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Just a few tickets are left for the Monday, Sept. 26 ATHENA Awards luncheon! Get yours today at Athena-Pittsburgh.com

Eight women – five veteran managers and three emerging leaders – have been selected as finalists for the 2016 ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh. They will be among the many nominees recognized for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women at the annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The awards are presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. One finalist from each category – the traditional ATHENA award, and the ATHENA Young Professional Award – will receive her respective award at the event.

The finalists for the traditional ATHENA award compose a varied and distinguished group. Each woman uses her leadership to create professional excellence and positive regional impact. The finalists are:

  • Audrey Dunning, CEO, Summa Technologies, Inc.
  • Kelly Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx Ground
  • Diana Reid, Executive Vice President, PNC Real Estate
  • Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, Seneca Valley School District
  • Yvette Williams, Senior Patient Advocate/Program Manager, Allegheny Health Network/The Open Door, Inc.

The ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) will be presented to a woman 35 years of age or younger who exemplifies the traditional ATHENA qualities, with an emphasis on being a role model. The finalists are:

  • Marteen Garay, Director of Entrepreneurship Programming, Urban Innovation21
  • Caitlin Green, Vice President, PNC Bank, N.A.
  • Katie Kopczynski, Marketing Analyst, Eaton

A complete list of nominees can be found at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

Also at the luncheon, ATHENA officials will announce the recipient of the new Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship, named for the ATHENA program’s founder and retired president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce (an Allegheny Conference affiliate). The scholarship will be awarded annually to one woman age 35 or younger to attend, tuition-free, the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The deadline to apply is July 29 for the academy session that begins Sept. 23. Learn more about the scholarship and the academy here.

Last year’s Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards luncheon drew nearly 900 attendees. That makes it among the largest stand-alone events of its kind among the 500-plus communities around the globe that present the award each year.

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased online at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com. Sponsorships are still available; contact ATHENA@alleghenyconference.org.

The ATHENA Awards are the networking event of the season for men and women of all backgrounds! Tickets available here: Athena-Pittsburgh.com

Eight women – five veteran managers and three emerging leaders – have been selected as finalists for the 2016 ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh. They will be among the many nominees recognized for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women at the annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The awards are presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. One finalist from each category – the traditional ATHENA award, and the ATHENA Young Professional Award – will receive her respective award at the event.

The finalists for the traditional ATHENA award compose a varied and distinguished group. Each woman uses her leadership to create professional excellence and positive regional impact. The finalists are:

  • Audrey Dunning, CEO, Summa Technologies, Inc.
  • Kelly Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx Ground
  • Diana Reid, Executive Vice President, PNC Real Estate
  • Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, Seneca Valley School District
  • Yvette Williams, Senior Patient Advocate/Program Manager, Allegheny Health Network/The Open Door, Inc.

The ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) will be presented to a woman 35 years of age or younger who exemplifies the traditional ATHENA qualities, with an emphasis on being a role model. The finalists are:

  • Marteen Garay, Director of Entrepreneurship Programming, Urban Innovation21
  • Caitlin Green, Vice President, PNC Bank, N.A.
  • Katie Kopczynski, Marketing Analyst, Eaton

A complete list of nominees can be found at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

Also at the luncheon, ATHENA officials will announce the recipient of the new Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship, named for the ATHENA program’s founder and retired president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce (an Allegheny Conference affiliate). The scholarship will be awarded annually to one woman age 35 or younger to attend, tuition-free, the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The deadline to apply is July 29 for the academy session that begins Sept. 23. Learn more about the scholarship and the academy here.

Last year’s Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards luncheon drew nearly 900 attendees. That makes it among the largest stand-alone events of its kind among the 500-plus communities around the globe that present the award each year.

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased online at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com. Sponsorships are still available; contact ATHENA@alleghenyconference.org.

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Learn what makes a winning ATHENA nomination at Athena-Pittsburgh.com

It’s that time again — time to recognize the extraordinary women in the Pittsburgh region who go above and beyond in their work and mentorship of other women. Nominations for the 2016 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards will be accepted (online only) until 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.

Taking its name from the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the traditional ATHENA Award recognizes a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, contributes to her community and helps other women to succeed. Last year’s recipient was  Lynn M. Banaszak, executive director at Health Innovation in Pennsylvania Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Josie Badger, Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center’s youth development director, received the ATHENA Young Professional Award for emerging leaders age 35 or younger.

Wondering how to craft a winning nomination? Check out this tip sheet put together by Pittsburgh Magazine Publisher Betsy Benson.

There are hundreds of ATHENA International-affiliated events presented around the world each year, but Pittsburgh’s gathering is one of the largest. More than 900 women and men are expected to attend this year’s luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Interested in sponsorship? Contact sgaal@alleghenyconference.org.

Watch videos, learn more at Athena-Pittsburgh.com. / Look for updates under #PghAthena on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Phil Cynar

The 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award recipient for 2015 is Lynn M. Banaszak, executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She was presented with the award – recognizing professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women – at the 25th annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Oct. 9.

Named for the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the ATHENA Awards are unique among regional honors for professional women because of the focus on developing the next generation of leaders through mentorship.

Lynn BanaszakAt the Disruptive Health Technology Institute, for which she led the launch in 2013, Lynn Banaszak has directed more than $4.5 million to 36 new, disruptive technologies that are bringing transformational improvements in the affordability, accessibility, quality and simplicity of healthcare solutions. Over the past 15 years she has been responsible for developing strategic road mapping for many healthcare and life sciences companies and has overseen product and technology development and marketing implementation for tech startups. Formerly, she was chief relationship officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.

In addition to her professional duties, Banaszak is noted by her peers for providing extensive mentoring activities and commitments to help foster leadership skills, civic engagement, professional and personal development and entrepreneurial creativity, regionally and nationally. She is described as a “connector” … one who is “thoughtful and strategic about making sure that the most constituents as possible can benefit from any situation, particularly women and girls.” Just a few of the many organizations and groups with which she actively engages include 100 Women Who Care, Pittsburgh Women in Bio, the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh’s Tile Quilt Campaign, Women and Girls Foundation, Coro Pittsburgh’s Women in Leadership and A Day in My Shoes Pittsburgh. In nominating her for the ATHENA award, one of Banaszak’s peers wrote, “She pays it forward and is always quick to help, connect and mentor whenever the opportunity presents itself. She epitomizes the character of ATHENA.”

The other 2015 finalists, chosen from among 49 nominees, were:

  • Doris Carson Williams, president and chief executive officer, African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Lisa Lenihan, United States magistrate judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Rhonda Moore Johnson, senior medical director of Health Equity and Quality Services, Highmark Inc.
  • Lucille Prater-Holliday, founder, Black Women’s Empowerment Institute

Acknowledging a leader age 35 or younger is the ATHENA Young Professional Award. Begun in 2011, this award celebrates excellence among women who will be the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow. Recognized as one such individual with the 2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award is Josie Badger, youth development director at the Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center.

Josie BadgerBadger is recognized across Pennsylvania and nationally for her work in leadership development among youth with disabilities. In 2007, she graduated summa cum laude from Geneva College, majoring in disability law and advocacy. She earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh and pursued a doctorate in healthcare ethics from Duquesne University in 2014. She serves as campaign manager for #IWantToWork, a statewide advocacy campaign that has successfully lobbied for changes to policy and legislation to promote employment and full inclusion for individuals with disabilities.

Badger helped to found and then lead the Children’s Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment (CHANGE), an organization dedicated to improving the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare for youth with disabilities and complex health conditions. She was selected in 2011 as Ms. Wheelchair America – traveling nationally and internationally in that role – to educate the public about the potential for people with disabilities to lead full and enriching lives. In her award nomination it was recognized that “women and girls need to learn to navigate both internal and external barriers to success – issues which are compounded for women with disabilities who encounter daily stigma and discrimination.” One of her mentees shared how Badger “helped her find her own voice [as a woman with a disability] and to realize that “being ordinary isn’t really what I wanted. Walking or not walking, I wanted to be extraordinary.”

The other 2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists, chosen from among 29 nominees, were:

  • Meredith Meyer Grelli, co-founder and co-owner, Wigle Whiskey
  • Aurora Sharrard, executive director and vice president of innovation, Green Building Alliance

During the event, the 2015 ATHENA Host Committee announced that a new scholarship fund has been created that will enable young female leaders to hone their negotiation skills.

“The Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship Fund makes this year’s milestone awards luncheon even more special. Because of this scholarship – named after one of the region’s truly great female leaders – a young female leader will be able to attend the CMU Leadership and Negotiation Academy tuition-free to further develop her skills. This scholarship is a fitting tribute to Barbara McNees,” said 2015 ATHENA Host Committee Chair Beth Bershok.

Marking its silver anniversary this year, the Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards Program Luncheon is one of the largest stand-alone events of its kind among some 500 presented annually across the globe in affiliation with ATHENA International. Learn more at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com. 

The ATHENA Awards are convened by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the parent entity of ImaginePittsburgh.com.

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The ATHENA Awards are the networking event of the season for men and women of all backgrounds! Tickets available here: Athena-Pittsburgh.com

The results are in: five  prominent leaders from the Pittsburgh region have been named 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards finalists.

They will be recognized on Oct. 9 for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women at the 25th Annual ATHENA & Young Professional Awards Luncheon, presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, one  At the event, one finalist will become the recipient of the 2015 ATHENA Award. The 2015 ATHENA finalists, selected from among a record 49 nominees – a record-setting number – compose a varied and distinguished group of women. The finalists are:

  • Lynn M. Banaszak, executive director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Doris Carson Williams, president & chief executive officer, African American Chamber of Commerce of Western PA
  • Lisa Lenihan, United States magistrate judge, United States District Court for the Western District of PA
  • Rhonda Moore Johnson, senior medical director of health equity & quality services, Highmark Inc.
  • Lucille Prater-Holliday, founder, Black Women’s Empowerment Institute

The ATHENA Young Professional Award will also be presented — to a woman age 35 or younger who exemplifies the qualities of ATHENA with an emphasis on modeling positive leadership to peers. This is the fifth year for the “Young ATHENA” award and also a record year, with 29 nominations. The 2015 AYPA finalists are:

  • Josie Badger, youth development director, PEAL Center
  • Meredith Meyer Grelli, co-founder and co-owner, Wigle Whiskey
  • Aurora Sharrard, vice president of innovation, Green Building Alliance.

Last year’s luncheon drew nearly 900 attendees, securing the Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award Luncheon’s status as the largest stand-alone event of its kind in the world among the 500-plus communities around the globe that present the award each year.

Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

The Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards Program is made possible by support from UPMC Health Plan; Citizens Bank; KPMG LLP; Jones Day, Pittsburgh Magazine; PPG Industries, Inc.; Williams; WTAE-TV; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women; Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.; The Ellis School; and Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP. 

Bonnie Pfister

Why nominate a Pittsburgh-region woman for one of the ATHENA awards? It will raise the profile of that woman and her work among Pittsburgh’s most influential people.

Women lead, but are not always recognized for it. Recipients of the ATHENA Award and the ATHENA Young Professional Award (for a woman 35 or younger) capture the attention of Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which sponsors the awards. Its membership is comprised of more than 300 of Pittsburgh’s largest and most successful corporations, foundations and universities.

Despite the region’s reputation for friendliness, Pittsburgh’s business community can be tough to penetrate for those not born into it. For newcomers and those traditionally underrepresented in the corporate suite, the third-party validation of the ATHENA awards can be a game-changer.

Despite 18 years in Pittsburgh, litigation and career/executive coach MJ Tocci said she was still considered a newcomer by many — until she received the ATHENA Award in 2011. The ATHENA award, she noted, “provided the wind behind the sails” that helped her to launch a women’s negotiation and leadership academy at Carnegie Mellon University two years later.

Winning isn’t the only thing: simply begin nominated offers valuable networking opportunity and visibility at the Sept. 10 nominees’ reception at the Fairmont Hotel, and in the ATHENA program published by Pittsburgh Magazine for the Oct. 9 awards luncheon.

The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at Athena-Pittsburgh.com. The awards recognize women who mentor other women, with one award designated for a young professional age 35 or younger.

Learn more and submit nominations at Athena-Pittsburgh.com by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. (Nominations will only be accepted online.)

Watch videos, learn more at Athena-Pittsburgh.com. / Look for updates under #PghAthena on Facebook and Twitter.