A leader in social impact-driven business and technology with experience building teams, creating and validating business strategy, directing design, operations, and communications.


Emily Lonigro

Walking the Talk

In 2004 Emily founded LimeRed with a plan to prioritize high-quality design, user experience, and meaningful social impact. During the last 17 years in business, Emily has built this business into a changemaking presence with national-scope clients focused on doing work that has socially responsible intentions. LimeRed is a Certified B Corporation, a triple-bottom-line company, and a certified WBE and DBE. She has won multiple awards in Changemaking and corporate Governance from B Lab, ranking LimeRed in the top 10% of international B Corporations.

Her experiential spectrum includes brand strategy, business design, user experience, writing, marketing, operations, and sales for people who make a difference. 

Emily is a business mentor at The School of the Art Institute and tech incubator 1871. She currently serves on two boards, for Free Street Theater and the Feminist Media Foundation. She was formerly VP of the Board of WeWill, a lobbying organization for women’s rights. She has been on additional boards, run tech accelerators, run workshops from branding to business design. Emily is also a regular speaker and panelist at national and regional conferences.

She has been published in national magazines, written two books, Identity to Impact, and Branding for Changemakers, and is working on a third. 

Emily lives in Chicago with her partner, Betsy, and their three children. She’s a mom, activist, small business owner, designer, and activator. 

I speak on Business Ethics, Creative Process, and Entrepreneurship.

These are a few stories of failure, deep learning, overcoming and dealing with sexism, being a misfit, risk taking, and a bold desire to do things a different way. 

How to Reclaim Your Energy In Business

Keynote: Designing Impact through Collaboration

On Doing Business Better: BizCast HQ Interview

Emily has infused community leadership in her business and personal life. To her, it’s all one. Emily has:

  • Served as leadership and board VP for a lobbying organization organizing women to get involved in the political process (3 years)
  • Organized women interested in becoming B Corps (B Curious Women monthly event)
  • Formed and Leads Women Belong’s Albany Park business circle
  • Volunteers for many nonprofits with goods and services
  • Designed a curriculum at Columbia College and taught it for a year
  • Builds promotion, fundraising, and volunteering into every business engagement
  • Volunteers with International B Corp Women CEOs group in tech, and business development
  • Developed a paid family leave policy in her business
  • Launched LimeRed’s website annual giveaway to deliver an amazing website and organization who serve the most marginalized communities. 2019’s winner: http://the-network.org/
  • Organized and ran in August 2019, with Ashley Powell, Chicago’s first Nonprofit Draft Day, a NFL draft-style event to connect nonprofits with diverse potential board members
  • Leads branding for social impact workshops
  • Regular public speaker at colleges and associations on ethics, design, and impact
  • Written two books: Branding for Changemakers and Identity to Impact, and is working on a third
  • Opened the riverfront Apple Store business training series with two workshop on social impact business ideation and pitching
  • Designed and ran a conference for two years: Women Supporting Women
  • Graduated Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Cohort 12 while pregnant
  • Formed a business partnership with another design agency in El Salvador as a result of a US-sponsored entrepreneurship program to bring democracy to recovering countries
  • Has spoken in Croatia as part of the same program to teach networking, community building, and foster entrepreneurism
  • Served on the board of Free Street Theater
  • Developed Defy Convention, first an in-person series, now a podcast
  • Refinished her basement into a one-bedroom apartment
  • There’s so much more, I don’t even remember