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Opinion: Lasting legacies require intention

2021 Most Influential Women

Posted online

No one leaves a legacy accidentally. A legacy is something we must intentionally choose to achieve. It happens over time and throughout our lives, and it determines what we leave behind for generations to come. 

Legacies that matter are built on connecting and empowering people. Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “If you want to leave a legacy, invest in people. People are what matter in this world — not money or fame or buildings or organizations or institutions. Only people.” 

Local photographer Randy Bacon, founder of the 7 Billion Ones movement, puts it this way: “Each and every person is a one-of-a-kind original.”

By intentionally investing in people, every unique “one” of us can positively impact the “billions” and ultimately leave a lasting legacy enabling others to more freely live life and fulfill their innate purpose to make this world a better place to live.

Through Springfield Business Journal’s Most Influential Women awards, we get the joy of recognizing and celebrating outstanding women in our community who are leaving a lasting legacy. These women are pouring into the lives of others. They are depositing things that will help others be better people and help our community to be a better place to live and work. Each of these women provide an example of the way influence works in the development of success for others.

The annual celebration for these outstanding women provides us an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Class of 2021 Most Influential Women, as well as recognize the women who have been selected in prior years. What a blessing that our community has so many empowered women who choose to leave a lasting legacy. The annual celebration is also an opportunity for us to highlight and help an organization that helps women in crises with one-time grants through Women in Need of the Ozarks.

We must work for the legacy that we want to leave. A hundred years from now, all that will matter is the people we connected with in such a way that we added value and meaning to their lives. This year’s class of Most Influential Women are hard at work investing in their families, friends, co-workers and our community. Please join us as we celebrate these inspiring women.

No one leaves a good legacy without effort, and they are definitely putting in the work.

Krista Shurtz is the director of rates and fuels for City Utilities of Springfield and is a member of the 2020 Most Influential Women class. She can be reached at


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