LAS VEGAS BUSINESS PRESS

Sure, the Las Vegas economy is on the mend.

But the city’s business climate hasn’t reached recovery on its own. The bounceback has relied on the efforts of entrepreneurs, managers and philanthropists, working side by side to revive hard-hit industries, open and expand businesses, and train the next generation of workers.

Through Women Who Mean Business, we have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on a few of those contributors.

Based on the dozens of nomination forms we received, our 10 honorees make up a fraction of the locals who care deeply about the community and labor every day to make a difference. The flood of submissions also made it tough for us to choose 2014’s winners.

We gave our nod to women who are both blazing career trails in diverse fields and volunteering their free time to the community’s less fortunate residents.

There’s the restaurateur who left a seven-chain business in Los Angeles to start over in Las Vegas, and is now on the cusp of going national as a franchisor. Then there’s the mechanical contractor who started her construction business in the depths of the recession with no capital, and has built a company with almost $1 million in annual revenue. You’ll also find the daughter of Norwegian immigrants — a local executive who spoke no English until she started public school in New York, and who now runs one of the state’s biggest trade groups. And no list of movers and shakers would be complete without a nod to a small-business lending manager who has provided key cash infusions to companies looking to pick up the pieces after an epic economic downturn.

This year’s list also highlights women in workforce training, law, architecture, philanthropy and dentistry. Their backgrounds and businesses are radically different, but they all share two traits: a strong work ethic and compassion for their fellow Las Vegans. If other aspiring entrepreneurs and business execs follow their example, our city’s recovery will be in good hands indeed.

Congratulations to the honorees of our fifth annual Women Who Mean Business. We look forward to their contributions in coming years.

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