Trish Headshot Stripes

Hundreds of you were at Powell Hall earlier this week to hear legendary newsman Dan Rather’s lecture as part of the Maryville University St. Louis Speakers Series. From my perch, I saw many in the audience lean forward when Mr. Rather began discussing the distinct traits that every great leader—from Dwight Eisenhower to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Mother Teresa and so on—has. A top trait he mentioned was courage. Another was character. Also on the list: the ability to forgive, to delegate and to find common ground.

In the pages of this week’s edition, we introduce you to 10 community volunteers who embody a number of these traits, if not all. Together, they form the Women of Achievement Class of 2014. There is a reason why these ladies were singled out: They truly are representative of what we all strive to be.

My personal takeaway from reading their stories was this: Do what makes your heart happy. Hopefully, by doing so, you will discover your purpose and nurture it to do good.