BWUN Leadership

In July 2009, Angela Crossin and her former business partner conceived of the concept of BWUN as an alternative to the traditional social networking organizations. The emphasis is on the whole person, versus solely the business persona; thus, both visionaries decided to take a risk, and to create a group focused on the personal side, or the whole woman juggling a multitude of responsibilities. Loyal to our trademark, we are truly about, “Connecting Beyond Business™”.



Angela hold a B. A. from the University of Illinois in International Relations with a minor in History, a Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law and a Masters Degree in Accounting from Purdue University Calumet. Angela is currently enrolled in a doctorate program at California Southern in clinical psychology.  Angela is in private practice  offering services that include setting up for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, estate planning and employment related matters.

Additionally, she teaches business law, commercial law, and corporate governance at Purdue University’s satellite campus in Hammond, Indiana, Valparaiso University, Northern Illinois, and Trinity Christian College. Angela became a Certified Fraud Specialist through the National Association of Certified Fraud Specialists in 2010. Angela is also a licensed One Page Plan™ consultant.

Previous to her law career, she was in banking at a mid-size bank in Springfield, Illinois. Having worked with diverse businesses and clients, Angela will be able to provide needed expertise to assist women in setting up businesses, business law related matters, and governance principles.

Assisting Angela in the leadership of BWUN are the following individuals:

Lesley Herod/Lakeshore (Fomerley Duneland) Alliance/Executive VP – Board

Lesley Herod is a licensed insurance agent through Liberty Mutual. She has vast knowledge and experience in the insurance/financial industry having worked for Liberty Mutual for over fifteen years in sales and management.


Lakeshore (Formerly Duneland) Women’s Wisdom Cultivator


Jill Story, Esq. | Legal Consultant is an entrepreneurial and high energy Business Consultant and Attorney with over 16 years of business and legal consulting, auditing and education-based achievements working with corporations, law firms, court systems and public schools; complementary experience as university adjunct and secondary education faculty.

For the past 5 years, Jill has worked in various roles within Jackson National Life as not only a legal and business consultant, but as an internal auditor and senior corporate trainer. 

Jill was in private practice from 2005-2011 after having clerked for the Federal District Court, as well as worked for Miller Carson Boxberger and Murphy in Ft. Wayne. 

Among her business accolades, Jill was selected by PWC to attend corporate training in London, and she was also selected out of over 500 applicants to travel to Japan with a select group of business and educators to study culture, education, manufacturing and environment.

Prior to the law, Jill was a high school teacher in NWI. She is involved with various civic organizations and has worked with several NFP boards.

Jill has a JD from Valparaiso University School of Law, M.S. in Education from IU-SB, and an undergraduate in English and Secondary Education from Ball State.

Jill is passionate about health and wellness, empowering and inspiring women, raising strong kids, and enjoys travel and food adventures.  


Patty Bird | BWUN Creative Director is an accomplished actress, instructor and director.  She received her B.A. in Theatre/Television Arts, concentrating in Elementary Education and English.  Patty has been teaching, acting and directing for over 20 years.

She currently teaches with Theatre at the Center (Northwest Indiana’s only professional equity theatre) and has worked with several theatres in Chicago and with South Bend Civic and Shakespeare at Notre Dame.  Patty received numerous lead actress nominations and has won regional recognition for several of her roles.

Favorite acting credits include:  Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roofwith South Bend Civic; The Fox on the Fairway, Noises Off and Leading Ladies with Theatre at the Center; The Comedy of Errors, The Heidi Chronicles, The Angels of Lemnos, and A Lie of the Mind with Chicago Street Theatre; Picasso at the Lapine Agilewith Grand Calumet Players; and Fool for Love with Dunes Summer Theatre. Her favorite directing credits include: Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Theatre at the Center; Curse of the Starving Class, Fuddy Meers, Jungalbook, and Go, Dog. Go! with Chicago Street Theatre.

Patty enjoys motivating and encouraging others by her own experiences and positive examples, doing her best in everything, and never being afraid to think outside of the box.

Rather, she hopes to inspire her actors and students by providing a safe, nurturing and creative environment – a creative and positive way of dealing with the various problems that are a part of everyone’s lives.

Pam Bilyak/Dove Chocolate Discoveries Pam Bilyak, Independent Chocolatier 


Tri-Town Alliance ●


Business Advisor/Floating Cultivator/Chair, Annual Winter Retreat/Excecutive Secretary – Board  ●

Donna has a diverse background in the banking and mortgage industry. She established her own mortgage company in 2005 and returned to the banking world after closing the business in 2010. She currently works for PHH Home Loans an affiliate of Coldwell Real Estate. Donna served on the board of Pop Warner for several years and is a true community advocate on all issues involving women.

Laurie Rice/Wild Rice Vegan™ (Follow us on Twitter @valpovegan)


Business Development Officer/Billing ●

Copyright 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Business Women United, Inc.

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