(The following was adapted from the opening remarks of Business Journal Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief Brad Bollinger for Thursday's10th annual Women in Business Awards Gala. The winners are profiled in a special insert in the June 28 print edition and are online at NorthBayBusinessJournal.com.)

Good evening. On behalf of everyone at the Journal, welcome to what we hope you will find a fabulous, fun and inspiring evening.

Return to the list of Women in Business 2010 video remarks and profiles.

Ten years. Yes, we have been gathering like this for 10 years to honor women leaders, innovators and visionaries. And we pay tribute tonight in part to that anniversary and especially to this year's 10 exceptional honorees.

Debbie Meekins of Sonoma Bank, a founder of this award, will be up here in a few minutes to talk about what makes this the special recognition that it is.

I just want to say that it has been the privilege of all of us at the Business Journal to play a part in making these evenings and awards possible. We know that were if not for these awards, the accomplishments, business acumen and life wisdom of nearly 90 very special individuals might otherwise not have been shared with all of us over these 10 years.

One of the most wonderful things about tonight is that three of our 10 honorees were nominated this year by previous winners going back to the very beginnings of these awards. I like to call it a great reach back, and it represents a strong and viable circle of support. So, thank you, once again from the Business Journal, it's been a great privilege.

In fact, we are honored tonight to have many past winners with us, and I'd like them to stand and be recognized. And a special thanks to our emcee for tonight, Marcy Smothers.

It would be impossible to recount all of the memorable and significant remarks made by winners and keynote speakers over 10 years of these awards.

But two standout. One was from Laura Chenel, the pioneer of American goat cheese. She said upon receiving her award in 2006 that it was her life goal to "make goats respectable." And she certainly did.

Finally, an unforgettable quote from Laura Alber, the 2007 keynote speaker who just in May assumed the position of CEO of home retailing giant Williams-Sonoma. About the oft-repeated notion of trying to perfectly juggle multiple balls as we navigate life, she said don't worry about dropping one. Just don't drop one of the crystal ones.

Good advice and just the kind of insight and inspiration that have been hallmarks of 10 years of Women in Business.