The theme for our magazine's eighth annual presentation and celebration of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business is "Women Redefining Excellence."
It suggests that the women who have made it to this year's honoree list have broken new ground in the way we define success.
And, indeed, the changes in government, business and social structures that are being brought about by unprecedented pressures both at home and abroad require that new definitions, new benchmarks be put in place for what we call success.
Our honorees are quietly establishing some of those benchmarks. For them, success means more than the rugged individual's lonely climb up the proverbial achievement ladder at work. It also means balancing home, work and community service.
Our honorees are proof that it is possible for an individual to excel in her chosen field without sacrificing connectedness to family and community. Excellence comes, their biographies tell us in the pages that follow, from taking chances and seeking help; from the nurturing of family, friends and mentors; from spiritual grounding.