100 Women We Love

Lisa Thomas
Thomas took hikers to new heights when she started selling Clif Bars. Back in the late '80's, Thomas, fresh out of Wesleyan and working for a Bay Area foundry, teamed up with her employer's brother and started a bakery. At first, "I wasn't sure I wanted to be an entrepreneur, to venture off and do something that wasn't very secure," but the small company took off. Thomas, new to baking and business, says "Gary's mother always likes to say 'I taught Lisa how to boil water." After a few years, Gary, an avid cyclist, had an idea for a new energy bar modeled on the bakery's oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookie. Many taste tests and a trade fair later, Clif Bar was international. That was 1992. Thomas sold her stake in Clif Bars in 2002, and now runs her film company, The Katahdin Foundation, which raises money for overlooked groups. –MW
Olivia Patti La Belle