December 2016   

ATHENA International
Founding Lifetime Members

Consider becoming an ATHENA International Founding Lifetime Member!  There are many benefits to becoming a member of ATHENA International. Being known throughout the world for developing women leaders is the just the start!    
ATHENA Founding Lifetime Members gather at local community events, such as ATHENA Leadership Lunch Forums. 
Joan Jackson Johnson, director of the human relations and community services department for the City of Lansing, was  honored by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce as the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient. The chamber celebrated their 35th ATHENA Award Event.

 "Her altruism to humanity is beyond measure and something that can't be communicated in a format that has been so eloquently articulated through action," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. "Dr. Johnson's accomplishments and generous demeanor have served her and the community well. She is truly one in a million and is worthy of this recognition."

Joan Jackson Johnson used her education background and training to impact the community - the most vulnerable in the community. With a PhD in Psychology and the owner of a local business, Joan could have chosen the path of clinical therapy that focused on the more affluent portion of the community. Instead, she has dedicated the past 35 years as a visible advocate trying to bridge the disparity gap.

Prior to becoming an employee with the City of Lansing in 2008, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist within her own practice, the East Lansing Center for the Family, which was established in 1990. Additionally, she served on numerous boards that focused solely on improving the quality of life for women, men, children and families. Dr. Johnson is an extremely charitable person who is widely known for hosting an annual fundraiser that generates funds for several shelters and ministries. She has been a vigorous advocate for the homeless and underprivileged 
photo caption: Dr. Joan Jackson, the 35th ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce 
Five local women were honored at the Palm Springs Chamber with the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award for community service, as well as their leadership and advocacy. 

The 2016 honorees include:
  • Beverly Johnson, recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award -- Inspiration, is the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine. Johnson will also serve as the Celebrity Grand Marshall for the 23rd annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade, and will be honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
  • Nelda Linsk, recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award -- Community Icon Award, is a local realtor and philanthropist, a former co-owner of Coldwell Banker Eadie Adam Realty and is a founding member of the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center Affiliates. She also received an ATHENA Leadership Award for Entrepreneurial Business Woman in 1997.
  • Denise DuBarry Hay, recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award -- Business Visionary, is an actress who is involved in several local community initiatives, including Olive Crest homes for abused children and is currently on the boards of the Marywood/Palm Valley School, Women in Film & Television International, and is a director and President of Palm Springs Women in Film & Television.
  • Selby Dunham, recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award -- Community Leadership, is the founder of BIGHORN BAM, which raises funds for Coachella Valley cancer patients.
  • Diane Jessup, recipient of the ATHENA Leadership Award -- Diamond Impact, is a longtime Palm Springs philanthropist, who co-owns Jessup Auto Plaza, and founded the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Leadership Awards 30 years ago.
The event celebrates the local business community and provides the opportunity to honor leading community members.

Judy is an alumna of Muskingum University and since 1990 has been a partner in charge of audit quality at the Elmira office's assurance department, where she sits on the firm's management and marketing committees. Licensed to practice in New York, Colorado and Ohio, she specializes in audits of financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, employee benefit plans, peer reviews and annual inspections. Judy is an active member of United Way of the Southern Tier, the Southern Tier Network and the Clemens Center, and is designated firm partner for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center.

(Photo caption: Judy McIntosh, Mengel, Metzger, Barr & Co., center)

The Chamber Foundation, Inc. celebrated 11 honorees of the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Awards at a reception on November 17 at Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls.

Chosen by a selection committee composed of the past three years' honorees, these individuals demonstrated strengths in career excellence and leadership, community volunteer involvement and willingness to serve as a mentor - especially to women in the business community. 

The 2016 honorees are:
  • Gloria Cukar, MidHudson Regional Hospital
  • Pamela R. Edington, Ed.D., Dutchess Community College
  • Renée Fillette, Ph.D, Astor Services for Children & Families
  • Lauren Gillett, Chazen Companies
  • Krista Jones, Sparrow's Nest
  • Cynthia Keller, The Culinary Institute of America
  • Kelly Lyndgaard, Unshattered
  • Ruth Mahoney, KeyBank
  • Major Kathleen Sileno, Air National Guard
  • Catherine O. Spratt, MPH, OCN, NE-BC, MidHudson Regional Hospital
  • Bettina "Poet Gold" Wilkerson, R.E.A.L. Skills Network
The ATHENA Leadership Award Reception also featured a keynote address from Jane Bryant Quinn, a nationally known financial journalist.

Thank you to all of the generous sponsors. Presenting sponsor MidHudson Regional Hospital; gold sponsors KeyBank and IBM; silver sponsors The Arc of Dutchess, Dutchess Community College, LCS Companies, M&T Bank, and Tompkins Mahopac Bank; supporting sponsors Adams Fairacre Farms, Fortress Financial Advisory, Hudson Valley Office Furniture, and the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum; and media sponsor Daily Voice.
This heartwarming, community-focused event honors Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce member businesses that make up our amazing business community.  A number of awards are presented throughout the ceremony, including the ATHENA Leadership award.

This year Kathy Bardins of North Central Michigan College was the ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient.  The ATHENA Award, sponsored by Dave Kring Chevrolet-Cadillac, is intended to recognize people who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.
Sal Konkle was presented the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award during the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce' event in Marshall, MI. The ATHENA Leadership Award celebrates exemplary leadership, community service, and active assistance to women in achieving their full leadership potential.

Konkle was honored for her fierce advocacy and leadership. She was also named the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Girls Overall Coach of the Year in 2016.
The WW Group, Inc., led by CEO Florine Mark, received the prestigious Global ATHENA International Organizational Leadership Award for their demonstration of advocacy and leadership earlier this year.

"The WW Group, Inc. is an outstanding representation of ATHENA values," said Sarah Jennings, past ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient. "We could not be more honored to recognize The WW Group for its service to women and enlightened leadership. Florine Mark is a strong leader who has always shown a passion for supporting other women."

Mark founded the WW Group Inc in 1966. Based in Farmington Hills, the organization now owns and operates Weight Watchers franchises in Michigan and Ontario, Canada. She was the first woman inducted into the National Management Association's Hall of Fame. Mark also was named one of Crain's Detroit Business's 100 Most Influential Women in Detroit, in addition to receiving numerous other national and international awards.
How Has 
the ATHENA Leadership Model impacted Your Community? 
Has ATHENA PowerLink ® fostered your company? Does your organization recognize ATHENA Leadership Award recipients as leaders and fierce advocates?  

This holiday season, consider giving to continue our mission to support, honor and develop women leaders world wide.
Come with us next year as we venture to new places and honor our local leaders along the way!  
To make a general donation to ATHENA International Programs please click here! Then join the conversation and share with us on our social media channels (listed below) with an ATHENA Leadership Model Tenant that is meaningful for you: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning, Fierce Advocacy, Celebration and Joy!
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ATHENA International Board of Directors
ATHENA International
Board of Directors

Judith Lancaster  
Janine Janosky
1st Vice-Chair

Mary MacLaren
2nd Vice-Chair

Cathleen Harris
Tiffany Hughes
Martha Mertz

Christine Brown
Director Emeritus

KL Daly

Joselyn DiPetta
Joanne Eberhardt

Janet Green

Ruth E. Johnson
Karen Keene
Jan Maddox
Immediate Past Chair

Jan Davies McDermott
Colleen Mezler

Carla R. Michelotti
Director Emeritus

Debbie Peterson

Patricia Pierce
Director Emeritus

Ann Playter

Kristine Quade

Norma Rist
Past Chair 
Director Emeritus
Ellen Ruddock
Past Chair   
Director Emeritus 

Linda Peek Schacht
William Shivers

Debra Adams Simmons
Past Chair 
Director Emeritus  
Linda Stevenson
Lolita Toney

Brittany Zaehringer
Yvonne Wood
Past Chair
Director Emeritus 
Andrea Conner
President & Executive Director

ATHENA International Mission
  Supporting, developing and honoring women leaders. 
  Inspiring women to achieve their full potential.
  Creating balance in leadership worldwide.