Nominations South for Prestigious Athena Award
The Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications to honor a woman who exemplifies leadership in her profession and industry by presenting her with the much-coveted ATHENA™ award, sponsored by Niles, Sales and Service.
The ATHENA™ award is a high honor given to a professional woman who demonstrates excellence in business or profession and provides valuable service to the community. The recipient will have exhibited initiative and creativity enhancing the efficacy of her business or profession and the stability and improvement of the community. Lastly, the recipient will have demonstrated support of the goals of professional women and have provided unselfish assistance on their behalf.
In 1980, the ATHENA™ awards program originated in Lansing, Michigan when Martha Mayhood Mertz, owner of her own real estate company, was asked to join the Lansing Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Mertz realized she was the only woman on the board and that the Lansing Chamber had recognized only one woman it its 75 years. This realization was the driving force in establishing the ATHENA™ foundation. Thus the first ATHENA™ award was given in 1982 to recognize an outstanding businesswoman and celebrate her achievements in community service and profession. Since its inception, the ATHENA™ award has grown into a national and international tradition with thousands of recipients in cities all over the country as well as in Moscow, Russia, and Canada, China and The United Aram Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
The ATHENA™ Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for women and recognizing those individuals who have given outstanding service to their profession and community. The foundation has been underwritten nationally by Oldsmobile Division of General Motors since 1985. National City Bank and Pontiac GMC, GM, and Buick are underwriters as well.
Each year, the ATHENA™ recipient receives a beautiful statue designed by sculptor Linda Ackley of Tampa, Florida. The statue represents Athena, the wise daughter of Zeus, in bronze. The head of the statue is a multi-faceted crystal ball, and each statue has a protective acrylic coating and walnut base. Ackley has uniquely made each and every one of the ATHENA™ awards since 1982.
The 2021 Key West Chamber ATHENA™ award recipient was Mona Clark. Past recipients include Sue Cooper (2020), Brenda Donnelly (2019), Cara Higgins (2018), Joan Leggett (2017), Piper Smith (2016), Rita Irwin (2015), Diane Schmidt (2014), Joy Smatt (2013), Sandra Higgs (2012), Diane Gibson (2007), the late Merili McCoy (2005), Melissa Kendrick (2004), Elmira Leto (2003), the late Phyllis Allen (2002), the late Sharon Moore (2001), Amy Culver-Aversa (2000), the late Connie Rice (1999), Kim Works (1997), Sandra Taylor (1995), CeCe Roycraft (1992), the late Wilhelmina Harvey (1991), Linda O’Brien (1990), Dee Von Quirolo (1989), the late Terry Horton (1988), Sue Barroso (1987), and Virginia Panico (1986).
The community is highly encouraged to nominate local individuals for the ATHENA™ award or to receive a nomination form, contact Kerry Baker at the Key West Chamber at 294-2587 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Deadline to submit an application is Friday, November 18, 2022.