Chicago Happenings

September – Catalyst Ranch’s Unique 2015 Calendar 
Celebrate birthdays of creative celebrities and visionaries from around the world with us!

Ignite Theatre
An on-going diverse series that will launch the weekend of October 9, 2015, Ignite Theatre will feature some classic, some bizarre, some hilarious plays, musicals or other fantastical productions.

“Your logo’s great! How’s your brand?” – September 15, 2015
Learn what makes a strong brand, what it takes to build one and how you can use crafty, bootstrapping methods to build your company’s brand earlier, better and less expensively than you ever thought possible.

liftUplift Lauch Party – September 19, 2015
The launch party will feature over 35 woman-owned businesses in a Spectacular Woman-Owned Popup Marketplace.

Leading the Transformational Retreat  – September 21, 2015
Explore a powerful methodology and learn how your next retreat can be a major turning point for your organization!

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Ignite Theatre logo


When you’re already the leader in creative space for innovative meetings and events and your venue is in the West Loop, the Chicago neighborhood known as Innovation Alley, how do you take things to the next level?


You do Theatre! You take theatre out of the theater and put it in a space designed to Ignite your Imagination. Catalyst Ranch introduces Ignite Theatre.


An on -going diverse series that will launch the weekend of Oct 9, 2015 and will feature some classic, some bizarre, some hilarious plays, musicals or other fantastical productions.


First up, running Oct 9-Oct 11, is American comedy drama Steel Magnolias.



Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias is a 1987 American comedy-drama play written by Robert Harling. The play and film of the same name are about the bond a group of different women share in a small-town southern community, and how they cope with the death of one of their own.



The story is based on Robert Harling’s real life and the death of his sister Susan Harling Robinson in 1985 due to early diabetes. Revolving around Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, Steel Magnolias is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there.



Filled with humor and heartbreak, these “Steel Magnolias” make us laugh and cry as the realities of their lives in tiny Chiquapin Parish unfolds. The title suggests the main female characters can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower, and as tough as steel.



Tickets: $20

Friday, October 9th; 8:00 pm

Saturday, October 10th; 8:00 pm

Sunday, October 11th; 3:00 pm


Number of RSVP’s

“Your logo’s great! How’s your brand?”

September 15, 2015



Tacklebox Brand Strategy Logo



Ask David Kelbaugh, the founder of Tacklebox Brand Strategy, and he’ll tell you that creating a strong brand is the single most important thing you can do for your company. It’s just as important for early-stage companies as it is for century-old multinationals.


Learn what makes a strong brand, what it takes to build one and how you can use crafty, bootstrapping methods to build your company’s brand earlier, better and less expensively than you ever thought possible.



– Learn exactly what a brand is

– Understand the importance of a brand – and why you need a strong one earlier than you think

– Get a better sense for how to create a brand on a startup budget.




Tuesday, September 15, 2015


6:30 pm – 8:30 pm


Catalyst Ranch, 656 W Randolph St, Chicago


Number of RSVP’s





– David Kelbaugh is a branding and advertising veteran with 15+ year of big-agency, big-client experience

– 11 months ago, David left his position at Leo Burnett to found Tacklebox, a company designed to bring world-class branding to early-stage startups

– Prior to founding Tacklebox, David helped run the Allstate Insurance campaign (of Mayhem fame) and the Philip Morris International account (of Marlboro Man fame) at Leo Burnett. Before his tenure at Burnett, David helped lead the fuels and retail advertising campaigns on behalf of BP at Ogilvy & Mather. David has been part of the teams that have won multiple Cannes Lions, Effys and Addy awards (if you’re into that kind of thing).

– David is also an adjunct faculty member, at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy where he teaches entrepreneurship. He also teaches branding at The Startup Institute, located in 1871.

– Tacklebox was recently selected to be the brand-strategy advisor to the companies in The University of Chicago’s Polsky School for Entrepreneurship and Innvoation.

– David has completed over 20 triathlons, lives in Roscoe Village with his wife and son, and only talks about his reality-show past when asked.

liftUPlift Launch Party

September 19, 2015

liftuplift is an e-commerce marketplace where you shop directly from women makers and entrepreneurs, around the world. The marketplace is now in private beta, and we are very excited to for the official launch on September 19! liftUplift’s mission is to make it fast and easy for everyone to shop from women entrepreneurs for everything from soap, to software, to spa services.


Our worldwide launch event on September 19 is going to be off the hook! Catalyst Ranch, Chicago’s funkiest, technicolor woman-owned space – is our venue sponsor, and the launch party will feature over 35 woman-owned businesses in a Spectacular Woman-Owned Popup Marketplace, 7-10 pm.



Saturday, September 19, 2015


7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Catalyst Ranch, 656 W Randolph St, Chicago


Cost: General Ally Tickets: $30; VIP Tickets: $60 (Limited number available. Price increases as we sell out.)

Learn more button








Top 5 Highlights for the Launch Party:

1) VIP Cocktail Hour (7-8pm) The first hour of the event is exclusively for VIP ticket holders. It’s an open bar mixer for our greatest supporters, with first access to the marketplace, special discounts, and VIP swag from liftUPlift merchants.


2) Popup Marketplace (7-10pm) We are transforming the third floor of Catalyst Ranch into a sprawling woman-owned bazaar. You can explore and shop from over 35 makers and merchants, while interacting with new hardware and solutions from 10 women tech founders, scattered throughout.


3) Taste of liftUPlift (7-10pm) A special area of the marketplace is dedicated to makers of edible goods. If you are a VIP Ticket holder, you will receive five “Taste” tickets at check-in, which you can redeem for samples of their sweet and savory specialties.


4) Dance Magic (7-10pm) Multiple women DJs will keep the main stage fresh and funky because you know we love to tear it up on the dance floor.


5) 1st International Ally Awards (9:30-10pm) The night concludes with the liftUPlift Ally Awards, hosted by Sandee Kastrul, with support from allies around the world. Sandee will introduce the inaugural honorees for Maker of the Year, Startup of the Year, Backer of the Year and Ally of the Year, then we’ll adjourn for the afterparty!

Leading the Transformational Retreat

September 21, 2015




Explore a powerful methodology and learn how your next retreat can be a major turning point for your organization!


Taking on a new role, team, or initiative? Need to cultivate a higher level of energy, focus and collaboration within your organization? The way you plan, think, speak about, and manage your next leadership retreat can be a powerful investment in your future success.  Really.


The phrase, “corporate retreat,” may stimulate thoughts of exotic locales, lengthy slide presentations and seemingly frivolous exercises. Yet, a retreat can be a focal point for creating a transformational process, in which you can set a new tone and direction, impacting how people communicate and think about their roles within a team.  A transformational retreat can infuse renewed enthusiasm and commitment into how your people operate, expanding what’s possible together. And accelerate what you are up to.


How you engage with your people can make all the difference.


You are invited to a seminar on The Power of Transformational Retreats.


In this highly interactive session, you will:

  • Learn and work with a powerful coaching model based on 6 key questions that will change the way you think about retreat planning.
  • Hear how others utilized the process to shift the way team members think about their roles, the team and how it operates to infuse new energy, enthusiasm, creativity into how they work and what’s possible together – and the unpredictable results they produced
  • Learn powerful questions to ask in your planning process
  • Work on a transformational goal for your organization, as applicable
  • Learn how you/the leader plans, speaks about, leads/facilitates the retreat will impact the outcome
  • Explore/identify/discuss structures to put in place to achieve and sustain the outcome
  • Reflect on what might need to be changed in the organizational structure to facilitate success
  • Clarify your role in the process
  • Develop the basic outlines of a plan


This session is highly recommended for leaders:

  • In new roles
  • Of newly formed teams
  • Who wish to set a new direction
  • Of merged organizations
  • Who need people to operate at a higher magnitude of creativity, collaboration, efficiency, or customer focus
  • Who need to transform a situation, a culture



Monday, September 21, 2015


12:00 pm – 4:30 pm (Please plan to arrive by 11:45 to get your lunch, get settled and meet your seminar colleagues!)Catalyst Ranch, 656 W Randolph St, Chicago


Cost: $160 (Tuition includes light sandwich/salad lunch, and brief networking as we begin, 6-step coaching model workbook, electronic version of the workbook for you to use in the future, electronic project plan document, one-on-one pre-seminar introduction/intake phone conversation with one of the seminar leaders and follow up phone call after the session to support you in getting the most out of the seminar.)

Number of RSVP’s

To get the most out of the program, consider inviting your leadership team!(Please contact the presenters or Catalyst Ranch with any dietary restrictions.)


Preregistration reflection: Please come to the session having thought about: Why is there an urgent need for transformation in my/my client’s organization? What’s at stake?


“Engaging Jackie and Anil to assist in the process to transform the way we think about our work together in the Office of Advancement was a key step in our continuous improvement journey. During our staff retreat, they helped us to identify organizational and cultural barriers to success. They helped also to build a new vocabulary that supports shared accountability for improvement.” Regina D. Biddings-Muro, Vice Chancellor, Advancement, Purdue University Calumet

“Where has this been all my life? How many board retreats have I sat through–some ineffective, some inspiring–only to see nothing change afterward? Jackie and Anil have created a path for success that is holistic and realistic.”  Kathleen Flanagan, President, Leadership Communication


Seminar Leaders


Jackie SloaneAnil Saxena and Jackie Sloane have worked with leaders to create, launch, sell, and implement successful transformation initiatives. Jackie specializes in enhancing the ability of leaders to achieve significant results and greater well-being through how they engage others, communicate, and cultivate relationships.  She has over 25 years’ experience in executive coaching, leadership development, communication, and engagement consulting. She has served leaders, teams and groups in most industries. Client firms include Abbott, Accenture, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Comcast, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Hollister, Navistar, PepsiCo, Purdue University, University of Indianapolis Alumni Association, Navistar, Pepsico, and others. She is a graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago, holds two coach certifications, including Master Certified Coach.





AnilAnil Saxena partners with client companies on all types of organizational changes, including talent management initiatives, major department reorganizations, and technology shifts, developing highly successful change management programs.  He has more than 18 years of experience in organizational change, development, and talent management, and has held Change Management leadership positions in major companies such as BP, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Discover, and Gallup. Clients include DeVry, True Value, CME, Purdue University, AM Castle, Underwriters Laboratories, Safer Foundation, McDonald’s, Cole-Palmer, Fisher Scientific, Campbell’s, Hospira, Rotary International, and Walgreens. He is a graduate of IIT, has served as an Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine, teaching management development, change management, and organizational change, and has a Master Certificate in leading organizational change from Northwestern University.



For more information, or to schedule an internal session on this topic for your organization, email: or or call 773-465-5906.


April 6, 2015,