NAWBO-MN Women Business Owners Hall of Fame Inductees

   Five women of influence to be 
   inducted into the Minnesota Women 
   Business Owners Hall of Fame


We are so excited to share with you, the 2021 Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame Inductees

The Minnesota Business Owners Hall of Fame was established in 2013 to honor women who made substantial and lasting contributions to Minnesota’s entrepreneurial community. Each inductee has:

●      Made a major impact on women’s entrepreneurial development in Minnesota;
●      Demonstrated leadership qualities or a spirit of entrepreneurial innovation that can serve as an inspiration to future generations of Minnesota entrepreneurs
●      Been publicly acknowledged for their accomplishments by winning a major business award and/or receiving similar recognition from their industry and
●      A meaningful connect to Minnesota (such as a place of birth, education, and/or business location).

We are so honored to present this year’s honorees! “This year’s trailblazing honorees represent five different industries. They are a diverse mix of leaders who have shaped opportunities for other women business owners. We have designed this year’s event to inspire attendees to reach for their goals and achieve their dreams,” comments Julie Kimble, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN).

Please meet our very distinguished inductees!

Ann Bancroft, Founder, Ann Bancroft Foundation 

A Mendota Heights native, Ann is an American author, teacher, adventurer and public speaker. Ann is one of the world's preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women and girls around the world to unleash the power of their dreams.

Through her various roles as an explorer, educator, sought-after speaker and philanthropist, Ann believes that by sharing stories related to her dreams of outdoor adventure, she can help inspire a global audience to pursue their individual dreams. Ann's teamwork and leadership skills have undergone severe tests during her polar expeditions and provided her with opportunities to shatter female stereotypes. Among her accomplishments, in February 2001 Ann and Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arnesen become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica's landmass, completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek.


Amy Langer, Co-Founder and Owner, Salo, LLC

Amy Langer is Co-Founder and Owner of Salo, LLC, a $70M professional services company providing services throughout the U.S. out of offices in Minneapolis, MN and Chicago, IL. At Salo, she has driven company growth and brand affinity through keen analysis of market gaps, architecting and leading innovative strategy and establishing sustainable and scalable infrastructure.

Her unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional corporate culture and service environment has led Salo to be widely recognized for setting industry standards relative to innovative culture, superior client service and workforce flexibility. She shapes an environment poised for success by building teams that share common vision and values.

Amy is committed to professional and community volunteerism; she has a history of service to not-for-profit boards and professional organizations. She has a passion for educating the youth on women in business and is working to create a process to facilitate longer-term, more sustainable engagement between mentors and women business students.


Nancy Lyons, CEO/President, Clockwork

Nancy will soon celebrate nearly 20 years at Clockwork, a continuously privately-owned technology business. In a business world filled with funding and acquisitions, Nancy’s steady hand has kept Clockwork on an independent path to maximize flexibility and to fulfill her vision of a people-first business world that benefits individuals and businesses.

She explores future-focused advocacy that addresses the people-first concept in three ways: by fostering an open work culture that explicitly centers on belonging, inclusivity, and respect; through her commitment to the economic liberation for all people who are systematically oppressed. Her focus is on building stronger businesses and economic exchanges so that Black and Brown people can thrive and create the kinds of communities they’ve been deprived of; and by bringing her anti-racist ideology and practices to her engagements as a speaker and board member of several organizations.


Anne Sempowski Ward, CEO and Board Director, Curio Brands

As CEO of Curio, Anne transformed an almost 40-year-old bath, body and home fragrance company into a high-growth, vertically integrated portfolio of brands generating exceptional shareholder returns. In addition, she serves on multiple Boards of Directors including Spectrum Brands, SPS Commerce and Vanda Pharmaceuticals. Anne also advises several women entrepreneurs as they work to scale their companies.

Anne’s mission through her business and community involvement has been to develop the next generation of women leaders, helping them to find, grow and develop into entrepreneurial, senior and executive roles. In her multicultural marketing and growth strategies, Anne hired specific women- and minority-owned firms to lead marketing initiatives and implement marketing programs at these corporations. This also included a philanthropic giving component focused on education for young women and diverse community organizations.


Kathy Tunheim, Founder and Owner, Tunheim 

For more than three decades, Kathy Tunheim has been one of the most respected and influential business executives in the Twin Cities, in the PR, Marketing and Public Affairs industry.

As founder and owner of the eponymous Tunheim communications firm, she has provided strategic counsel to world-class companies and organizations from a range of industries including healthcare, sports, education, agriculture, government, retail, hospitality, policy, tech, and more.

Kathy does not wait for change she pushes for change. She is modest but she has changed so many people’s lives through her work. Kathy is a connector and in doing so has inspired and advised numerous leaders throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. Kathy understands the private and public sectors and brings them together to find a solution for a range of issues. Her input and solid advice continues to be impactful during the pandemic and throughout the unrest in the Twin Cities.

And a big thank you to our esteemed judging panel of: Laura Dunham, Associate Dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and Best Buy Chair, University of St. Thomas; Rhoda Olsen, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors (HOF 2017 Inductee), Great Clips; Lili Hall, President and CEO, KNOCK, Inc.; and Wanda Brackins, Head of Global Diversity, RBC Wealth Management.

“If you have never attended the NAWBO-MN Hall of Fame celebration, now is your time. This is one of the most inspiring and motivational women’s business ownership events you will ever be a part of,” states Kimble.

We hope that you will join us to recognize and honor our 2021 Inductees on October 28, 2021 at The Fillmore Event Center- this year’s event will be grander than ever, featuring more networking, more fun and more celebration!



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