Athena trophyNamed after the Greek goddess of wisdom, the ATHENA® Award honors individuals who achieve success in their careers, give back to their communities, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

This year — the third year of the award program in the Tristate — a judging panel of leading local professionals chose 11 finalists for the award. From the list of finalists, the panel chose one recipient. Recipients may win the award only once.

The award program is part of ATHENA International, an organization devoted to advancing women through support, development, recognition and inspiration. Since the program began in 1982, more than 5,000 awards have been presented in more than 500 communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Martha Mertz, a Michigan businesswoman, founded ATHENA International to fix the disparity she saw between her community’s composition and its leadership. She was the only woman on the board of directors for the Lansing Chamber of Commerce and knew the chamber had only once honored a woman.

By honoring exceptional leaders through the ATHENA Award program, Mertz hoped to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
Finalist Cindy Padilla
Finalist Donna Salyers
Finalist Ellen Katz Johnson
Finalist Karen Renz
Finalist Kim Satzger
Finalist Laura Carr
Finalist Michele Heath
Finalist Patti Alderson
Finalist Robin White
Finalist Susan Branscome
Finalist Vanessa Freytag 
Event Emcee Sheree Paolello
Keynote Speaker Amilya Antonetti
Pink Ribbon Girls
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