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Athena to honor women leaders

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ATHENA INTERNATIONALAn uplifting press release for your Friday afternoon. Heard about this at Rob Pasick’s Leadership Connect a little while back:

Four women from the Huron Valley region are being honored with Athena Leadership Awards. The women were chosen based on their personal success in their chosen field, on their contribution to the community, and on their consistent and ongoing inspiration helping other women reach their own full potential. The recipients will be honored at a breakfast at 8-9:30 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Ann Arbor City Club. Tickets can be purchased by contacting AthenaLeaders [at] yahoo.com.

“This year’s awardees have a significant impact in our local community and throughout Michigan’s Huron Valley Region,” said Jan Davies McDermott, Athena International Board Director and Chair of the Athena Leaders Action Network of the Huron Valley. “We are thrilled to honor these women, who have exhibited leadership in profoundly different ways, encouraging other women to achieve their own full potential.  We are excited to take the opportunity to recognize these exemplary women and cheer them on as they continue to inspire and mentor others.”

The awardees were selected based on their representation of the principles of the Athena Leadership Model.  Awardees include:

  • Carol Hutchins, head softball coach, University of Michigan: Athena Leadership Award
  • Emily Torrance, founder of S4 the Homeless: Athena Youth Leadership Award
  • Ana Skidmore, TwoFoot Creative: AthenaPowerLink entrepreneur
  • Sue Schooner, Girl’s Group founder: Athena Organizational Leadership Award

Selected by former Athena Leadership recipients, this year’s honorees join an international sisterhood of distinguished awardees which include national, and global recipients such as former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, former and current mayors of Ypsilanti Dr. Cheryl Farmer and Amanda Edmonds, former U-M President Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, gold medal Olympian Micki King, tennis great Billie Jean King, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Lady Vols basketball Coach Pat Summit. Over the past 30 years, local individuals who have been recognized include Arbor Brewing’s Rene Greff, Ann Arbor Community Foundation’s Cheryl Elliott, Old National Senior Vice President Pam Sexton Jones, former Michigan state Rep. Mark Ouimet and Great Lakes Women’s Business Center President Michelle Richards.

The local group

The AthenaLeaders Action Network of the Huron Valley, a Michigan 501(c)3 nonprofit, is the premiere women’s organization supporting and developing women leaders and honoring individuals who have contributed to mentoring women to reach their full potential. By recognizing those who have gone before and creating a path for women today, the Athena Leadership Awards subscribe to Plato’s philosophy: “What is honored in a country is cultivated there.” The Athena Leadership Awards recognize exceptional established leaders, emerging leaders, young leaders, organizational leaders, and entrepreneurs for their contributions.   We empower emerging entrepreneurs through the AthenaPowerLink Program, linking powerful people in the local community with a woman business owner providing her with one year of expert advice from a panel of experts to help her grow and become more profitable.  Through Women’s Advantage Forums and Athena Connections we bring together emerging leaders and young women to learn the importance of the tenets of the Athena Leadership Model.  

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.

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