health and collaborations with local, state and international health organizations and agencies of policy planning. In 2013, she was elected President of the Illinois Economics Association. Since joining NEIU in 2007, she served as Academic Department Head (Coordinator, 2008-2011) for the Economics Department and received two Faculty Excellence Awards for Research (2009) and Service (2014). Christina received her PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.