Few have ever seen a person jump nearly a foot above their own height. Fewer still have done it. But, it is exactly that kind of exceptionalism that embodies Monika and her work. Her phenomenal athleticism was discovered when she was just a tyke, but the hard work, planning, and discipline that developed her into a world-class athlete have continued to be the foundational pillars of her work long after she hung up her cleats.
Since retiring from high jump, where she was a four-time All-American and three-time captain of the University of Michigan’s Women’s Track Team, Monika has gone on to pick up two Masters degrees from Ohio State University and a PhD in Community Psychology from DePaul University, work as an executive at one of the country’s top-rated hospital systems, and launch two businesses and a non-profit. Known as the “maximizer,” Monika is sought after for her ability to help individuals and organizations reach their absolute fullest potential. She has coached hundreds of executives, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders, helping them to enhance their own performance in life and work, and has worked in multiple organizations helping them develop, revitalize, and transform programs into industry-leading practices with authenticity and accountability.
Monika’s trophy mantle is a tad cluttered between the 2012 Global Girls Women and Girls Inspiring Change Award, the Ohio State University Health Services’ Management & Policy Leadership Award, the DePaul University Women Spirit & Action Award (twice), ChicagoNow’s list of Chicagoans to Watch in 2015, her write-up in People with Panache, and the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Clearly the better half to her husband, Tomer, Monika is a Chicago import. But, since leaving her hometown of Columbus, Ohio 15 years ago, she has paid more than her share of parking tickets and now considers herself a true blue Chicagoan who has both contributed to the tax base and impacted unacknowledged leaders and underrepresented communities.