2019 Muppies Annual Conference

Saturday, September 21 2019, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM [CST]

16 W Adams St, Chicago, IL, 60603, United States


1. Select Seats

2. Review and Proceed

Sale ended

Last Minute: Sat Night Social Only Partial Approval - $33.00

Only for Saturday Evening Social Event. Includes food and drink. Open to everyone.

sales ended

Last Minute Member Weekend Package Partial Approval - $149.00

Weekend Package includes Saturday Conference and Saturday Evening Social Event. Dues-paying members, only.

Sale ended

Last Minute Non-Member Weekend Package Partial Approval - $179.00

Weekend Package includes Saturday Conference and Saturday Evening Social Event.

sales ended

Student Ticket Weekend Package Partial Approval - $65.00

Must be current, FULL-TIME Undergrad or Graduate Student with Valid Student ID showing year of graduation.

Sale ended

Member Ticket Weekend Package Partial Approval - $119.00

PRICE WILL INCREASE ON THURSDAY. Weekend Package includes Saturday Conference and Saturday Evening Social Event. Dues-paying members, only.

sales ended

Non-Member Weekend Package Partial Approval - $139.00

PRICE WILL INCREASE ON THURSDAY. Weekend Package includes Saturday Conference and Saturday Evening Social Event.


Sales end on - 10/31/2019

Help Muppies deliver more quality programming and services in 2019 by making a tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your support!

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Event Information

Saturday, September 21 2019, 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM [CST]

About the Event


AGENDA AVAILABLE AT https://www.muppies.org/mac2019/

The Muppies Annual Conference (MAC 2019) is bigger and better than ever before. On Sept 21, join professionals from across the world for an energetic conference as we explore how leading with purpose can transform an individual, a business, and the world.

Events Include: Friday Welcome Mixer (around 8pm), Saturday Conference (8am to 6pm), Saturday Evening Social (8pm to midnight)


Muppies has contracted with the Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop for subsidized hotel rooms.  The period to prebook a hotel room is now over.  If you need a hotel room, please submit a request to conference@muppies.org, and we will do our best to accomodate.

About the Organizer

Muppies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and advancing Muslim professionals to be leaders in their careers and communities.


Event Speakers

Sarah Ismail
Managing Director, Accenture Digital

Aisha Ghori Ozaki
Board Director of Muslim Women’s Alliance (MWA)

Kamran Bajwa
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Kamran Bajwa handles highly complex international legal matters with a focus on matters relating to the Middle East and emerging markets. He has extensive experience in all areas of corporate law including securities regulations, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, investment funds, corporate finance and Islamic finance. He has advised clients globally on more than 50 major business transactions with a total deal value in excess of $12 billion. Prior to rejoining Kirkland in 2011, Kamran spent eight years as a corporate lawyer and business advisor in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Cairo, Egypt. His experience during this time included serving as the Chief Legal Officer for the leading investment bank in the MENA region, where he established the first in-house legal department and led several major new product launches, investment fund formations and corporate acquisitions. Kamran has been recognized repeatedly for his global legal work. In October 2014, Kamran received the Legal Excellence Award from the IL Diversity Council. In 2012, he was selected to the “Emerging Leaders Program” by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, a two-year program that recognizes young leaders taking steps to help Chicago compete in the global market. In 2008, Kamran was selected as a finalist for a prestigious global legal award (ILO) in recognition of his work. In addition to his law firm and in-house experience, Kamran has served as an advisor to major international NGOs in the U.S., Europe, and Middle East and is fluent in several languages.

Faisel Hussein
Co-Head North America Corporate M&A at Alvarez and Marsal

Kalia Abiade
MD Strategy & Partnerships - Pillars Fund

Amany Killawi
CoFounder, LaunchGood

Social worker turned social entrepreneur, Amany is the Co-Founder & COO a.k.a Team Swiss Army Knife at LaunchGood.com: A crowdfunding platform to support Muslims launching good all over the world by helping them raise funds for their projects, campaigns, and creative ideas. Since it's inception, LaunchGood has raised over 90 million for over 7,000 projects impacting 120 countries. LaunchGood has been featured on major news channels including CNN, AlJazeera, NPR, NBC and others. It has won the Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge award, received the Islamic Economy Award from the ruler of Dubai and invited by President Obama to the White House. Previously, Amany was a graduate of the School of Social work at Wayne State University, and founding member of the Detroit Minds and Hearts Fellowship, a social incubator where she works with Muslim youth to help them develop and launch their own community initiatives for social justice. She has previously worked with multiple organizations in various capacities. Including the project manager and lead coordinator for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding's Improving Marriage Outcomes Study, Administrative Director of the American Learning Institute for Muslims, Data Fellow with The Children's Center of Michigan, and Youth coordinator at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

Muhi Khwaja
Co-Founder - American Muslim Fund

Dr Dilara Sayeed
President, IL Muslim Civic Coalition

Dr. Dilara Sayeed's story journeys from Head Start to Harvard, and through public schools and institutions. These experiences fuel her focus on equity, education, and positive outcomes for all residents, especially in vulnerable communities. Dilara served as an award-winning teacher, a nonprofit executive, and an entrepreneur. Dilara believes success in life requires access to education, resources, and great mentors that help us get there. She is founder of vPeer.com, an online peer mentoring platform that helps networks across the globe help their members Match-Meet-Mentor to Make Greater Impact. Women, American Muslims, Asians, and other demographics are underrepresented in civic leadership. To change this narrative, Dilara ran for IL State Legislature and came in second of four candidates in an historic race. She continues to lead in this space and serves on the City of Chicago Census Complete Count Committee, the IADO Board, the Women’s March Chicago Board, and as President of the Board of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition.

Fatima Khan
Corporate Engagement at Muslim Advocates

Mohammed Faris
ProductiveMuslim & Exec Coach

Mohammed Faris is the Managing Director of Leading Productive Lives (USA/Singapore), a productivity training and consulting company that helps executives, professionals, and teams live the best versions of themselves: spiritually, physically and socially. He’s also the founder of The Productive Muslim Company - the largest faith-based professional training and coaching company for the global Muslim community with over a million followers online.

Ayisha Irfan
Global Engagement Specialist at Airbnb

Imman Musa, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist - The Khalil Center

Aneesa Muthana
President, Pioneer Service

Aneesa Muthana is a hands-on leader with extensive experience in almost every aspect of a production machining environment. In 1993, Aneesa took the opportunity to run a small, struggling company. Her passion and experience drove her to implement the changes necessary to substantially grow the business into a successful Swiss CNC operation. Aneesa attributes this success to building a high-performance team that embraces leading-edge technology. She believes in the importance of building relationships inside and outside the organization, and the responsibility for diversity and inclusion while understanding the importance that success is not given, it’s earned.

Khan Siddiqui
Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of HOPPR

Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of HOPPR, a data and deep learning as a service platform, enabling data liquidity to accelerate and scale AI application development. Dr. Khan Siddiqui brings over 25 years of experience to HOPPR as a practicing Radiologist and technology professional. Dr. Siddiqui is also Founder and Chief Medical Officer of higi – a consumer health technology company. higi gives consumers unsurpassed access to track and act on their health data through a network of over 10,000 FDA-cleared smart health stations and over 80 integrated health devices and apps. higi stations are conveniently used nearly 1 million times per week at pharmacy retailers, community locations, and employer worksites nationwide. Dr. Siddiqui leads the development of HOPPR and higi’s products and technologies and is responsible for the strategic direction of both companies. His primary goal is to improve patient engagement and positively impact health outcomes through artificial intelligence and behavior change principles.

Madihha Ahussain
Special Counsel at Muslim Advocates

Suroor Raheemullah
VP, Human Resources at Dover Corporation

Sana Jafri
Program Officer and Director at the Chicago Learning Exchange

Sayyeda Mirza-Jafri
Strategic Philanthropy Consultant

Vikrum Aiyer
VP of Global Public Policy & Strategic Communications, Postmates

Taha Abdul-Basser
Co-Founder of the Straightway Ethical Advisory

Abdul-Basser is Principal and Co-Founder of the Straightway Ethical Advisory LLC, a consulting group offering Islamic ethical advisory consultation services to the sharia-compliant financial services sector. He serves as a consultant and researcher in the field of Islamic jurisprudence, specifically Islamic finance. In particular, he consults on investment banks, retail banks, investment funds, financial and legal advisories and other for-profit and not-for-profit entities.

Manzoor Cheema
Field Organizer, Project South

A resident of Raleigh, NC, Manzoor Cheema has been a social justice organizer for the last 16 years. Originally trained as a veterinarian in Pakistan and receiving a graduate degree in veterinary immunology in 2003, Manzoor closely witnessed the rise of Islamophobia and the launch of the global war on terror post 9/11. As a response, Manzoor launched a grassroots social justice TV show, “Independent Voices” to highlight consequences of bigotry, war, and other forms of injustice. This show ran for five years and depicted the peace movement and its connections to the anti-racism movements, women's rights movement, and other progressive movements. The show won the award for the best documentary-based TV show by Chapel Hill, NC.

M. Shams Billah
Senior Attorney, Hughes Hubbard & Reed

M. Shams Billah is a senior attorney in Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s Banking & Financial Services group in New York City. He advises Islamic and conventional financial institutions, corporate clients (ranging from startups to publicly traded Fortune 500 companies) and private equity sponsors on a broad range of corporate financing transactions, including secured and unsecured credit facilities, acquisition finance, Islamic finance, project finance and restructuring workouts. Among his professional activities, Shams is an active member of the Muslim Bar Association of New York, the Muslim Urban Professionals (Muppies) and the National Association of Muslim Lawyers. He was a 2019 Fellow of the award-winning New York City Bar Association’s Associate Leadership Institute. Shams is also a member of Hughes Hubbard’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and is the co-founder of its newly established Interfaith Attorney Affinity Group. Shams also maintains an active pro bono practice in matters affecting refugees and underserved communities. Prior to joining Hughes Hubbard, Shams was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in the Corporate Finance group and the Financial Institutions group. Shams received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. in Economics from The George Washington University.

Rima Abdelkader is a reporter and producer with NBC News in New York City. From interviewing Syrians from inside Aleppo to uncovering a kidnap victim’s escape from the trunk of a car to interviewing an inspiring stranger that stopped an Atlantic City street fight, Abdelkader is passionate and eager to tell stories that matter. Previously, she served as a reporter and producer at the prime-time, Emmy-nominated television newsmagazine program, “Ali Velshi On Target” at Al Jazeera America, covering local and international issues. Prior to Al Jazeera America, Abdelkader produced with NBC News’ prime-time, Emmy-award winning television newsmagazine program, “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Prior to NBC News, Abdelkader served as a reporter covering the United Nations, and also as a reporter for the Buffalo, NY-based television news station, Bridges TV. Abdelkader is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, magna cum laude. In her spare time, she's a board member of the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association, active member of Muslim Urban Professionals, and a volunteer with the post-Sandy relief organization Yellow Boots.

Muhammad Mian
Co-Founder and Partner at Prysm Capital

Muhammad Mian is a Co-Founder and Partner at Prysm Capital where he provides growth capital to disruptive management teams across the technology, consumer, and healthcare markets. Investing across stages, Muhammad enjoys working with teams reinventing their industries. Prior to Prysm, Muhammad spent nine years at BlackRock Private Equity Partners where he had the opportunity to partner with some remarkable management teams. During that time he served on the Board of Directors of Cofense, Qumulo, WoundTech, PLNTF Holdings (Planet Fitness franchisee), and AIM Aerospace, the Executive Board of the One Team Collective, and was an observer to the Board of Directors of Convene and Stonefire Grill. Muhammad joined Salesforce in 2006 and spent time in Marketing Strategy and Corporate FP&A. Prior to that, Muhammad worked at TiVo in the Finance organization. He began his career with Merrill Lynch Private Equity Partners. Muhammad is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 22) and earned a BBA degree from The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and an MBA degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. At Wharton, Muhammad was voted the most improved player on the 2009 Wharton Wildmen (ice hockey club) championship team. Muhammad was born in Lahore, Pakistan, grew up in New Jersey and now lives in the Princeton area with his wife and kids. He enjoys Michigan football, Texas-style barbecue, and pizza.

Shaarik Zafar
Public Policy Manager at Facebook

Shaarik Zafar is a Public Policy Manager at Facebook where he drives policy development and stakeholder engagement on issues at the intersection of technology, civil and human rights,and national security. His work includes thought leadership on online content moderation, managing relationships with a range of civil society organizations, and overseeing programs on countering hate speech and promoting pluralism. Shaarik previously served as the Special Representative to Muslim Communities at the Department of State; a Director for Global Engagement at the White House National Security Council; the Special Counsel for Post 9/11 National Origin Discrimination at the Department of Justice; and in senior roles at the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He’s a graduate of the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law and received the 2011 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award, which recognizes alumni under the age of 40 who have made significant achievements in their careers and service to the University. Shaarik is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.