On Saturday, Nov. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m., the Athena Gala will take place at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier. This first in Vermont Athena Awards Program will recognize six accomplished women of which two will be the recipient of one of the two Athena Leadership Awards. This is a semi-formal dinner, awards program and dance event that you won’t want to miss.
These awards named after Athena the Greek goddess known for her strength, wisdom, courage and enlightenment is embodied in the criteria used to judge those individuals that were nominated for this recognition. The focus of this award is on promoting women in leadership. Women who were inspired to take the risk to achieve excellence and succeed. Whether it be in business, education, government, medicine or any other profession or public service. These finalists are among the many women in our communities that lead, mentor and accomplish deeds that make our communities a great place to live, work and play.
The leadership award provides recognition to a woman – or a man – honoring her or him for superior attainment in community service and for actively mentoring, coaching and assisting women in accomplishing professional excellence and leadership skills. Finalists for this award are Lisa Dion, Lecturer University of Vermont, Burlington; Jen Kimmich, Alchemist Brewery, Stowe; and Jeanne A. Morrissey J. A. Morrissey, Inc., Williston.
The young professional leadership award recognizes a woman, 40 years old or younger, who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their own business or profession; provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and who clearly serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally. Finalists for this award are Gwen Pokalo, Center for Women & Enterprise, Burlington; Katie Staley, U-32 High School, Richmond; and Anne Watson, mayor, City of Montpelier.
As with many nonprofits, volunteers make all the difference. The all-volunteer Athena Committee chaired by Dee Lamberton put in a great amount of time and effort to bring this event to Vermont. The Chamber staff worked as a team making this first in Vermont Athena Award event a big success.