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Opinion: Industry diversity shines in 16th class

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Influential Woman, noun: A southwest Missouri woman who has created influence in her career, her community and her family. A woman who creates a path and leaves a trail.

This is year 16 for Springfield Business Journal’s recognition of influential women in our corner of the world.

That means we are old enough to get a driver’s license. It means we have matured enough to establish our goals and drive ourselves to them.

Thanks to SBJ founder and Chairwomen Dianne Elizabeth Osis who conceived the idea to recognize area women and their accomplishments and share those accomplishments with the community. This event brings women, men, co-workers and families together to recognize and appreciate 20 women who have demonstrated in their careers and lives what can be done outside the box.

Please look over the past recipients and think how they have been influential in your lives and the lives of your businesses. Read carefully the women being recognized this year. They are influential in your circles also.

I am excited to see the diversity of this year’s influential women: education, business, legal, health care, manufacturing, design, government and a variety of service organizations.

This year’s influential women have been showing off some unusual purses and inviting you and others to drop in some money to support Women In Need of the Ozarks, the longtime event charity partner.

WIN provides one-time financial support to working women who are in the midst of a temporary financial crisis. WIN understands the savings to the community when a woman can stay in her home rather than become homeless. They provide housing, utility and special needs. A silent auction during the event also will support WIN.   

To quote SBJ’s founder, “Once an influential woman, always an influential woman!” On behalf of the 320 influential women to date, thank you SBJ for providing this step up to our careers and community.  

Elise Crain, executive director of the Christian County Crisis Center, can be reached at


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