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Women of the Year unite at Meridian reception

Past and present Women of the Year honorees gathered on Feb. 6 for the yearly Meet & Greet. Photo by Liz Harbauer.

More than 50 current and past Women of the Year honorees, dating from as far back as 2006 and coming from as far away as Idaho Falls, met on Feb. 6 to do what women do best: enjoy a glass of wine and a networking opportunity.

The meet and greet was held at the Backstage Bistro in The Village at Meridian. Held annually, the event gives honorees the opportunity to connect before the Women of the Year awards gala, scheduled for March 6 at Boise Centre West. Honorees were announced in December from a record pool of applicants.

The theme for the 2019 Women of the Year program is “What Unites Us” – a celebration of Idaho’s strong community of women leaders and their emphasis on mentoring and supporting one another.

Over 50 Women of the Year honorees attended a reception at Backstage Bistro in Meridian. Photo by Kim Burgess.

In addition to group bonding, a number of women who attended the meet and greet also responded on camera to the question, “What unites us — as women, as humans or as honorees?” Their answers will be part of a video that will air during the event.

“Our love for being better,” responded Ronda Conger, vice president of CBH Homes, author and motivational speaker. “We all have this common goal to be better, to make an impact, to help others, to love others. It brings all of us together.”

Conger won Woman of the Year in 2018, an award that goes to the applicant with the highest overall score from the judges who selected the Women of the Year honorees. She will be the guest speaker for the 2019 event.

This year, IBR received a record 110 applications for the honor, which recognizes 50 outstanding women for excellence in leadership, professional accomplishments, mentorship and community service. Each applicant submitted detailed application packets and letters of recommendation, which were judged by a panel of past IBR award winners.

Profiles of the 2019 honorees will be published in a special magazine handed out to event attendees and available to IBR subscribers in the March 8 edition.

Established in 2006, the Women of the Year program has recognized 700 high achievers from across the state, with some women receiving the award more than once, earning them a place in the Circle of Excellence.

About Sharon Fisher