ATHENA Award nominations being accepted

The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Girls Inc. of Owensboro-Daviess County are accepting nominations for the 23rd annual ATHENA Award.

The ATHENA Award is presented annually to those displaying excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession, attributing to the community and have actively pushed for girls and women to “realize their full potential,” according to Girls Inc. CEO Tish Correa Osborne.

“While the work and endeavors of every person is an important part of our community’s success, this award is for those that have been truly remarkable and outstanding throughout their lives,” she said. “They think not only of themselves getting ahead but also to improve the quality of life for others as well.”

The ATHENA Award was started in Lansing, Michigan in 1982 by Martha Maywood Metz while she was serving on the board of directors for the Lansing Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce, according to a press release from Girls Inc.

“As the only woman on the board, she quickly recognized that the Chamber’s boardroom did not reflect the reality of the business community,” it stated. “The more Mertz observed, the more she became convinced: If women’s strengths and contributions as leaders were publicly acknowledged, they could no longer be dismissed.”

The award, according to the release, is meant to represent strength, courage and wisdom.

Girls Inc. and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce began distributing the ATHENA Award locally to celebrate women and those who assist women in the community.

“Given our mission, it made sense that we would want our community to cultivate and honor the outstanding contributions of women,” Osborne said.

Due to COVID-19, a virtual program to announce the winner is in the works for late March.

“It is such an honor to be a part of Girls Inc. to begin with, then you add in this particular award and what it means to the girls we serve, the people who are nominated or receive it and the impact their lives have made on the community,” Osborne said.

Nominees can be male or female and must live, work in or influence the Owensboro community.

Christie Netherton, The Messenger-Inquirer