For two decades, Springfield Business Journal has honored women for their accomplishments and contributions, both professionally and in the community, across southwest Missouri.
This 20th annual class of Most Influential Women brings the honoree count to 400 professionals. The award recognizes the careers, civic leadership and influence of 20 women chosen by an independent panel of judges. The women will be honored during an Oct. 11 luncheon.
The 2019 Most Influential Women honorees, in alphabetical order, are:
• Melissa Bade, Neale & Newman LLP
• Amy Blansit, Drew Lewis Foundation Inc.
• Mary Bozarth, Little Sunshine’s Enterprises Inc.
• Kristin Carter, Central Trust Co.
• Regina Greer Cooper, Springfield-Greene County Library District
• Chrys Craig, BancorpSouth
• Christina Ford, Rebound Foundation Inc.
• Melissa Gelner, Askinosie Chocolate LLC
• Trysta Herzog, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks Inc.
• Lynne Meyerkord, AIDS Project of the Ozarks
• Ashley Norgard, Kutak Rock LLP
• Crystal Quade, Missouri House of Representatives
• Carrie Richardson, Leadership Springfield
• Mary Ann Rojas, city of Springfield
• Loretta Roney, Volt Credit Union
• Charlyce Ruth, Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield
• Melanie Stinnett, TheraCare Outpatient Services LLC
• Jaimie Trussell, Adult & Teen Challenge USA
• Jordana Vera-Montero, Ozarks Technical Community College
• Carlye Wannenmacher, Guaranty Bank
The Most Influential Women luncheon will begin with a silent auction at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 11 at University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 333 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway.
SBJ has partnered with local nonprofit Women in Need for the event in an effort to raise money and help provide resources to enable women and provide a hand up.
Visit SBJ.net/MIW for more information on the event.
Company commissions locally produced pieces that highlight takeaways of the pandemic.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, discusses an issue she sees in how business is presented to young women. She says because social roles are different for men and women, women can be led to expect an unrealistic work-life balance as business owners.
Randy Bacon, a longtime professional photographer based in downtown Springfield, says preparation before making big decisions helped him transition between important stages in his life. He says his big decisions were ultimately a big leap of faith.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.