FGI Chicago Board of Directors

2018 Officers:

Regional Director - Xochil Herrera Scheer

Treasurer  - Victoria Watkins

Secretary - Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Membership Chair - Katie Diehl

 

Xochil Herrera Scheer

Pattern Maker and Principal - The Chicago Pattern Maker

Xochil is a professional pattern maker and production manager for multiple brands under her freelance business. She has 10 years of experience in the fashion industry in design, material sourcing, pattern development and manufacturing. Her speciality is in active wear and knit apparel for women and men, and she also has experience with accessories and handbags. She also works as a tailor alongside fashion stylists and on photo shoots for companies such as Land's End and Kohl's, and publications including In Style and Men's Health. 

 

2018 Board of Directors:

Lacey Bell

Owner, Virtual Technical Designer - Fireflyline

 
Lacey launched Fireflyline in 2015 to provide technical services and process improvements to those creating cut & sew goods. Fireflyline focuses on 3D virtual prototypes and consults with companies to find the best technology solutions to solve problems. Lacey holds a Master of Science in Project Management. She spent several years leading apparel technical design teams, where she found many opportunities for process improvement and leveraging technology. Her goal is to remove any pain from product development so designers, pattern-makers, and technical designers can focus on their passions.
 

Jess Crane

Jess Crane Design

Jess Crane is an artist and fashion industry professional who has over a decade of experience in many sectors of the product development process, and she works as a technical designer and consultant for entrepreneurs and established businesses looking for performance solutions. 

 

Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Journalist and Author

Pamela is an independent journalist and author who specializes in home, fashion and travel. Her bylines have appeared in the Chicago Tribune plus dozens of consumer, trade, association, corporate and collegiate publications. She is co-author of the tween fashion guide, “Expressionista: How to Express Your True Self Through and Despite Fashion.” 

 

Katie Diehl

Marketing Manager, Apparel Trade Shows - Merchandise Mart

 

Tara Gardner

Content Consultant - Tara Gardner

Digital Director - Chicago Woman Magazine

Tara Gardner is an award-winning editor, stylist and content consultant from London, UK, recently landing in Chicago. With a decade working in luxury fashion and beauty, Tara has held digital editorships at InStyle UK, Jimmy Choo and Harrods, worked on brand campaigns with the likes of TOM FORD and CHANEL, and has been published in many print and digital titles. Currently the Digital Director for Chicago Woman magazine, Tara also writes for CS and NS magazines, as well as offering consulting services in all things creative content and social media.

 

Bridget Halanski

Vice President, US, Runway - MP Factor Model Management, Chicago             

Bridget Halanski is a licensed talent agent, representing over 100 Runway Models based both here in Chicago and other major US Markets. She books these men and women for fashion shows, trunk shows, and other live events all over the world. Bridget started her career as a Booker at Irene Marie Model Management in Miami Beach. In 2008, she relocated to the Windy City where she spearheads the Runway and Promotional Division at Elite (now MP Factor) guiding and managing the careers of top models.
 
 
Rahat Khan

Fashion Designer/Owner - The Luxelle

Seasoned, entrepreneurial, and accomplished professional with 15 years of experience and a comprehensive background in supporting and implementing efficient sourcing strategies to monitor and ensure spending transparency. Experience in strategic planning and execution, procurement, negotiations, sourcing, cost analysis, risk management, and vendor management. Experienced entrepreneur who launched a high-end women’s clothing line. Skilled at analyzing processes and implementing improvements to increase efficiency while controlling costs. Proven leader with a history of building, training, developing, and directing diverse teams. Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills used to interact and build alliances with vendors, clients, senior leaders, associates, and other parties.

 
Allison Leahy

Practitioner in Residence - Columbia College Chicago

Allison is currently a Practitioner in Residence at Columbia College Chicago teaching courses in Fashion Business. She has worked in the field of Strategic Sourcing for over 15 years involved primarily in the Apparel industry with some experience in hard goods.  Her most recent position was as Director of Strategic Sourcing at Cintas Corporation, a uniform supplier, in Chicago for over 11 years.  She led the Product Development and Sourcing efforts for Cintas' Direct Sales division with over $90M in spend. Her team sourced products globally and supported major Fortune 1000 customers like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Marriott, Panda Express, Sprint and AT&T.  She completed her undergraduate work at University of Missouri in Textile & Apparel Management. She has a MBA from Northwestern University and a MS in Global Textiles from Philadelphia University/Reutlingen University in Germany. Allison and her family live outside Chicago.

 

Lindsay McFarlane

Founder & CEO - Working Girl, Inc.

Lindsay McFarlane is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Working Girl Inc. McFarlane connects top talent to top companies within the fashion and marketing industries. With a core focus on college internship and post-grad placements, McFarlane has become the go-to for companies looking to hire from this demographic. McFarlane has grown Working Girl Inc. to branch into branding, marketing, media and events as well following may requests. McFarlane's past experience includes a long-term public relations job at Neiman Marcus and  senior account management at Brand Muscle along with experience with Akira, Theory, Seventeen Magazine, Red Bull, Pernod Ricard to name a few. With media representation from ABC, Greengale Publishing, Chicago Sun-Times and more; McFarlane only wants to grow Working Girl Inc. larger in the years to come.

 

Darcy Rogers

Co-Owner - Blue Ella Consulting

Darcy Rogers is Co-Owner of Blue Ella, a consulting firm providing retail solutions to start-up's and companies looking to retool their business. Her past experience building Oprah Winfrey's retail division, and 10 years working for Ralph Lauren in Chicago and London, lend solid retail experience to her current entrepreneurial venture. Hoosier-born and a Purdue grad, she loves living in the Midwest and making Chicago home the past fourteen years. 

 

David Sanchez

Owner/Founder - 10 MGMT

Model-turned-agent DAVID SANCHEZ is changing the face of talent representation through a deep understanding and hand-on approach of artist development, helping each and every client find their voice within the industry. With 18 years of experience, both in front of and behind the camera, David saw that the one-dimensional modeling and talent industry was due for a change. He founded 10 MGMT to create an agency that really listened to the needs and passions of his clients, in turn, creating successful career paths for burgeoning talent to thrive in. David also is an Adjust Faculty Professor teaching Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago.
 

Lindsay Siwiec

Founder/Principal - Jet Black PR

President/Co-Founder - Project Style
 
Lindsay Siwiec is the Founder and Principal of Jet Black Public Relations, a 360 communications agency that brings a unique and creative approach to public relations in Chicago, LA, NYC, Miami, and beyond. She has over 10 years of experience in strategic program development and media relations, spanning across numerous industries, including fashion, beauty, art, design, talent, and luxury lifestyle. She has worked with both emerging and established brands across multiple sectors, including Benefit Cosmetics, Ford Models, Ramsay Fairs, Parke & Ronen, Bionda Castana, Suit Supply, Headspace, and Project Runway. Lindsay spent over 20 years dedicating her services and skills to a number of non-profit organizations before co-founding Project Style - a 501c3 thats mission is to educate at-risk youth on the connection between self-esteem and the way we dress, with the goal to increase confidence, self-worth, and academic success rates. Lindsay currently serves as the President of Project Style and is a committee member of DIFFA/Chicago's Art for Life. Lindsay is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the State University of New York and Oneonta. 

 

Masha Titievsky

Designer/Principal - VARYFORM By Masha Titievsky

Masha Titievsky is a Chicago womenswear designer and former artist member at Positive Space Studios. Her collection is available on a Made-to-Order basis, and she also does custom commissioned design and collaborations.  Outside of her line VARYFORM, she works as a technical designer for The Chicago Pattern Maker. Masha is an alum of the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy's on State Street and Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business.

 

Teresa Washington

Founder & CEO, Certified Image Consultant - Style Room 326

 

Victoria Watkins

Senior Advisor - City of Chicago

Victoria R. Watkins currently works for the City of Chicago in the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Victoria serves as Senior Advisor, leading efforts related to external affairs, legislative issues, neighborhood policy, and overall City priorities.  

Prior to joining the City, she served as Assistant Counsel to House Speaker Madigan, advising State Representatives on legislation and procedure. In addition to her legislative law work, Victoria counsels, researches, and writes on fashion law, entertainment and sports law, copyrights and trademarks, and other related fields. She is the Chief Editor and Creator of B.A.F.F.L.E.D. (Business Advice, Fashion Facts, Law & Entertainment Domain), a lifestyle blog on the topics she loves most.  She has spoken on panels on fashion law for the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, John Marshall Law School Fashion Law Society, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  

Victoria is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and earned her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.

 

Nominating Chair:

Monique Lyle

 

Regional Advisors

Pam Iannotta

Susan Glick