Announcing our 2020 Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Award . . .

The Zonta Club of Oak Brook is proud to announce the 2020 Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship (JMK) Award recipient, Traci McMurray.

Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied. However, they still comprise a minority of leaders in the business world. According to a December 2019 list from Catalyst, 21.2 percent of S&P 500 companies’ board seats are occupied by women, and just 5.2 percent of the companies’ CEOs are women.

Because Zonta International believes in gender equality, the JMK Women in Business Scholarship program helps women pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom. Since the program’s inception, Zonta has awarded 602 Scholarships, totaling more than US$1.4 million, to 460 women representing 57 countries.

Our choice for the JMK Scholarship, Traci McMurry, exhibits outstanding initiative, ambition, and commitment in her career as she pursues her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Evening & Weekend program. As a member of the Mizzou Honors College, Ms. McMurry graduated with both a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from the University of Missouri, frequently received Dean’s list recognition as well. In her current position as Director of Talent Development at FleishmanHillard, an Omnicom PR Group firm, she leads full life-cycle talent acquisition for the central US region and serves as lead for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), supporting the agency’s diversity hiring efforts. Ms. McMurry serves as Co-Lead for the Board of Directors of Omniwomen Chicago, an employee resource group supporting and empowering women across the 27 Omnicom agencies in the Chicago area. She is also a certified trainer for Google’s I am Remarkable initiative, which focuses on empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.

Announcing our Young Woman in Public Affairs 2020 Award . . .

Kelsey Fitzgerald 2020 YWPA

Congratulations to Kelsey Fitzgerald of Lombard, as we honor her as our 2020 Young Woman in Public Affairs Scholar. Kelsey is a graduating senior at Willowbrook High School, Villa Park, Illinois.  Kelsey’s involvement in Public Affairs includes Civitas, the One Small Voice Foundation, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), and St. Baldrick’s Foundation. While at Willowbrook, Kelsey plans to continue her academic career at Loyola University Chicago next year and major in international and global studies. Kelsey proved her academic and athletic talent, achieving excellence in Honors and Advanced Placement coursework. Demonstrating dedicated participation in both soccer and swimming, Kelsey supported her teammates in leadership roles on each team. We wish Kelsey the very best a she takes the next steps of her academic academic journey.

Zonta Awards Centennial Community Award to Poised for Success

October 2019 
As Zonta clubs around the globe are celebrating Zonta International’s Centennial Anniversary by honoring local individuals who show outstanding commitment to empowering women in the community, we honor Gail Foster, Executive Director of Poised for Success.
Poised for Success is a non-profit organization serving the suburban Chicagoland area dedicated to the mission of providing, at no charge, interview and business appropriate clothing to women in the job market. In addition to providing business-appropriate clothing, Poised volunteers assist clients in building self-esteem and interview skills, as well as referrals to other local service organizations providing job-skills training and job placement. These services give their clients the self-confidence necessary to secure a job and move beyond the need for financial assistance.
We congratulate Gail on her ongoing commitment to women making way and thank her for her determination in making Poised for Success a true success on so many levels – especially for the clients, but also for the volunteers, the clothing donors, and the financial supporters.

Busy October Meeting…

2018 Contribution to Poised for Success

Proud to induct 2018 new Zonta members

Congratulations to our Jane M. Klausman Scholarship recipient….

The Zonta Club of Oak Brook is proud to announce the 2018 Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship (JMK) Award recipient, Sonya Dekhtyar. 

Women make up nearly 50 percent of the global workforce; however, gender equality is not yet a reality in senior management and corporate boardrooms around the world. According to a 2014 Catalyst Census, women hold only 4.2 percent of the CEO positions and 19.2 percent of board seats at S&P 500 companies. To encourage more women to pursue education and careers in business, Zonta International established the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship.

Women of any age, pursuing an accredited business or business-related program who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field, are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Our choice for the JMK Scholarship, Ms. Dekhtyar, exhibits a stellar level of initiative, ambition, and commitment in her career as she embarks on her MBA at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Academically, Ms. Dekhtyar repeatedly earned Dean’s list recognition for her undergraduate work. Her career accomplishments since joining the Chicago Transit Authority Performance Management team have proven her outstanding abilities to work closely and successfully with all levels of management and communicate easily, earning the respect and recognition throughout the CTA organization.

Ms. Dekhtyar was presented her $1000 award in a special ceremony at the September meeting of the Zonta Club of Oak Brook.

And the Young Women in Public Affairs Award Goes To….

The Zonta Club of Oak Brook is proud to announce the 2018 Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award recipient, Cambria Khayat, a 2018 graduate from York High School in Elmhurst. 

The Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award recognizes young women for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life. Applicants are asked to reflect on their voluntary commitment to their school and community as well as reflect upon the challenges limiting the advancement of women locally and globally.

From leading the Young Politicians Club and the Model UN at her high school to her admirable work in orphanages at the Mexico-Guatemala border, Ms. Khayat exemplifies what it means to be a female leader.

“We selected Cambria’s application because she was very enthusiastic and sincere regarding her future endeavors. She is passionate about her goals, which includes one day working for the United Nations,” said Donna Joss, Award Chairperson for the Zonta Club of Oak Brook.

Ms. Khayat received her $1000 award in a special ceremony at the May 15 meeting of the Zonta Club of Oak Brook. Persons interested in learning more about the Zonta Club of Oak Brook are encouraged to visit More information about the Zonta International’s Young Women in Public Affairs Award Program can be found at:

Welcome to the Zonta Club of Oak Brook

The Zonta Club of Oak Brook was  chartered in 2012 as part of Zonta International –whose international headquarters is also located in Oak Brook, Illinois. Founded in 1919 in New York, Zonta is an international service organization focused on advancing the political, economic, social and educational status of women worldwide. Zontians work throughout the world to address the needs of women at all socio-economic levels. These needs include basic health, education, welfare, and human rights. There are over 30,000 members in over 67 countries and we are proud to be a part of it!

At another level, involvement in Zonta enhances each woman’s leadership and organizational skills, as well as enriches their personal lives. There are many opportunities to socialize and network nationally and internationally with business and professional women working in many different fields.

The Zonta Club of Oak Brook is proud of its efforts in making a difference in the lives of women and our community. If you are interested in joining our club and supporting our activities, please email Kay Van Vreede, Membership Chair at

We look forward to hearing from you!