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2017 Most Influential Women: Linda Daugherty

Academy of Hair Design Inc.

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Linda Daugherty loves learning and wants to share that with the world – literally.

From being a middle-school teacher in Nixa Public Schools for nine years, to helping establish a branch of the Academy of Hair Design in Rwanda, Africa, Daugherty says her life goal is to empower others.

“Leadership is defined by many people in many ways. I have personally defined it in my own life with my personal purpose statement: ‘empower people, achieving dreams,’” she says. “I have used this life purpose to help guide my decisions and actions. I really believe that when you can see potential in others and speak to that potential, they can then begin to see it in themselves.”

Daugherty has been employed since 2011 with the Academy of Hair Design, assisting to expand the Springfield location to Austin, Texas, and Rwanda in 2012. She also serves on the Nixa Public Schools Board of Education as vice president.

Nixa Schools Superintendent Stephen Kleinsmith says Daugherty is first and foremost an advocate for students. And although she doesn’t teach in the school district anymore, she continues contributing toward the district’s award-winning education.

“Her passion for people is shown in her service to the Nixa Board of Education for eight years,” Kleinsmith says. “Linda also has a passion for her community. She is always looking for ways she can work to make Nixa and the surrounding area a little better. She is driven to expose people to career options through local workforce development.”

Her passion for contributing to business through education is what led Daugherty to take the job at the Academy of Hair Design, which has graduated 110 students since its founding in 1996.

“This position fit me well, giving me the opportunity to combine my passion for education and business,” she says. “We’re helping students build their businesses as we educate them.”

Daugherty says she is passionate about cultivating Nixa High School’s career-readiness programs and assisted in founding John Thomas School of Discovery – Nixa’s magnet elementary school focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Daugherty also is a member of the economic development committee for the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce, board director for the Missouri School Boards’ Association, and chapter director for Christian International Business Network. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education/special education from Missouri State University and an MBA in entrepreneur leadership/public relations, from William Woods University.

Although her resume is filled with accomplishments, Daugherty says these are not what make a person influential. Rather, it’s a daily choice.

“I believe that being a woman of influence doesn’t happen around one event or accomplishment, but it’s how you walk out your daily life,” she says. “Do you love your family well? Do you love others well? Do you love your city well? Do you love your nation well?”

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