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How to Elevate your Capabilities and Your Career through Mentoring

Wednesday, May 9 - 8:30 am

Kathy Jo Van, Coach and Mentor

It’s proven that mentoring enhances leadership skills, accelerates careers, improves employee retention and provides many additional benefits for both mentee and mentor; but how do you find the right mentor, how do you get started and how do you build a mentor-mentee relationship that helps you get where you want to go?  In this workshop, Kathy Jo will provide valuable insights from her own experience and mentoring best practices; using hands-on, actionable tools to walk you through the steps and worksheets you can use to identify, initiate and build a mentor relationship that's as individual as you are.


KJVan Headshot 1Kathy Jo Van is an experienced industry veteran, recently retired Sr Vice President of Southwire. As she moves into the next life stage, Van continues to provide coaching and mentoring to individuals at all stages of their careers and in a variety of industries.

Van grew up in the electrical industry, working after school in her family’s electrical distributor business in Owensboro, Kentucky.  After graduating from The University of Notre Dame and earning her graduate degree at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Van moved back to Kentucky to re-join her family’s business.  In 1993 she returned to Chicago, to join a large regional electrical distributor that was eventually acquired by WESCO Distribution and she served a variety of roles with WESCO, including director of marketing, supplier business development and e-commerce.  In 2000, Van joined Coleman Cable, where she led a variety of businesses including electrical, specialty and retail distribution, as well as strategic acquisitions.  When Southwire acquired Coleman Cable in 2014, Van joined the Southwire senior leadership team where she served on the integration team and as Sr VP of cord and electronic products, and was promoted to Sr VP of Contractor Solutions in 2016.  In July 2017, Van retired from Southwire to enjoy life in Chicago with her husband Ron, 3 children, a grand-daughter, and puppy Addison (their latest addition to the family).  Van volunteers as a Board member of the American Marketing Association - Chicago Chapter and continues to provide coaching and mentoring as a way of giving back to an industry that has meant so much to her and her family.