35 Female Visionaries You Need To Know

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by David Garland in David's Blog

35 Female Visionaries You Need To KnowMaybe it is the women’s studies major in me (yes, actual degree…up on the wall), but I feel like women just don’t get enough credit in the business/entrepreneurial world. As entrepreneurs. As business owners. As creative marketers. As big thinkers. As innovators. As world-changers. Their industries and roles are diverse: media, marketing, inventors, bloggers..and even a film maker. Some of the women below you might have heard of…others maybe not, but they all have similar qualities in common including success, drive and passion.

My advice? Get to know them. Look ’em up. Connect with them on Twitter. Visit their blogs and websites. Buy from them. Learn from them. It will be worth it.

In no particular order…

Ali Brown 1. Ali Brown –

Why? Her story and teachings. Ali went from struggling to pay rent to now one of the most recognized and successful female entrepreneur personalities (with a multi-million dollar company to boot, including mentoring, training, and even a magazine).


Alexis Martin Neely 2. Alexis Martin Neely –

Why? Alexis has redefined an industry historically dominated by old white men: Law. She built a million-dollar practice by destroying the billable hour.


Patti Stanger 3. Patti Stanger –

Why? Not only can Patti find you a date, but her strong personality as The Millionaire Matchmaker has captivated men and women across the country as a result of her hugely successful show on Bravo.

Interview with Patti on finding a niche and dominating.

Dani Apted Schlottman 4. Dani Apted Schlottman –

Why? As a sportspreneur, Dani has brought an interesting twist to the St. Louis Aces (professional team tennis team). Instead of marketing just to tennis fans, she has been able to bring in the big crowds by marketing the events as a high-class cocktail party. Sweet.

Interview with Dani on creating a memorable experience.

Stephanie Bagley 5. Stephanie Bagley –

Why? You have to love a woman in sports. Steph has been instrumental to the NHL’s success in social media. Also, you have to admire someone that has taken a deep passion (hockey) and turned it into a promising career.


Anita Campbell 6. Anita Campbell –

Why? Anita has created a small business empire (and started it before really anyone was paying attention to small businesses online). With partnerships with companies like HP and a viewership in the hundreds of thousands, Anita is one to admire.


7. Maxine Clark –

Why? The old saying is ideas are cheap, execution is priceless. Maxine took an idea for custom-made bears and has now turned it into one of the world’s most successful toy companies.

Interview with Maxine on going from idea to product.

Amy Cosper 8. Amy Cosper –

Why? Amy took a love for red pens and has turned it into a dream career. Not only has she revamped a brand, but she has brought it brand new life and appeal for the 21st century.


Gini Dietrich 9. Gini Dietrich –

Why? Some in the PR world innovate, while others fizzle. Gini puts the awesome in innovate (that doesn’t really make sense, but you know what I mean). As a leader in the public relations space, Gini has built a passionate following and booming business.


Mindee Doney 10. & 11. Mindee Doney and Julie Pickens –

Why? From idea to over 3.4 million in sales, these two mompreneurs have modeled what it takes to raise a family AND launch a product.


Julie Pickens * Information combined with above
Sarah Evans 12. Sarah Evans –

Why? Sarah has the goal of one day owning the St. Louis Cardinals and if her rise to success is any indication of the future, it just might happen. A web 2.0 junkie and PR/marketing rock star, Sarah has become an online influencer, visionary, and rock star.


Donna Fenn 13. Donna Fenn –

Why? Donna took on quite a topic in her fantastic book, Upstarts!: Gen Y entrepreneurs. Through conducting hundreds of interviews, Donna has inspired many to create companies and also get in the head of the text-messaging generation.

Dixie Gillaspie 14. Dixie Gillaspie –

Why? She has coached some of the best (including “The Nametag Guy” Scott Ginsberg). Dixie is also the master of connections. She is just one of those people who REALLY seems to know everyone.

(Very old school) interview with Dixie on building your network.

Ishita Gupta 15. Ishita Gupta –

Why? Ishita is literally kicking fear in the face through her digital magazine start-up focusing on stories of overcoming fear. Knowing Ishita, it will be a smashing success.


Kelly Hamilton 16. Kelly Hamilton –

Why? Media visionary Kelly Hamilton co-founded the unique ALIVE Magazine the way any good entrepreneur does it: With zero experience. Now revamped for the digital age, ALIVE has become a staple to St. Louis’ young and fabulous.


Tara Hunt 17. Tara Hunt –

Why? Anyone that talks about whuffie (defined as social capital) has to be on this list. Tara’s book is a fantastic glimpse into the social media world…before it became a buzzword.


Shama Kabani 18. Shama Kabani –

Why? Success couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Shama has built an incredible personal brand in the marketing industry and also has built a booming online marketing business (as well as authoring a great book: The Zen Of Social Media Marketing).


Jessica Kim 19. Jessica Kim –

Why? You won’t find the bubbly Jessica Kim wearing “Mom jeans.” Jessica has instead made a name for herself through a line of clothing and accesories for the chic mom.


Amber MacArthur 20. Amber MacArthur –

Why? Amber has built a huge name for herself (as a speaker, author, show host and more) in the extremely-male-centric world of tech. From Canada, the northern entrepreneur continues to build an incredible brand.


Amy Martin 21. Amy Martin –

Why? Trivia question: Who was responsible for teaching Shaq how to tweet? How about the driver of the massive social media presence of the UFC? Answer: Amy Martin.


Kate McEachern 22. Kate McEachern –

Why? Now it seems everywhere you turn, there is a food truck selling everything from pasta to hot dogs. While we might not be able to pin down the very first food truck, Kate McEachern was certainly one of the early ones with Cupkates, her mobile cupcake truck in San Francisco.

Kate on the creation of her truck.

Dafna Michaelson 23. Dafna Michaelson –

Why? Her incredible journey going to 50 states in 52 weeks to find America’s problem solvers and idea generators (wow!).

Dafna on her journey.

Amber Naslund 24. Amber Naslund –

Why? The Radian6 marketing queen and online influencer is now an author (The NOW Revolution just hit bookshelves with co-author Jay Baer). Amber is proof you can still be a rock star while working for a company.


Kim Overton 25. Kim Overton –

Why? From fitness trainer to entrepreneurial fitness maven, Kim not only took action on an idea for a unique product, but is thriving and growing. The story is just amazing.


Melissa Pierce 26. Melissa Pierce –

Why? Experience…overrated. Melissa, with no film experience, set out on a quest that combined technology and living an unplanned life. Her documentary is now being released to the world.


Laura Roeder 27. Laura Roeder –

Why? Laura couldn’t get in with the big corporations, so the young entrepreneur has now turned to small businesses (her true passion) by helping small business owners become rock stars.


Ria Sharon 28. & 29. Suzanne Tucker & Ria Sharon –

Why? In a crowded marketplace, Ria and Suzanne always find a way to stick out…even if it means putting on their PJs on camera.

Some quick social media tips from Ria.

Pamela Slim 30. Pamela Slim –

Why? Escaping your own cubicle and then teaching others to do the same? Brilliant!


Liz Strauss 31. Liz Strauss –

Why? Not only is Liz one of the most influential (non-celebrity, as she says) bloggers, but also the founder of the largest business blogging conference: SOBCon.


Vanessa Van Petten 32. Vanessa Van Petten –

Why? You might have caught her as the Youthologist on The Real Housewives of Orange County, but Vanessa’s story goes much deeper. No need to imagine writing a parenting book from a teen’s perspective, that is one of many things on Vanessa’s impressive resume.


Elena Verlee 33. Elena Verlee –

Why? She has created a dream situation for herself in the great white north: multiple six-figure businesses…all from the comfort of her home. Say bye-bye water cooler.


Tamar Weinberg 34. Tamar Weinberg –

Why? Another lady in the tech game. Author, writer, blogger and awesome human being, Tamar Weinberg has a knack for building community (and she can teach you how to do it too).


Jenni Pulos 35. Jenni Pulos –

Why? Because Jenni rocks and little known fun fact: Bravo’s popular Flipping Out was actually her idea.

Jenni on the story of Flipping Out.

Enjoy meeting these ladies. They might just change your life.

Who would YOU add to the list?

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