In the social media culture we live in, it’s easy to get caught up on “likes” and views on highly curated, sometimes sponsored, content. I find myself thinking, how are these people actually “influencing” in real life when there are no filters, “likes” and edited captions? The women featured in this month’s issue may have decent social media followings, but that’s only a side note when looking at what they are actually accomplishing in real life, off-screen. These successful leaders embody boldness, creativity and generosity—all while being compassionate and kind. Working with all of them on this issue was inspiring to our whole team!

In this issue, we highlight women leaders in business, like Jennifer Leavitt, who has worked for The Bellevue Collection for 34 years; as well as small business owners who have found purpose and give back, like Claire Sumadiwirya and Heather Tuininga. You may have noticed we also included some Seattle icons in this issue: Linda Dershcnag (founder of the Derscahng Grop), Kate Isler (Be Bold) and Amy Nelson (co-founder of The Riveter). These women’s creations maybe have been born in Seattle, but they heavily influence the Eastside and will continue to do so. Amy’s company, The Riveter, opened in Bellevue last fall; Kate has brought the largest International Women’s Day celebration to the PNW and partnered with multiple Eastside companies to bring it to life, and Linda’s restaurants continue to be some of the most iconic in Seattle—we can only hope she’ll be bringing one of her creations to Bellevue soon!

We hope this month you take time celebrate the women in your life and that you enjoy hearing the stories of the women featured.  

Happy Mother’s Day!