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Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year program honors leaders past and present

Past and present honorees gather at the Backstage Bistro for the 2020 Women of the Year Meet & Greet. Photo by Pete Grady

With Idaho celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage in 2020, the Idaho Business Review is recognizing women leaders past and present as part of its Women of the Year awards program.

To kick-off, on Feb. 5, Women of the Year honorees from across the years gathered at the Backstage Bistro at the Village at Meridian for a meet and greet cocktail hour. Attendees from around the state caught up with old friends and made new ones during the mixer, which is open to all Women of the Year award recipients.

During the meet and greet, the honorees had the opportunity to speak about leadership on a professionally-produced video. The honorees responded to a variety of questions including: “What are your hopes for Idaho women leaders in the future?” “Tell us about someone from Idaho history who has inspired you.” “For you, what is the importance of women supporting women in Idaho.”

“The meet and greet is always such a wonderful opportunity for our honorees to connect with one another,” said Idaho Business Review Publisher Cindy Suffa. “We have a number of honorees who have come for multiple years. Some are commuting hours from their homes in places like Eastern Idaho to attend this. It is a great event.”

2019 Women of the Year

The 2019 Women of the Year honorees at the awards gala. File photo.

The celebration continues on March 11 with the Women of the Year awards gala from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Boise Centre West. The Idaho Business Review will honor 2020’s 50 honorees with a program that includes historical interludes highlighting the road to suffrage and a variety of women leaders from across the decades. Staff from the Idaho State Historical Society contributed their expertise.

The gala culminates with the reveal of the 2020 Woman of the Year – the award recipient who received the highest marks overall from a judging panel made up of past honorees and Idaho Business Review staff.

Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, a long-time Idaho political leader and the 2019 Woman of the Year, will also speak during the event.

“The Women of the Year gala is one of my favorite Idaho Business Review events because there is such incredible energy in the room,” said Kim Burgess, Idaho Business Review editor. “There is such excitement for each honoree, with plenty of cheers, applause and standing ovations. I love that spirit of women supporting each other.”

This year, the Idaho Business Review received 220 nominations and a record number of completed applications from women around the state. The judging panel ranked each applicant on four criteria: excellence in leadership, professional accomplishment, mentorship and community involvement.

“Not only the caliber of the nominees but their breadth of experience and depth of professionalism was exemplary,” said Buckner-Webb, a member of the panel.

The 50 winners come from a wide variety of industries, including nonprofits, government, law, medicine, media and technology. Nominations and applications for all Idaho Business Review awards are accepted year-round.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to https://idahobusinessreview.com/events/woy/.

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