Career ladder: Perkins, 52, received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan in 1986. Her experience includes 14 years in commercial lending in Chicago and the Detroit area for Fleet Capital, GE Capital and others, and 14 years in private equity, including eight at Huron Capital, a Detroit-based private equity firm.
Power metrics: Perkins last year held more than 1,000 meetings building her network and seeking deals. She became the first woman named M&A Mid-Market Dealmaker of the Year by Mergers & Acquisitions when the trade publication named her for 2014 and put her on its cover. Huron Capitalhas 29 employees and $1 billion raised in four funds.
Super power: "My network, followed closely by the ability to fall asleep within 60 seconds of closing my eyes. (Not kidding!)" Perkins also meditates once or twice a day to control stress and achieve focus.
Big win: She was the first woman to be named partner at Huron Capital, in an industry where business development track seldom leads there.
Best mentor: "My mother. She always demonstrated being involved and connected, providing the example for my super power."
Advice for women on success: Join a committee of your industry trade organization and work on projects with others in your field. "Be unapologetic about your family. … It's part of what defines you."
Quote: "A lot of people can do our jobs, but no one else has your network, and you have to actively build it."
Jennette SmithHere's how we produced this special section.
Jennette SmithWe view all of our honorees over the years as part of a "legacy list," some of whom should be considered as prospects for corporate and nonprofit board service.
Vickie ElmerNot that they have a lot of free time, but when they do, here's how the 100 Most Influential Women fill it.
Sherri WelchThe new study by Grand Valley State University of Fortune 500 boards shows a correlation between board diversity and healthier profits, and Michigan companies have ample opportunity to improve board diversity, the study's co-author says.
Jennette SmithI've been living and breathing this project for months and got by with a little help from my friends in the newsroom and at companies across the state.
Mary KramerThat's why Crain's Detroit Business has joined with the Michigan Women's Commission and Deloitte, among others, to create a path to help more companies find talent for their boards.
Crain's Detroit BusinessIn an effort to boost women's representation on for-profit corporate boards, Crain's Detroit Business on Tuesday night launched the Michigan Women's Directory. The launch coincided with the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan recognition event that was attended by about 700 people.