Marion Allman
Marion Allman was the recipient of the 2006 Athena Award. As the co-founder, president and CEO of the Art Institute of Cincinnati, she has provided countless opportunities for women of all ages to learn and advance in new career paths. Allman drew on her past experiences, growing up in a single parent family, and developed a scholarship for single parents at her institute. Now, whether she is tending to her own children or going out of her way to help Art Institute students, Allman continues to embody the leadership symbolized by the Athena Award.

Patty Brisben
As founder and CEO of Pure Romance, a company tailored towards in-home parties for women, Brisben has built a multi-million dollar enterprise. She takes special pride, however, in The Patty Brisben Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women with breast cancer. Pure Romance developed a line of products specifically for breast cancer survivors.

Anne Chambers
Bright Future Partners, the company she founded and serves in the role of CEO, is as multi-faceted as Chambers herself. She has assisted many women in the field of marketing, and provides guidance for many of her female employees. A winner of the first P&G Innovation Award, Chambers created Bright Future Foods with a dual mission: guiding people to healthier lifestyles through beneficial foods, and raising awareness of the wonders of adoption through the Bright Future Adoption Foundation.

Beth Gully
Gully is the owner of her own design firm, BT Graphics, which has been recognized with multiple local, regional, and national awards. In addition, Gully has counseled many women business owners and even helped other graphic designers start their own businesses. She also helps female college and high-school students gain experience through internships.

Barbara J. Howard
As a practicing attorney and owner of her own firm (Barbara J. Howard Co.), this Athena finalist’s professional accomplishments are numerous. Her community work, however, elevates her to another class. Howard is active in a long list of organizations, including the Corporate Guild Steering Committee for the Cincinnati branch of Dress for Success. She also places high value on her commitments to family and religion.

Monica Donath Kohnen
A partner at Graydon Head & Ritchey, Kohnen founded the law firm’s Women’s Professional Development Group, which furthers the careers of women attorneys and assists the firm’s female clients. Kohnen has served with many community organizations. As a cabinet member of the 1997 United Way Campaign, she helped raise more than $7 million in her division. Kohnen also serves on the executive committee of the Hamilton County Republican Finance Committee.

Lauren L. Rogers
Rogers devotes much of her time and energy to helping young women and teens with problems. To further this cause, she has used her position as chief executive and advisor at Communicating the Power of One Inc. (a non-profit marketing consultancy that reaches out to women with their services). Rogers developed the Identity Project to help girls and women with self-esteem problems. She wrote and directed a documentary, The Weight of a Woman, to help communicate her message.

Patricia Mann Smitson
Smitson, the partner-in-charge at the law firm Thompson Hine LLP, developed the “Spotlight on Women” seminar series, which connects the firm’s women attorneys with local women leaders. In addition to the mentoring she provides to women in law, Smitson contributes to the community by serving with many organizations, including the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Shantel Thomas
Dr. Thomas has excelled in the field of counseling for female adolescents. As the owner of A Sound Mind Counseling, she counsels women and teens on problems ranging from basic relationship troubles to the devastating trauma of sexual assault. Dr. Thomas is a co-host of the radio program Sister Speak (1230 WDBZ-AM). She often calls upon her religion to help guide her — within her profession and in her community work, including her involvement with the Black Association of Christian Counselors.

Sandra Vogel
Vogel, the founder and CEO of Vogel Class Concepts, also is the executive managing director of the Cincinnati Chapter of eWomen Network, which facilitates connections for women in business. Through this organization, work, Vogel has worked towards encouraging achievement and success for women in business through networking. She serves on the adjunct faculty at Miami University’s Communications Department. In 2005, she was honored with the “Woman of Excellence” Award from the West Chester Chamber Alliance.

Dr. Rebecca J. White
The director of the Northern Kentucky University Entrepreneurship Institute, White also serves as the president and CEO of adEsse LLC, a consulting firm she founded. With the Entrepreneurship Institute, White has created many new learning opportunities for business students, particularly young women. Along with her multiple professional responsibilities, White is busy as a mother and serves several community organizations.