Renata Merino – Founder, CEO

Rachelle Anne Photography

Recognizing the challenges of managing family life while churning out a 60-70 hour work week, Renata follows the lead of Ann Marie Slaughter (author, professor and political figure) who ignited the discussion about the need for change in today’s corporate culture to address work-life balance issues. Throughout her career and as the founder of Blazin’ Babes, Renata has utilized the power of women networks to help overcome and combat work-life balance issues by creating flexible career opportunities for herself and for other women in her network.

With an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and as a member of The Chicago Booth Women’s Network and Ellevate Network  (formerly 85Broads), Renata has leveraged her women networks and past career experiences in finance and brand/product development to launch her own MBA Admission Consulting Business, Strategic Prep where she has created a flexible work-life balance for herself and at the same time pursues her passion in helping others succeed in achieving their career goals.

Renata is fluent in Spanish, a recipient of The Girl Scouts of America Leadership Gold Award and an alum of Newton Country Day School of The Sacred Heart, an east coast all women’s private high school where she joins the ranks of other Sacred Heart alum including Lady Gaga, Gloria Venderbilt and Rose Kennedy, women pioneers in their own respective career pursuits

Our Advisors

Enna Allen – Marketing & Public Relations

Enna Allen

Enna Allen

Enna Allen is Vice President, Field Marketing for The Howard Hughes Corporation where she is responsible for developing marketing strategy and tactical activations for all operating assets in the national portfolio.

Enna has significant experience in strategic planning, branding, special events, public relations, community outreach, grand openings, integrated marketing communications, partnerships, customer service and social media. For more than a decade, she served as Regional Director of Marketing for Westfield Corp where she developed and implemented multi-faceted strategic business and marketing plans to drive sales, traffic and net operating income. Enna was responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives for eleven regional shopping centers in four states as well as driving key national marketing platforms in over 50 centers across the country.

Ms. Allen holds a Master of Business Administration from DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago, Illinois and a Honors Bachelor of Arts from York University in Toronto, Canada.

Why is Blazin’ Babes important to you and why do you believe in the power of networking and women supporting women?

During a Keynote speech at Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA’s All-Decade Team, 2006, Madeleine Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

This very blunt and very accurate assessment by a notable female leader is the baseline by which I operate.  It doesn’t matter what the need is, however I firmly believe that all of us have a daily opportunity to make a choice.  We can choose to empower, lead and mentor other women (or men for that matter!) in order to create mutually beneficial opportunities or we can sit back and do nothing.  The ability to be part of an organization that not only creates these opportunities, but also encourages and nurtures them is important for both my personal and professional growth.  Ultimately I want to show my two young daughters that anything is possible and your own personal success will be more significant when you take the time to support, network and mentor those around you.

How has networking or supporting women helped you with your career and why are you serving on our Advisory Board?

Personal connections have always been a cornerstone to my career growth.  When seeking new professional opportunities or looking for ways to enhance my “personal brand”, the opportunity to connect with, learn from and encourage others has been paramount.  Regardless if the need is personal or professional, networking and support can go a long way in achieving goals and objectives.

I am serving on the Blazin’ Babes Advisory Board because I can contribute my skill-sets in marketing and PR to help drive grow into the organization and aim to reach more and more women who are in need of career advisory. Women need to see and witness firsthand the power and value of networking with other women. Contributing my expertise in getting the word out about Blazin’ Babes is my way of giving back to the women who have helped me succeed in my career.

Jeff Korman – SponsorshipFormalHeadShot_Jeff_Korman

Jeff is a seasoned entrepreneur with a long history of accomplishments spanning a broad range of industries including a concentration in corporate identity apparel as well as designing and sourcing hospitality and restaurant uniforms in the services sector. He has expertise in product design, private label programs, promotional marketing and sales through sponsorships. Jeff has helped individuals, small businesses, larger corporations as well as non-profits with their promotional products and specific marketing materials and sponsorships for events. He has worked with clients including Disney, the Atlantis, Sandals Resorts, Darden Restaurants, Choice Hotels, Sheraton, Chevrolet, Ford, Snap on Tools, MTV, Direct TV, the NFL, Captain Morgan’s and Ben & Jerry’s among others.

Throughout his career, Jeff has maintained an emphasis on utilizing cost effective technologies to help ensure his clients are profitable with their promotional marketing investments. His approach has been built on the old-fashion “hands on relationships”. Jeff is committed to providing uncompromised quality products, competitive pricing and premier service and enjoys working with individuals, companies and organizations that are making a difference in the world.

Why is Blazin’ Babes important to you or why do you believe in the power of networking and women supporting women?

I have always been a strong advocate for the effectiveness of networking. Whether it is networking with women or men, the fact is that meeting new people and letting them know what you do, will always generate a way for you to help them and them to help you.

Blazin’ Babes is the true model for how networking works. By meeting people in a social context and in a relaxed environment where the pressure of finding a job, making a business connection or closing a deal is eliminated, the natural connections happen and that’s when the networking is truly effective, works and is fun. By removing the pressure to network, networking just happens.

How has networking or supporting women helped you with your career and why are you serving on our Advisory Board?

Because networking has been at the cornerstone of my past successes, I am driven to help others see its value. As a seasoned marketer and with several successes under my belt, I want to give back to new younger businesses that are rooted in great causes, seek to give back to those in need and are based on seeing others succeed. I am serving on Blazin’ Babes Advisory board for that very reason: to support an organization that gives back, helps others and wants to see women (and men) succeed.

Monica Garrido – Marketing, Strategy & Philanthropy


Monica Garrido

Monica is a seasoned marketing professional with over ten years of experience in the beauty and retail industries in New York. Monica launched her marketing career at L’Oreal in New York City growing Maybelline’s mascara portfolio through product launches, multi-channel advertising and portfolio management.  Monica was subsequently appointed to lead the turnaround of the beauty tools collection and spearheaded the re-launch of the new line.  With an affinity and talent for analytics, she has consistently been called upon as the quantitative marketing expert in her field. She most recently served as the Global Marketing Portfolio Manager at Avon providing cross category analytics, portfolio management and profitability analyses to the management and executive teams. Monica has since held various national and global marketing and strategy roles at leading beauty and retail companies including Victoria’s Secret Direct, Neutrogena and Givaudan.  Monica is also a principal at Global Frontier Partners, a niche, strategy consulting firm focused on small projects by providing McBain-lite consulting service alternatives for corporate strategy and marketing teams.

Prior to business school, Monica worked for Accenture as a process re-engineering consultant building her foundation in business intelligence, platform technologies and process operations.

Monica is fluent in Spanish, has an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Bowdoin College and an MBA in International Business, Marketing and Strategy from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Monica also studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico in Mexico City. Monica serves on the Chicago Booth Kilts Center for Marketing committee as an advisor and continues to serve as a mentor to alumni from both her undergraduate and graduate schools. Monica lives in Greenwich, CT, is a wife and mother of three boys, enjoys international adventure travel and is a competitive triathlete.

Why is Blazin’ Babes important to you and why do you believe in the power of networking and women supporting women?

I value Blazin’ Babes for the strong network of professional women and their willingness to support the successes of others. The cross hybrid network of professional women from various industries allows for new ways of thinking and promoting success in one’s career. I enjoy learning from the various experiences of others from various industries especially when it pertains to navigating certain challenges faced by women.

How has networking or supporting women helped you with your career and why are you serving on our Advisory Board?

For the past fourteen years I have been focused in a predominantly female industry – the beauty and apparel retail industries. I have found a lot of support throughout my career from these women and want to continue to support others to succeed. I am serving on the Blazin’ Babes’ Advisory Board as an advocate for promoting and advancing professional successes for women in hopes of creating a more balanced professional environment for future generations.

Our Staff

Lynne Renee Persin – Professional Photograher

Lynn Renee Persin

Primarily a portrait photographer Lynn loves spending a day shooting at the beach or simply in the backyard of families all over Chicago and the suburbs. Chasing toddlers on her knees and watching a family welcome their new bundle of joy into their home is her forte. And you know it’s a great day when someone comes down the stairs in their favorite superhero costume. Equally as comfortable shooting professional models and actors, Lynn works with a lot of local talent agents helping their clients to put their best face forward.

In addition to portrait shooting, Lynn shoots events all over the Chicago area from Governor Quinn signing of the same sex union bill to 3000 people fundraisers and elaborate weddings. Her constantly growing client list includes the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish United Fund of Chicago (JUF), Ogilvy & Mather, Girl Scouts of Chicago & GNWI, Elle Magazine, GQ Magazine, Shape Magazine, Kaplan University, University of Illinois Chicago, American Jewish Committee, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, BMW, Kimberly Clark, and was recently hired to follow and document Foreign Diplomats visiting the great city of Chicago through the US Department of State, Office of Protocol.

Why is Blazin’ Babes important to you and why do you believe in the power of networking and women supporting women?

I believe as women we need to take the time and energy to support one another.

How has networking or supporting women helped you with your career and why are you serving on our Advisory Board?

My best clients and best allies in my career have been women and I want to continue that cycle. I’m always looking to return the favors I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy over the years. With Blazin Babes, I’ve met an incredible group of women, all from different backgrounds and at different points in their lives, more than willing to come together to share their stories and knowledge in a nurturing environment.

Interested in joining our team? We would love to have you?

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