Posted tagged ‘Illinois’

Meet a Member: Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

February 17, 2015

When I need a helping hand, Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas is always willing to help out, even with her busy schedule and time devoted to taking care of family members. She was honored in Salt Lake City as our Communicator of Achievement, the top award given to a member. She works hard in causes she believes in and I appreciate her efforts. I am glad to call this unique and unbelievable member a friend. Meet Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas.

Name: Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas with her husband, Jonas.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas with her husband, Jonas.

City and State: Chicago, Illinois

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

National Federation of Press Women: Executive 2nd Vice President (2013- present); Executive Board Secretary (2011-2013); Membership Chair (2009-2011).

Illinois Woman’s Press Association: Immediate Past-President, Historian & Archivist (2013-present); President (2009-2013); High School Communications Competition Chair (2010-2012); Vice President/Membership Chair (2005-2009).

Years a member of NFPW: since 2005

Tell us a little about you.

Throughout my career and volunteer work, if there has been a way I can connect people with one another, or if there’s an opportunity to make an introduction, link talent with a cause, help people find solutions and help each other, I’m all in. I truly feel this way and in 2014 went to work for Weight Watchers North America, Inc. The company is very positive and the people I’ve met are truly inspiring. They helped me get in shape and now I’m taking what I learned to encourage others on their weight loss journey.

I’ve always been a huge supporter of my alma mater, Illinois Wesleyan University. I’m interested in reconnecting alums with the campus and finding opportunities to promote activities bringing students and alums together. I serve as President of the IWU Chicago Alumni Board and on the IWU Executive Alumni Board. One of my most memorable projects was “Saturday in the City” pairing international students far away from the comfort and support of home and family, with IWU alums in Chicago for a day of Midwestern hospitality. I’m still not sure who had more fun, students or adults? It’s always a win, win!!

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas enjoying time with her parents.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas enjoys spending time with her parents, Joseph and Cecilia Wolf.

There have been such varied career opportunities I’ve personally enjoyed. Working for the United States Senate was especially meaningful in so many ways. I so enjoy helping people. At the end of my term working with former Illinois United States Senator Roland W. Burris, my personal life would require making career altering decisions. My mother was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and my father with colon cancer. Extremely close to both parents, I’m a loyal and determined daughter, and chose to be their caregiver easing the stress, fear and challenges my parents faced. As anyone familiar with COPD and cancer knows, the unknown is the enemy. Then, seemingly out of the blue, my husband learned he had a life threatening cancerous brain tumor. I’m here to tell you miracles do happen. As a family, with plenty of adjustments made in our everyday lives, we’ve managed to pull through. We count our blessing each and every day.

Any career advice you would give?

1.) Give yourself more credit. 2.) Follow your head, not necessarily your heart. 3.) Don’t beat yourself up over the little things. 4.) Give a helping hand and a kind word to the women you meet along your journey because chances are no one else is. 5.) At the end of the day, when you look into your mirror, remember to smile at the image staring back at you.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to sing and sound exactly like Linda Ronstadt in “Blue Bayou.”

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere safe and warm. I’m still searching…

What book are you reading?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m looking forward to reading Erik Larsen’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Larson will be at the Union League Club of Chicago in April and I’ve already made my reservation to hear him and purchase a copy of the book.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a child, I was shy.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I so enjoy meeting such talented women (and some men) from all across the country. I’ve made some tremendous friends along the way. Some have even been important mentors in my journey as a writer. I’m passionate about the history of both organizations and enjoy writing about the women who were our trailblazers. Such a rich diverse group of women, they remain inspiring for me. Currently, I’m involved in a variety of writing projects about many of them and my research is never done. Some are easier to find than others and I’ve learned no two women are alike. One thing I know for sure, our generation should never let them be forgotten. Their commitments and struggles as women; as writers, as journalists and communicators in a world where women were often ignored and underpaid paved the way for us.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

My website is I can be found on Facebook as Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas, LinkedIn as Marianne Wolf.