I had the great pleasure of attending the St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Business Women event on Friday to celebrate the success of my business partner, Dannelle Ward.
The luncheon at the Chase drew 750 people to honor 25 women that the Business Journal selected from nearly 150 nominations. It was fun to hear all of their stories, which were obviously all impressive.
The feature in Friday’s paper provides more detail for all of the winners, but of course, I want to focus on Dannelle.
Dannelle grew up in a family business, the Fendler Funeral home on Lemay Ferry Road, which was operated by her parents.
After graduating from the University of Missouri St. Louis (along with four of the other winners) with degrees in accounting and economics, she went to work for Mark Twain Bank.
That’s where Chris and I come into the picture. Chris was the head of the bond department where Dannelle and I both worked. As Mark Twain merged with larger banks, we all ultimately joined Everbank, which was started by our friend and colleague (and in my case, boss), Frank Trotter.
While that was a great experience, Chris, Dannelle and I decided to become independent and formed Acropolis 13 years ago (technically, our 13th anniversary is later this month, but ‘k’ for close).
The rest, as they say, is history. Michael joined as a partner within 90 days of our formation and although we started from scratch, Acropolis now manages $1.2 billion for a wide variety of clients and employs 26 people.
Without the slightest hesitation, I can say that we would not be where we are today without Dannelle and her tremendous contributions.
Dannelle is a terrific businesswoman, a great friend, and a wonderful person and I know that everyone who knows her will join me in congratulating her on this well-deserved recognition.
Thank you for everything Dannelle, and well done!