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Jane von Kirchbach,
Vice President, Pfizer
Topic: The Quest for a Vaccine: Lessons in Bold Project Management

Jonathan Charak,
VP & Emerging Solutions Director, Zurich N.A. 
Topic: Parametrics: A Bold New Approach to Insurance

Sunil Prashara, President & Chief Executive Officer,
Project Management Institute (PMI)


The PMI Chicagoland Chapter would like to thank our proud sponsors of the 2021 Leadership Forum.



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Bold Experimentation

Forward-thinking executives and senior leaders play a key role in creating the right culture and environment to promote bold experimentation. Experimentation is one of the main drivers that will help pivot new ways of leading and navigating the changes and challenges ahead. It is critical in enabling organizations to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in an era of transformation and the new normal.
Bold Experimentation promotes a hybrid of great ideas, flexibility in the team's unique way of working, improves team motivation and retention, and delivers value quickly. To remain relevant, companies cannot rely on the status quo. Adopting a mindset of bold experimentation, organizations will promote and drive sustainable growth. 
Leadership Forum provides an excellent opportunity to executives, senior leaders, and mid-level project management professionals with tangible information and insights that can be applied to the company's organizations, making them more effective at delivering value.
Come and join us to learn the latest concepts, strategies, and critical success factors to champion bold experimentation from global and local leaders. 




  • Bold Experimentation: Learn from industry leaders how to transform and champion bold experimentation for business success. 
  • Changing Mindset: Gain insights into cultivating the right culture and environment that promote bold experimentation for sustainable growth. 
  • Sharpen Your Saw: Take away new ideas and approaches to make you more effective in adopting new ways of working. 
  • Develop Greater Focus: Understand fresh perspectives and concepts for transformational leadership and the new normal. 


Session Details

Zoom Webinar details will be sent to attendees prior to the event.

System Check: Please ensure your computer or device is ready for the event.


Session Schedule
Friday, May 7, 2021




07:30 AM

08:00 AM


08:00 AM

08:15 AM


08:15 AM

09:15 AM


09:15 AM

09:30 AM


09:30 AM

10:30 AM


10:30 AM

10:45 AM


10:45 AM

11:45 AM


11:45 AM

12:00 PM



Event Chair


Cathy Westfall
Vice President, Zurich

Cathy Westfall is the Vice President, Head of Product Development for Zurich in North America, where she has dedicated the last 17 years. She is responsible for driving new and updated insurance products to the marketplace for customers and managing product health. Cathy has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry with expertise in Underwriting, Operations, Project Management and transformational technology initiatives. Prior to Zurich, she served in roles of increasing responsibility at Interstate National Corp and Prudential. Presently Cathy serves as the Chair of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Chicagoland Executive Council and has been an active member of the PMI Chicagoland chapter since 2002. She holds an M.B.A from DePaul University, a B.S. in Finance from Northern Illinois University, and earned PMP and CPCU professional certifications. BackToTop


Jane von Kirchbach, Vice President, Pfizer
Topic: The Quest for a Vaccine: Lessons in Bold Project Management

About the Speaker:

How do you approach a project with an ambition to change the course of the pandemic? How do you compress timelines, while maintaining exceptional focus on quality? How do you manage potential risks, when stakes are extraordinarily high? How do you deliver results, while working under unprecedented circumstances?

Jane von Kirchbach is Vice President at Pfizer, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. Jane is passionate about driving digital transformation and delivering breakthroughs that change patients’ lives and improve healthcare around the world. Jane is responsible for digital strategy and capabilities for Corporate Affairs, including global policy, investor relations, health partnerships, and the Chief Patient Office. She also leads Colleague Services organization, managing all technology interactions and services across the company.

Prior to this role, Jane was responsible for operations of digital solutions enabling the pharmaceutical value chain, from molecule discovery to patient access. This included support of R&D, Clinical, Medical Affairs, and Commercial systems globally. Previously, Jane held various leadership positions at Pfizer and Kraft Foods, focusing in areas of strategy, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, PMO, and ERP.

Jane holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA from DePaul University. Jane has served as Board Member of the Society of Information Management and Vice Chair of the PMI Chicagoland Executive Council. 

Jonathan Charak, VP & Emerging Solutions Director, Zurich N.A. 
Topic: Parametrics: A Bold New Approach to Insurance

About the Speaker:

How does the insurance industry continue to evolve in the midst of new risks and technologies?  How do they continually grow and adapt to meet the needs of customers and close the gap of insurance protection?  How can parametric insurance provide bold, innovative new solutions to the market?

Jonathan Charak is Emerging Solutions Director at Zurich North America, where he identifies emerging risks, evaluates potential solutions, and creates teams to develop insurance propositions. In conjunction to this appointment, in 2020 Jonathan further served as Zurich Canada’s interim Chief Pricing Actuary. Prior to this Jonathan held multiple roles within the Zurich organization as an actuary (including interim Chief Actuary for Zurich Australia) as well as non-actuarial roles (including as part of the Innovation team as well as an operations team for a business unit).

 Mr. Charak has presented on various panels nationwide on emerging risk topics such as parametric insurance and autonomous vehicles. He further contributes to articles in national publications on emerging risk topics. Jonathan has presented about parametric insurance at the following events: Casualty Actuarial Society Spring 2020 meeting, Actuarial Research Conference 2020 meeting, the IRMI Construction Risk Conference 2020, and a Zurich Webinar in February 2021.

 Mr. Charak holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois Wesleyan University with a double major in Mathematics and Biology. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Certified Programs Leader.

Sunil Prashara, President & Chief Executive Officer, Project Management Institute (PMI)

About the Speaker:
Sunil is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a globally recognized thought leader on new ways of working and the growing shift toward project-based work known as The Project Economy. He has carried this message forward to audiences worldwide, including major global forums hosted by the Economist, the United Nations Global Compact, and several Fortune 500 companies. 

Throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunil emerged as an influential voice on trends reshaping the workplace, including digital transformation, the power of emerging technology trends such as Citizen Development, and the urgent need to cultivate people-centered "Power Skills."

The CEO Publication has recognized Sunil as one of the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the United Kingdom. Under his leadership, PMI has also received a range of industry awards. These honors include recognition as one of the "Top 100 Associations That Will Save The World" by the American Society of Association Executives, highlighting PMI's emphasis on social impact. Sunil also serves as a member of the advisory board of the Global Peter Drucker Forum. Sunil's key priorities since joining PMI as CEO in March 2019 include the expansion of PMI’s global footprint. Sunil led PMI’s transformation into a global and innovative enterprise, serving an expanded portfolio of products and offerings to project professionals and changemakers around the globe.

From Our Past Attendees: 

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