In selecting the 25 business leaders worthy of the annual Portland Women of Influence awards, judges try to come up with a good mix of industries. That is, a few lawyers, a few restaurateurs, maybe a financial pro or three.

Nonetheless, one industry usually emerges as contributing the most honorees to our list. It's usually an industry that denotes a sign of the times, in that it employs the best execs in a field about which everyone is talking.


That convention held true to form this year as the health industry contributed seven execs to the Portland Business Journal's 2017 Women of Influence roster. The honors are voted on by the editorial staff and will be conferred at an April 20 program at downtown Portland's Hilton & Executive Tower.

Tickets for the event are available here.

With the swirling talk about the types of companies that'll shake out of efforts to reshape the Affordable Care Act, it makes sense that health leaders hold a brighter spotlight these days. The 2017 health industry honorees represent a wide range of skills.

There's Legacy Heath's Maureen Bradley, who developed the Randall Children's Hospital. There's Chandra Wahrgren of Ardon Health Specialty Pharmacy. And there's the likes of BurnCycle's Jessi Duley.

The commercial real estate sector contributed four Women of Influence winners while the food and financial services fields counted three honorees.

The latter category includes legendary investor Diane Fraiman and startup gurus Robin Klemm, of XXcelerate Fund, and Nita Shah of Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon.

Each of the women collecting the honors this year offer acumen in both the business and the community service realms. That's because we consider civic commitment to be a part of the Portland region's fabric. As such, it's an indicator of what makes a great leader.

This year's field was chosen from some 250 nominations.