In small towns across America, women are truly community heroes. These five amazing leaders have transformed their towns with innovative ideas like a celebration of local musicians in New York, a ski school in Vermont, a needle exchange in Indiana, and more.

A new bakery brings a tired town back to life

The first time Dustie Gregson dragged her husband, Andy, inside the 85-year-old red brick office building on Church Street, part of a shuttered hosiery mill complex, he had three words for her: “Are you kidding?” Then three more: “This is awful.”