19 nominees for annual ATHENA, winner to be announced this month

Nineteen nominees have a chance at the 25th ATHENA Award, which is presented annually by Girls Inc. to someone who empowers women, strives to better the community and has achieved excellence in their profession. They will also be selecting a Legacy Award winner, which honors a woman posthumously and the contributions she made to society.

This will 25th ATHENA Award luncheon will take place March 28 at the Owensboro Convention Center. Tickets are $100 a person or $800 for a table of 8. They can be purchased by calling 270-684-7883 or by going here.

“Through the vision of a small group of people at the chamber over 25 years ago and later through a partnership with Girls Inc., the ATHENA Award has grown and evolved into a premiere event. It is inspiring to not only reflect on our past recipients and their impact on our community and women, but how our community has supported and embraced the program,” said Tish Correa-Osborne, Executive Director of the local Girls Inc. chapter.

Girls Inc. has no role in who is nominated, nor in the selection process. Members of the community nominate, and once packets are completed by the nominee and/or their friends and co-workers, anonymous judges from outside the Owensboro area select the winner.

Chair of the ATHENA Award Program Sue Napper said that the nominees showcase a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

“Each one has a remarkable story that has positively impacted this community and women. It is an honor to celebrate their work,” Napper said.

The 2023 nominees are:

• Edna Syra Barnes, Riney Hancock CPSs
• Marcia Kuegel Carpenter, Owensboro Innovation Academy, retired
• Vikki Lynn Embry, United Way of the Ohio Valley
• Caleb Farkas, Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Kentucky
• Dr. Wanda Figueroa Peralta, RiverValley Behavioral Health
• Kara Howard, Wendell Foster
• Haley Huskisson, Valor Oil and CrossRoads
• Honorable Lisa Payne Jones, Circuit Court Judge
• Jennifer Keller, Aflac and Red Bird Press
• Maria Kelly, Nona’s Catering
• Olga Rowan McKissic, H .L. Neblett Center, Western Academy
• Amanda Owen, Puzzle Pieces
• Vicki Chandler Quisenberry, Foundation for Daviess Co. Public Schools
• Dr. Michelle Ruckdeschel, Heritage Park High School
• Crystal Sapp, St. Joseph Peace Mission
• Joanna Shake, Green River Area Development District
• Dr. Amy Shutt, Daviess County Public Schools
• Angel Welsh, My Sister’s Keeper
• Debbie Zuerner, Owensboro Health

By Josh Kelly, Owensboro Times