ATHENA Valley of the Sun (AVOS), a Mesa nonprofit and affiliate of ATHENA International, is seeking nominations for outstanding women business leaders in the East Valley to be honored at the ATHENA Leadership Awards on March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day. The awards recognize and celebrate inspiring women making a difference in the community. Nominations are being accepted through Oct. 27 at www.athenaaz.com.
“Our mission is to ‘leave no woman leader behind,’” said Dr. Kristine Quade, AVOS founder and CEO. “These awards represent a new legacy of leadership in Arizona. It’s time that we start a new narrative by telling the stories of these accomplished individuals and encourage more women to lead and be publicly applauded for their achievements.”
The awards consist of an ATHENA Leadership Award honoree selected by special committee, and six HAIL (Honoring ATHENA Inspired Leaders) honorees nominated by the public.
The public may nominate women who reside, work in or influence East Valley communities (including Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe), who exemplify the principles of the ATHENA Leadership Model which identifies distinct attributes reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: Live Authentically, Learn Constantly, Build Relationships, Foster Collaboration, Advocate Fiercely, Act Courageously and Give Back and Celebrate.
The 2017 ATHENA Leadership Awards on April 4 recognized Athena Leadership Award recipient, ambassador, businesswoman and astronaut, Barbara Barrett, and HAIL award honorees: Dr. Brenda Combs, Maraion Douglas, Jody Farley, Annie Groth, Dr. Nadia Katrangi and Dr. Claire McWillams.
“Teachers are seldom celebrated,” said McWilliams, who teaches life skills to increase motivation and reduce turnover at Arizona State University. “Receiving this award was such a huge honor and I was humbled to be recognized with this amazing group of women – from doctors to nonprofit leaders. This has inspired me to use my gifts in new ways and give back to others.” McWilliams was honored for the ATHENA principle of Building Relationships.
Six Young ATHENAs were also recognized for their exemplary contributions to their community while they continued their course work at high school or college: Frankie O’Neill, Aseel Atalla, Alexis Darby, Lauren Hawks, Katarina White and Millicent Darko.
Founded in 1982 by Martha Mertz, ATHENA International is a nonprofit organization seeking to develop and honor women leaders through mentorships and other initiatives. Since the program’s inception, more than 87,000 women leaders in over 500 communities across the world have been recognized for their work.
Quade founded the Arizona affiliate of the organization in 2015. AVOS also hosts the ATHENA Leadership Certificate Program to provide professional development and mentor programs, and offers meetings each month as well as an annual leadership award event specific to women leaders who work/live in or influence East Valley communities.
The AVOS ATHENA Leadership Awards was created by Quade to provide professional recognition to women based on unique leadership principles and to provide development opportunities to young women. The awards are separate from the ATHENA Leadership Awards presented annually by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
Nominations for the 2018 ATHENA Leadership HAIL Awards can be made online at www.athenaaz.com through Oct. 27. Nominees will be asked to participate in a selection process including an essay and interviews. For more information, call 480-420-7277 or email Jennifer@athenaz.com.
AVOS hosts meetings the first Thursday of each month at various Valley locations. For event, membership information or to donate, visit www.athenaaz.com.