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Class of influential women offers insight on leadership

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For the team at Springfield Business Journal, women in leadership roles is nothing new. Our founder and chairwoman, Dianne Elizabeth Osis, launched SBJ in 1980. In July, she named Jennifer Jackson, her daughter, the publisher of SBJ Publishing’s Joplin and Springfield publications.

In our coverage of business news, we encounter women who lead banks, law firms and businesses big and small, and we’ve honored groups of 20 Most Influential Women annually since 2000.

Thankfully, the difficult task of choosing each year’s class of influential women isn’t handled by the SBJ team but by independent judges, some of whom have received the honor in the past.

The profiles in this booklet, compiled by the SBJ editorial team from honorees’ application packets, shed light on just why these women drew the top scores from the judges.

Here are a few realities you will notice about this year’s Most Influential Women:
  • These women aren’t just wrapped up in their work. Oh, sure, they have a wide array of interesting jobs in multiple fields, but they find the time to reach beyond their workplaces to make positive impacts in the Ozarks.
  • These women don’t rest on their past accomplishments. Rather, they continue to move forward, looking for ways to build on their experiences to achieve more at work, at home and in the community.
  • These women are passionate. They care a great deal about their families and about using their talents as well and as often as they can.
  • These women are thinking ahead. From mentoring to working directly with children or raising money for organizations that help children, this group is connected to the idea of guiding those future generations.
So what can we learn from them?

While it would be easy to say, “I don’t have enough time to be that involved in my career and in the community,” I think you’ll agree that this year’s class of Most Influential Women shoots down that argument.

These women share their stories – and their advice – freely. We can learn about perseverance, determination and dedication. We can look at the hurdles these women have faced and be inspired to make time, and to keep pushing onward and upward.

In the meantime, it’s not too late to be thinking about next year’s class of Most Influential Women. If you know of someone whose professional and community accomplishments are worthy of recognition, nominate her online at, where there also is a list of past honorees.

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Most Influential Women.
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