It’s a fun time to be a woman.
I was reminded of this recently while attending a “Power Luncheon” — sponsored by McHenry County Magazine — that brought together a panel of five influential women in the area, including the founder and CEO of a highly successful bank, a politician, an appellate court judge, the president of a university and a business consultant.
None of the panelists was older than 65, I’d guess, but a few spoke of the difficulties of being a woman in a time when females simply did not have executive authority in their fields.
The banker, in particular, noted that when she started out, she didn’t have any female role models in her industry. And the few women who were in the business didn’t come together to support each other – they were fighting for the handful of positions of power that were open to their gender.
Listening to these women share their advice for becoming influential leaders was inspiring, and it made me grateful as I realized how fortunate I am to grow up in an era where my opportunities — as a woman — seem endless.
It hasn’t been all that long since women have really found an equal footing in many professions, and even today, it’s not always equal. I have the feeling many of our mothers and grandmothers can share stories of having to fight for the opportunity to prove themselves in fields long dominated by men.
But it’s amazing to see how far our female family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers have pushed the envelope, and I’m thankful that their hard work has made it that much easier for younger generations to step up and be leaders in their communities.
Our May women’s issue congratulates the ladies in McHenry County on their life successes, whether they’re female entrepreneurs, single mothers, artists or business leaders.
We start by profiling two incredibly successful women who started their own businesses. Penny Keck, our cover model, used her background as a nurse to open Today’s Uniforms in Crystal Lake, which carries outfits for medical, public safety, security and culinary workers, among other things (page 58).
And Tami Hacker used a potentially devastating situation — returning from her honeymoon to find out she had been let go from her job — to start Creatively Yours, her own wedding planner business (page 62).
Both ladies — plus Dr. Lindy Rucks, who owns her own dental practice in Lakewood (page 66) — are featured in our special Women in Business section, along with nearly 60 other females who showcase their talents in their own fields (page 70). Don’t miss their stories!
We also pay tribute to the single mothers of McHenry County (page 48) by sharing the story of Dina Frigo of Huntley, who is raising her three children without the support of a husband.
For all of the mothers out there, we offer a handful of simple, healthy recipes that are perfect for a Mother’s Day breakfast in bed (page 40). Our chef, Marilia Arguedas of Algonquin, not only is a mother herself, but she owns her own business — Artisan Meals.
We also profile local McHenry artist Mary Ann Telfer (page 32), we talk to the senior vice president of design for The Limited to learn how to find the latest in professional business attire with a flair for color and style (page 100) and we share fashion tips for how to find the perfect eyeglass frames for your face shape (page 104).
Join us as we salute the women in our lives, and please enjoy the following pages!