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2012 Influential Women

Rosa Marion, The Harvest Center of Charlotte (access required)


In the early 1990s, Rosa Marion teamed up with Barbara Brewton Cameron, founder of The Harvest Center of Charlotte, to transform a West Charlotte community around Wyatt Street, now Brewton Drive, which had been infested with drugs, guns and violence and close to 100 murders in a span of four years.

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Kim Marks, ai Design Group (access required)


Architect Kim Marks said the biggest challenge in her line of work is the need to continually think outside the box for her clients. The biggest challenge of her career, she said, also involved outside-the-box thinking when, in 2003, she decided to leave a large architectural firm to start her own business.

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Leah Maybry, Elliott Davis (access required)


With more than 14 years of accounting experience, the 36-year-old Maybry ranks as a senior tax manager at Elliott Davis, a 75-year-old accounting firm and one of the largest accounting, tax and consulting services firms in the U.S. In her four years at Elliott Davis, Maybry has played a key role in growing the firm’s tax practice in Charlotte by generating new business. Specializing in income taxes for individuals and planning for nonprofits and high-net-worth individuals, Maybry has about 100 to 150 clients and manages 350 tax returns a year on average. She has also mentored 10 Elliott Davis professionals in her four years.

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Kim McDonald, Elite Resources (access required)


Kim McDonald playfully blames her mother, but she also thanks her, for her 20-year career in the staffing industry. “My mom said I had to get a part-time job in high school, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll work for you,’ and went to work for her at the staffing agency she owned, and I loved it from day one,” McDonald said. “I grew up around it, and I’m now fully in it, and I am thankful she brought me into this business.”

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Sherri McGirt, McNair Law Firm (access required)


As an estate- and wealth management-planning attorney, it’s not often that Sherri McGirt finds herself in the middle of complex litigation and arguing for her clients in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court. But in March 1999, in Carriker v. Carriker, McGirt successfully concluded a two-year interpretation of a will case that she calls one of the highlights of her legal career.

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Valerie Mitchener, HM Properties (access required)


Despite all the negative housing market conditions that year, 2006 was also the same year Mitchener turned her dream of one day owning a real estate company into a reality when she and business partner, Patty Hendrix, opened HM Properties in August. At the time, Mitchener and Hendrix were two of Charlotte’s leading residential real estate brokers, and they left their jobs to launch a boutique agency.

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Sandy Morgart, Bank of America (access required)


Nine years ago, Sandy Morgart learned of a nonprofit, 24 Hours of Booty. Cyclists ride for 24 hours around a 3-mile loop – the “Booty Loop” – to raise cancer awareness and support for cancer charities. Morgart, an avid cyclist, teamed up with coworker Mona Baset to lead Bank of America’s team. Nine years later, the bank’s team and 24 Hours of Booty are making significant strides. Morgart is helping lead the way as vice chairwoman of the organization’s board and co-captain of the bank’s team.

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Hadley Perry Pacheco, Perry’s at SouthPark (access required)


Ernest Perry had tried to get his daughter, Hadley, to join the family antique and estate jewelry business at Perry’s at SouthPark, but she always refused so she could pursue other career options. But in 2010, when Hadley Perry Pacheco was considering a career change from her private insurance-defense-litigation law practice in Boston and Ernest was on the brink of growing and expanding the business in Charlotte, he asked his daughter again. This time, she gave in.

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Vickie Pennington, EMCI (access required)


After 30 years in the same industry, Vickie Pennington, at the age of 50, was not thinking about winding down her career. Instead, she was considering changing it. Pennington had spent more than 30 years in case management assistance, helping patients with brain and spinal cord injuries find the necessary resources and means to maximize their recovery through acute care and community-based programming.

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Beth Petty, Charlotte Regional Partnership (access required)


As “The Hunger Games” continues its box office dominance, Beth Petty, director of the Charlotte Regional Partnership’s film commission, may be the one smiling the most. Petty helped recruit the makers of “The Hunger Games” to film most of the movie in Charlotte, and the movie has become the year’s top-grossing film. Since 2001, Petty has served as director of the film commission, which recruits feature and independent films, TV shows, commercials and still photography to the 16-county Charlotte region.

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