Welcome to North Bay Business Journal’s 14th annual Women in Business: Leaders, Innovators, Visionaries.

Please allow a brief story to start.

Shortly after this year's honorees were publicly announced, the Business Journal received an email from one of the recipients. She said that if she had the opportunity to speak briefly, she wanted to tell the story of bringing her daughter to the Women in Business awards dinner a decade ago. She saw the event as an opportunity for her young daughter to learn about the accomplishments of women in business and to be inspired by them.

Today, the daughter is completing her education at an elite university. And her mother concluded her email with a thank-you to all previous Women in Business recipients who provided inspiration and guidance. She urged everyone to continue to support one another as they reach for their dreams.

That perfectly captures the spirit of Women in Business. The awards are meant to put a spotlight on achievement and inspire others.

With this year’s 17 winners, who will be honored June 25 at a gala awards reception and dinner, nearly 150 exceptional women business leaders have been recognized since 2001.

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 14 years of these awards we have strived to remain true to the original vision of the awards' founders, especially Deborah Meekins, CEO of First Community Bank.

Congratulations to this year's winners for their accomplishments.---Brad Bollinger, PublisherWomen in Business 2014 keynote speakerHollie DelaneyDirector of customer experiences, Zappos.com

As “director of people experiences,” Hollie Delaney said her role at e-commerce giant Zappos includes some key differences from most human resources professionals. [read more]2014 winners

Business Journal staff writers Jeff Quackenbush, Dan Verel and Eric Gneckow collected personal profiles in this report.Jennifer Anderson, general manager, Parkpoint Health ClubsMichelle Ausburn, senior manager, Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM)Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-founders, Cowgirl CreameryRhonda Deringer, owner, Odyssey Development Co., agent, Keegan & CoppinShireen Donaldson, human resources vice president, Agilent TechnologiesAnn Hancock, executive director and co-founder, Climate Protection CampaignAmanda Howell, vice president and division director, Robert HalfMarla Jeffrey, president, Gusmer Enterprises, Inc.Karissa Kruse, president, Sonoma County WinegrowersRebecca La Londe, MBA, BSN, area quality leader, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical CenterAndrea Learned, CFRE, vice president of development, St. Joseph Health, Sonoma CountyLisa Micheli, executive director, PepperwoodCecelia Miller-Brown, owner, Kresky Signs Inc.Stacey Payne, director of marketing, La Tortilla FactoryCara Peck, executive vice president and head of talent planning and development, Wells FargoTerri Stark, restaurateur, Stark Reality Restaurants, LLC