Alya Adamany Woods

Acting CEO & COO

LinkedIn Profile

Alya Adamany Woods has recently joined the leadership team of Intersect Illinois, an organization dedicated to driving statewide economic development and job creation.

She most recently served as the Executive Director of ChicagoNEXT, World Business Chicago’s initiative to drive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy, where she developed and led programs focused on access to capital and talent, driving industry innovation, and supporting inclusive entrepreneurship across the city.

Prior to her role at World Business Chicago, Alya was the Managing Director for Innovation Initiatives at the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), a member-driven organization dedicated to cultivating technology-based economic development in Illinois.

Alya began her career at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she served in many roles including as the Assistant Director for studies, and prior to that as the Interim Director for the Global Midwest Initiative. There, she managed initiatives tackled global policy issues including
energy, immigration, and agriculture.

A Rockford native, Alya received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago. She has lived in Chicago since 2002 and currently resides in the Logan Square neighborhood with her family.

Kaitlyn Ezeocha

Vice President, Administration & Operations

LinkedIn Profile

As Chief of Staff, Kaitlyn is responsible for managing operations for the organization and its team.  Her experience at the Department of Commerce brings institutional knowledge and critical organizational talent to Intersect Illinois.

Conor McGowan

Graphic Designer

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Conor is a graduate of Columbia College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He has also earned a certificate from Northwestern University in Web Development. As the leading “eye” of the organization he provides artistic direction & brand management for all things design including print materials, digital assets, and everything in between.

Paulina San Millan

Vice President, Business Development

LinkedIn Profile

Before joining Intersect Illinois, Ms. San Millan worked for Newmark Knight Frank as a Senior Consulting Analyst on their site selection team. Paulina moved recently from New Mexico where she worked in several positions related to economic development for the past 10 years.

Karley Sweet

Communications Specialist

LinkedIn Profile

Karley brings a wide range of experience to Intersect Illinois, after working in communications at World Business Chicago for nearly 13 years. Prior to WBC, Karley worked for the City of Chicago, spearheading communications and marketing around the city’s marquee events. She also has agency experience, having worked at Edelman on major consumer, healthcare and technology clients. Karley holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Josh Weidenaar

Research Manager

LinkedIn Profile

Josh Weidenaar is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with a minor in economics. At Michigan State, he became interested in community and economic development and with EDA funding was able to research economic development tools for focused cluster development around particle accelerator technology transfer businesses.