Welcome to North Bay Business Journal’s 13th annual Women in Business: Leaders, Innovators, Visionaries.

With this year’s 16 winners, 131 exceptional women business leaders have been honored since 2001. The recipients and past winners will be honored July 10 at a gala awards reception and dinner.

Winners were chosen from nearly 50 nominations based on many factors, including leadership roles in the organization, business-related innovations, vision and community involvement.

Throughout the 13 years of these awards we have strived to remain true to the original vision of the award’s founders, especially Deborah Meekins, today the CEO of First Community Bank.

Ms. Meekins wanted one event to focus on the accomplishments of women business leaders and the unique challenges they overcame.

This year, the Journal welcomes a new underwriter for the awards and event, Wells Fargo. The bank has shown exceptional commitment to the recipients, including placing their photos in its ATM network. The bank’s chief marketing officer, Jaime Moldafsky, is the event keynote speaker.

It’s always illuminating for us at the Business Journal to ask the question “What if these awards never existed?”

For Women in Business, it would have meant 131 inspirational stories – stories that without doubt inspired others – would have gone untold. We could not let that happen.

Congratulations to this year's winners for their accomplishments.---Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief, Associate PublisherWomen in Business 2013 keynote speakerJamie MoldofskyChief marketing officer, Wells Fargo

Looking back on a professional career that has included marketing and general management roles in fields including financial services, startups and manufacturing, Jamie Moldafsky noted a common thread extending to her to her role today in guiding the overall brand focus of the 265,000-employee Wells Fargo Bank. [read more]2013 winners

Business Journal staff writers Jeff Quackenbush, Dan Verel and Eric Gneckow collected personal profiles in this report.Melissa Bradley

Owner of Bradley Real EstateDebbie Fakalata

Executive vice president and chief operating officer of First Community BankRebecca Faust

Founder and owner of Rack & Riddle Custom Wine ServicesKatherine Henderson

Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican University of CaliforniaTerin Ignozzi

Proprietor and winemaker at Bryter EstatesWilla Jefferson-Stokes

Associate medical group administrator at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Rafael, Petaluma, NovatoStacey Lawson

Chief executive officer of Ygrene Energy FundCarol Levalley

Owner of Rustic BakeryAngela McReynolds

Chief executive officer of Development Plus, Inc.Jane Read

Vice president of operations at Petaluma Valley HospitalPam Rubio

Vice president at Wells Fargo Private Bank, St. HelenaMarie Scherf

Senior manager and BPM Construction Industry Group leader in the North Bay for BPM, Accountants and ConsultantsMelissa Stackhouse

Vice president of winemaking at J Vineyards & Winery, LLCMary Stompe

Executive director of PEP HousingRuth Waltenspiel

Owner of Timber Crest FarmsWendy Whitson

Attorney and managing director at Anderson, Zeigler, Disharoon, Gallagher & Gray