Springfield Business Journal is proud to present the inaugural class of Men of the Year.
The group of 20 men being honored is represented by chairmen, CEOs and presidents. There are physicians, surgeons and attorneys from private enterprise, public entities and nonprofits. They are educators and administrators.
Springfield Business Journal has honored 20 Most Influential Women annually for 12 years, with special publications and luncheons in their honor. We’ve all heard from many men through the years, “When is it going to be our turn?” The answer was typically some version of, “Every other week of the year.”
I know we had at least one staff member who would regularly doodle a tally sheet of the number of men vs. the number of women pictured in a regular weekly issue of Springfield Business Journal during our Monday morning quality meetings. It has never been by intentional design that the men’s tally column always contained more digits. It has simply been the reality that the men in positions of top leadership still outnumber the women. So, why more focus on the guys – and why now?
Something changed along the way. I’m not exactly sure what the change was. Maybe what has changed is our perception of what these awards are all about. I have heard many judges come back and say that all the applicants are extraordinary. They are all quite accomplished in their professions. The applicants who stood out to the judges were the ones who were really giving to the community in time or talent or with financial support, well beyond the reaches of their professional roles.
It occurred to us all that in the arena of service and goodwill, exceptional men and exceptional women shine equally as bright. So, the day to recognize the guys for their contributions is today, with this very issue.
More than 150 men were nominated for this honor and 51 returned completed questionnaires with résumés and letters of reference. Completed application packets were then distributed to an independent panel of judges. I am very thankful this decision does not have to be made in our office. As you read through this section, I am sure you will agree that the judges did their jobs well. Jennifer Jackson is publisher of Springfield Business Journal and Joplin Tri-State Business Journal. She may be reached at email@example.com.
From 2011 Men of the Year