ATHENA Awards nominations due

Local News

Nominations for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council ATHENA Awards are due Friday, October 6.

Women’s Council President Wende Knapp discussed the awards and the nomination process Friday on News 8 at Sunrise.

“The ATHENA Awards really look to recognize women at two different stages of their careers,” Knapp explained.  “The first is the ATHENA Award, and that really recognizes women at the top of their careers, so professional excellence, community service, mentorship of other women, and then we have the ATHENA Young Professional Award which recognizes up and coming women professionals.  It’s the same criteria just manifested in a different way and at a different stage in their careers.”

Knapp explained the qualities the Women’s Council is looking for in its ATHENA Award recipients.  “What we’re really looking for is professional excellence, first and foremost,” she said.  “It is a business women’s award.  We are the only women’s professional group as part of the Chamber of Commerce so that’s first and foremost, but we also want to look at the community service that they give back, so what boards are they on, how do they spend their volunteer time, and then a crucial piece is really how do they give back to other women.  Are they mentoring young women, other women in their organizations, do they participate on other boards where they’re looking at helping women in other ways in our community, so it’s really about the three pieces of criteria that make up that true ATHENA winner.”

Each year, the ATHENA Awards serve to further the mission of the Women’s Council.  “Women’s Council is all about recognizing and empowering women in business, and it’s really important when we look at female professionals that they’re not only being recognized for the amazing work that they do, but also being empowered to have a voice, empowered to succeed, and empowered to really have a catalyst in their careers and their professional and personal lives,” said Knapp.

The nomination process for the ATHENA Awards is done exclusively online.  “It’s a very easy process,” Knapp said.  “Everything is done online at our website,, and it’s an online submission form.  We do accept some backup, so if you have letters of recommendation or a resume that you wanted to include with it, but really it’s a very simple and easy process and all you have to do is go to the website.  The instructions are there, and sample nominations of past winners are there so they really get a sense of what we’re looking for.”

The ATHENA Award winners will be announced during the Women’s Council ATHENA Award Luncheon at the Floreano Riverside Convention Center on January 17, 2017.


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