Women leaders are making our community the dynamic place we live and work today. Women are running our largest manufacturing facilities, guiding and teaching our youngest citizens, providing world-class health care and developing the science and medications that keep us in good health.
Chambers of Commerce throughout the United States proudly host ATHENA Award® ceremonies to celebrate the many roles women play in community success. The Southwest Indiana Chamber, in partnership with ANEW (A Network for Evansville Women), hosted the 30th annual ATHENA Award Luncheon today, Friday, Feb. 28. Athena representatives are exceptional leaders in the Evansville-area community who have actively and generously assisted others in attaining professional excellence and leadership skills.
Much as the role of women in our society was transformed 100 years ago when the U.S. Constitution was amended, the impact of women in every corner of our society continues to grow. The Southwest Indiana Athena Awards Ceremony is also evolving. This year we are doubling down to recognize those who are demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession while also finding time to serve our community and to actively assist other women in realizing their full potential. These are our Athena’s. This year, 6 women will be recognized for their unique impact:
Executive of the Year
DR. HEIDI DUNNIWAY, Regional Chief Medical Officer, St. Vincent Evansville — The recipient of this award demonstrates professional excellence, community service and an active role in a service or program that assists other women in the attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Educator of the Year
JEAN HITCHCOCK, Executive Director/Principal, Signature School — The recipient of this award will be someone whose talent, creativity and vision are exemplary in developing and preparing female students for the corporate workplace.
Entrepreneur of the Year
NIKKI DAVIS, ENGAGED! River Valley Magazine — This award recognizes a woman who demonstrates the transformation of her dream into the reality of a product or service and who exhibits the traits of an entrepreneur.
Healthcare Professional of the year
LYNN LINGAFELTER, Chief Operating Officer, Deaconess Hospital — This award recognizes a woman who has distinguished herself in the healthcare industry and her community.
STEPHANIE TERRY, Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Evansville (cMoe) — The recipient of this award will be someone who demonstrates professional excellence in leading an organization or program that serves the community with impact while also mentoring future community leaders, particularly women.
Rising Star of the Year
ALYSSIA OSHODI, Senior Communications Specialist, Vectren – A CenterPoint Energy Company — This award recognizes a woman, under age 35, who has distinguished herself as a leader and role model to other young women in her profession.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, offered comments and recognition at this special ATHENA Award’s Luncheon. Her career journey and the broad impact she has on the future success of Indiana’s and the Tri-State’s business community is unparalleled.
2020 ATHENA® Award Scholarship Recipients: Cheyenne Nicole Miranda, IU School of Medicine; Rickie Wilson, University of Southern Indiana; Anarae Silverwillow, Ivy Tech Community College; Megan Yoder, University of Evansville
Four ATHENA Scholarships were presented to students here today. One student from Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana and the IU School of Medicine will be honored. All four universities generously provided a matching scholarship.
Established by the ATHENA Award Committee, the ATHENA Scholarship recognizes outstanding female students who actively support other female students through encouraging and helpful words and actions. The recipients demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in both academics and extracurricular activities and provide valuable services by contributing their time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in their school and community.
About ATHENA International and the ATHENA Award® Program
Athena International is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago and founded by Martha Mertz in 1982. In addition to supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, the organization seeks to create balance in leadership worldwide and inspire women to achieve their full potential. The program, designed to honor women leaders in the community, reflects the critical importance of women in their communities and shines a spotlight on the impact they make.
Recent Athena Honorees:
2019: Susan Parsons, CFO/Treasurer, Koch Enterprises
2018: Chris Ryan, CEO, The Women’s Hospital
2017: Jan Davies, CEO, Evansville Police Department Foundation
2016: Sara Miller, Southern Region CEO, Old National Bank
2015: Parri Black, President & CEO, Youth First, Inc