Governors State University, College of Business hosted Business Week 2022 on April 5, 2022. This interactive and informative event offered engaging professional networking and learning opportunities to the college’s key stakeholders - businesses, students, alumni and the community. Keynote by top global leader, Lisa Laws, COO of 1871. Holding previous roles such as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago and Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Transpiration, Lisa is a transformative and engaging leader.

Check out some highlights from Business Week 2022!

Business Week 2022 Event Schedule

Tuesday, April 5th

5 - 5:45 p.m.

5:45 - 6:15 p.m.

6:15 - 9:00 p.m.

Honors Reception
at Hall of Honors

Networking Reception
at Hall of Governors

Dinner, Keynote Presentation, and COB Alumni Hall of Achievement Awards*
at Engbretson Hall

Keynote Speaker

Lisa Laws, Chief Operating Officer at 1871

"The Power of Authenticity"

Lisa Laws

Lisa Laws is the Chief Operating Officer at 1871 and is a proven practical and motivational team player, gifted in leadership and collaborative work, who enjoys brainstorming and coordinating efforts to achieve a common goal. Her Engineering and Project Management background in the Private sector and Operations, Community Engagement, and Policy in the Public sector has given Lisa a unique skill set to successfully manage cross-functional teams to create and execute strategic priorities. Lisa earned dual undergraduate degrees in Physics from Xavier University of Louisiana and Civil Engineering from Tulane University, a graduate certificate in Infrastructure Engineering and Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Lisa began her career at James McHugh Construction Company as Assistant Project Manager in 2006, then URS Corporation as Graduate Structural Engineer in 2008. After completing over $500 million of design and construction work, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Lisa Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago in 2013, where she managed operations for the Departments of Transportation, Water, Streets and Sanitation, Fleet and Facilities Management, and Cultural Affairs and Special Events, as well the $7 billion, three-year infrastructure program, Building a New Chicago, one of the most significant investments in infrastructure in the City's history. In 2016 Lisa stepped into the role of Chief Operating Officer for the Illinois Department of Transportation, where she was responsible for developing long and short-term strategic plans and directing the department-wide LEAN Process Improvement initiative. Lisa returned to the City of Chicago in 2018 as First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events before quickly pivoting to Acting Chief of Resource Management for the City of Chicago's COVID operations team.

In 2011 and 2012, Laws was awarded the URS Pyramid Award of Excellence for her outstanding community service and recognized by URS Corporation as an emerging leader. Also, in 2012, Lisa was honored with the Tulane University Young Alumna Volunteer Award and the WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. In 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Lisa to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) board representing the City of Chicago, responsible for comprehensive regional transportation planning in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in northeastern Illinois. Also, in 2014, she was named one of 40 Game Changers under 40 in Chicago by WVON and Ariel Investments and one of Xavier University's 40 Graduates under 40.

Lisa has dedicated herself to being a mentor for young people of color in the STEM fields, which continues to be the hallmark of her career. As she actively reaches young people through countless organizations, Lisa demonstrates the importance of mentorship to children and leadership in communities in Chicago.

Previous Business Week Events

Business Week 2020