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2012 Influential Women

Sarah Belk Gambrell (access required)

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The Belk department store chain, which opened in 1888, is a mainstay in the Carolinas and an important part of Sarah Belk Gambrell's life. Now in her 90s, Belk Gambrell is the only daughter of the store's founder.

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Molly Grantham, WBTV (access required)

Grantham

Molly Grantham doesn’t particularly like it when people describe her as lucky or her job as the evening anchor at WBTV as glamorous. “There’s not a lot of glamour in television news,” she said, “though it is flattering when people feel like they really know me.” Said she the secret to her success is working hard and telling stories accurately and with compassion.

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Maria Hanlin (access required)

Hanlin

Maria Hanlin has a lot to be proud of. For one, she earned a double major in math and science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., a master of divinity from Claremont College in California and a doctorate of ministries from Wesley Theological Seminary. But it’s her family and her community – not herself – that she said she’s most proud of.

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Ramona Holloway, “Matt and Ramona Show” (access required)

Holloway

In addition to the “Matt and Ramona” show, on Sundays she co-hosts “The Satisfied Life,” a faith-based radio show on The Link. On weeknights, from 10:35 until 11:00 p.m., she co-hosts Charlotte-based TV show “Fox News Edge.” When women ask her for career advice, she gives it. “Become an expert in something if you want a break, because you kind of have to create your own opportunities,” she said.

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Abigail Jennings, Lake Norman Realty (access required)

Jennings

Abigail Jennings didn’t intend to work for Lake Norman Realty, a company her father started in 1978. Raised in a family of real estate agents, she studied fine arts at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. But after graduation in 1990, she found it difficult to find a job, so she reluctantly took a part-time job under her father’s wing, “doing all of the things no one else wanted to do,” she said. Today, she’s the company’s president.

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Linda Lockman-Brooks, Lockman-Brooks Marketing Services (access required)

lockmanbrooks

Linda Lockman-Brooks is tough to catch up with, and not only because she’s a small-business owner. Her involvement in the community keeps her active, too. This summer, after four years on the Arts & Science Council’s board of directors, she’ll become the board’s chairwoman. In that role, she’ll help revamp the way the nonprofit conducts its fundraising campaigns, focusing more on individuals and matching funds rather than large corporate donations, she said.

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Meg Maloney, Maloney Law & Associates (access required)

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One thing that all of Meg Maloney’s clients have in common is that they’re in a tight spot. But standing up for the rights of others is right up the alley of Maloney, owner of Maloney Law & Associates, which represents companies and individuals. “I’ve never felt like I’ve had rules,” she said. “I’ve always been outspoken.”

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