by Veneta Rizvic

The St. Louis Business Journal has been honoring and celebrating women business leaders for 25 years through its Most Influential Business Women Awards program. That's about 455 women so far, and we'll add another 25 for the 25th anniversary of the program this year.

You might still recognize some of the names from our very first class of honorees in 1999 — including Betsy Cohen of the St. Louis Mosaic Project and Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear. Both women continue to make a difference in the St. Louis region through various projects and have actively nominated other women leaders for this program over the years. 

Meet the 2024 Most Influential Business Women Awards honorees, including WWT's Tonya Stopke.

With the help of past winners, the Business Journal reviewed 140 nominations and selected the 2024 class of Most Influential Business Women. These 25 women have made an impact not only in the industries in which they work, but at local nonprofits and in the communities they represent.

This year's class represents a variety of industries — including retail, education, construction and nonprofit work, among others.