PITTSBURG — Local orthodontist Dr. Gina Pinamonti received this year’s Kaye Lynne Webb Influential Woman in Business Award at the annual Women in Business Breakfast at Pittsburg State University on Friday, where the 2020 Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Women of Distinction were also recognized.

“This is truly a huge honor; I’m very humbled by it,” Pinamonti said in accepting the award.

“When I look at my business philosophy, I don’t know that I necessarily have one, so I had to think about that and what is it that I look at every day and try to do? First and foremost is put my patients first,” she said. “That’s why I’m here. I wouldn’t say I fall into that business category, but it is a business, I do have employees, so I have to put my employees second. They help me and help provide services that I do and so it’s a collaborative effort and they have to be second. Thirdly is the community, and I think it’s important, and my dad was a very good role model for that.”

Pinamonti closed her acceptance speech for the Kaye Lynne Webb Influential Woman in Business award by thanking her mother.

“This goes more to my mom,” she said. “Thanks for working with me every day. You’re the influence. Thank you.”

Pinamonti received a standing ovation for her speech. In addition to Pinamonti, 12 Women of Distinction were also honored during the Women in Business Breakfast. These included Dr. Cynthia Allan, chair of Pittsburg State University’s Department of Communication; Brooke Powell, program director at the Safehouse Crisis Center; Dr. Bethany Enoch, physician and family medicine residency director at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas; City of Pittsburg Assistant Planner Brittan Brenner, who is also co-owner of the boutique gift store Sonder & Co. in Block22; and Ashlee Ricks, association executive with the Pittsburg Board of Realtors.

Other Women of Distinction included Lacy Nickelson, sales and marketing specialist at SEK Urgent Care and founder of Fostering Connections; Cherie Schenker, who along with her family owns and operates McCune Farm to Market; Lacey O’Brien, project manager for Pitsco Education; Patricia Sullivan, DNP, NP-C, of Freeman Midwest Internal Medicine in Frontenac; Dr. Mindi Garner, DO, FACP of Ascension Via Christi; and Julie Smith, executive director of the Girard Area Chamber of Commerce. Morning Sun Staff Writer Stephanie Potter was also recognized as a 2020 Woman of Distinction.

Prior to the presentation of the Woman in Business and Women of Distinction awards, Kilee Nickels, co-founder of the jewelry and accessories store Nickel & Suede, delivered a keynote speech, which touched on some of the challenges women in business face.

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn,” Nickels said. “That’s one of my favorite things to tell my kids.”

Another one of her favorite mottos, Nickels said, is “go big or go home.” Just because she likes the motto, though, that doesn’t mean she believes women in business fail if they take a break — if they “go home” temporarily — as long as they continue working toward achieving their goals.

“You don’t fail unless you quit,” Nickels said. “It’s OK to go home, just don’t stay there.”