Women’s Stories Shaping
the Business Landscape
For the first time in its 68-year history, the Fortune 500 list exceeded the 10% threshold of women-led companies this past January. Even in 2023, we continue to recognize “firsts” for women in business. I firmly believe we should celebrate businesswomen for their resilience, passion, and success. For these reasons, I’m thrilled to welcome you to Women in Business issue of our award-winning magazine Business Matters. This issue is especially close to my heart as I am a “first” – the first woman CEO in the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber’s 112-year history.
If you look back at history, women have achieved spectacular successes in the business sphere. From Madam C.J. Walker to Oprah Winfrey, Estee Lauder, Martha Stewart, Arianna Huffington, Jessica Alba, and Victoria Beckham – the list of household names and truly inspiring female entrepreneurs seems inexhaustible. The SBA reports as of 2021, women own or co-own 45% of all businesses in the United States, with California boasting the largest number of women entrepreneurs.
In this issue, we feature positive female role models and share stories of female achievement in business to empower other women to forge their paths. You will read about the interesting journeys of leading women in traditionally male-dominated industries, business owners of color who forged their unique paths to success, and a glimpse at some of our future women entrepreneurs. Scroll through the pages and meet some of our region’s trailblazers, including the Los Angeles Daily News’ first female publisher, Tracy Hernandez; true survivalist, business owner, and contestant on Season 2 of Naked & Afraid, Manu Toigo; and a nonprofit founder who is already making her mark at a young age, Lindsey Sobel.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Chamber is proud to recognize the contributions and achievements of the women in our membership and communities and how these exceptional women are broadening the business landscape.
Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, ACE
Chief Executive Officer
Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce