Vanessa Mintz 0507The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Morris Broadband, Pardee UNC Health Care and Judy Stroud/State Farm Insurance are pleased to announce the 11th Annual ATHENA Leadership Award in Henderson County in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz. Nominations are now being accepted for the ATHENA Leadership Award, which will be presented at the Professional Women’s Luncheon on May 10th to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way and, most importantly, actively assisted women to achieve their full leadership potential.

Founded 30 years ago, 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 Program, has honored over 6000 women leaders from hundreds of cities and eight countries since its inception in 1982.

Vanessa Y. Mintz brought the ATHENA award to Henderson County in 2008 and she embodied the values underlying ATHENA Vanessas VisionInternational’s philosophy of incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, our communities and our government. Reflective of a quote attributed to Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there”, the ATHENA Leadership Award honors and illuminates the leaders and leadership styles of individuals others would emulate.

The program is facilitated locally by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, a licensed ATHENA host organization. Nominations are sought throughout the community. Recipients are selected by a diverse group of predominantly out-of-t0wn professional judges, based on Athena leadership criteria.

ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients hail from all professional sectors. The award’s rich history, international scope and emphasis on mentorship make this award unique and amongst the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive. Past Henderson County ATHENA Recipients Include:

Roxanna Pepper, Children & Family Resource Center (2017)

Judy Stroud, State Farm Insurance (2016)

Judith Long, Free Clinics (2015)

Caroline Long, St. Gerard House (2014)

Annie Fritschner, First United Methodist Church (2013)

Myra Grant, Pardee Hospital Foundation (2012)

Joyce Mason, Four Seasons Compassion for Life (2011)

Pat Shepherd, Pat's School of Dance (2010)

Ragan Ward, Carolina Alliance Bank (2009)

Robin Reed, Bares It All (2008)

ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients are presented a hand-cast, bronzed and crystal sculpture that symbolizes the strength, courage and wisdom of ATHENA Recipients.

The Henderson County Recipient will be invited to join ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients and other leaders at the annual ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Summit, held each spring in Chicago.

ATHENA International is nationally underwritten by KPMG.

Local sponsorship is provided by:


MorrisBroadbandLogo white Blue


State Farm 2016

Deadline for nominations is March 23, 2018.