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WNC Business

ATHENA International recognizes leaders in business in Henderson County

Oct 17, 2023 10:36AM ● By Randee Brown

Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood, ATHENA International is a women’s leadership organization that supports, develops, and honors women leaders through the programs it administers. ATHENA’s flagship program, the ATHENA Leadership Award, has honored about 8,000 women leaders from 48 states and 11 countries since its inception. 

The ATHENA Leadership Award recognizes women from a wide variety of sectors. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations, and universities to an individual or organization who demonstrates the qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model. All our programs are based on the ATHENA Leadership Model which feature the Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership and the unique way women lead. These eight principles include:

  • Live Authentically
  • Learn Constantly
  • Build Relationships
  • Foster Collaboration
  • Act Courageously
  • Advocate Fiercely
  • Give Back
  • Celebrate

Vanessa Y. Mintz brought the ATHENA Leadership Award to Henderson County in 2008. She embodied the values underlying ATHENA International's philosophy of incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, communities, and government.

According to Henderson County Chamber of Commerce’s Operations and Programs Manager Amy Muniz, Award nominees are recognized for their professional excellence, community service, and actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Anyone can obtain a nomination form from the Chamber’s website or an ATHENA Committee member.

“My favorite part is that the committee seeks judges from outside the community to review nomination forms,” Muniz said. “These judges can be from outside of the region or even outside of the state so there is no bias; they can only judge nominees by what is written on the form by the nominator.”

The ATHENA Leadership Award in Henderson County is presented at the Professional Women’s Luncheon each May to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and actively assisted women to achieve their full leadership potential.