Bonnie Russ, a University of Minnesota-trained accountant, was a single parent with a young daughter who borrowed against her house in 1989, to join with other founders to start public-accounting firm Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen.

She was one of 10 women this month named to the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

"I wanted more control over who I worked alongside, and who my clients would be and how I would serve them," Mahoney said in a prepared statement. "And I needed flexibility in my schedule so I could be the parent that I wanted to be and participate in my daughter's activities. It was exciting to have the dream of building something that would eventually provide me a comfortable income and retirement.

"I am most proud of our culture. Our employees are engaged in their work, and they do a lot of volunteering. We have also been recognized for advancement of women in accounting."

Mary Nutting, president of NAWBO Minnesota, said: "In addition to the trailblazing women who are acknowledged for their significant roles in Minnesota history, we are honoring women business owners who have arrived and whose ongoing contributions are continuing to inspire others to blaze their own trails.

"What they're doing paints an incredible picture of what's possible for all of us."

Others inducted into the NAWBO Minnesota hall of fame this fall include Pam Borton of Borton Partners, who was the University of Minnesota women's basketball coach and now serves as trainer, speaker, author and founder of two nonprofits; and CEO Jennifer Smith, founder of Innovative Office Systems of Burnsville.

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