Pickerington Times-Sun

Athena program to honor female leaders May 16

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The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce and OhioHealth will present "A Day of Athena Leadership Development" Friday, May 16 at the Ohio University Pickerington Center, 12933 Stonecreek Drive.

Each year the Athena Award Program recognizes three women from the Pickerington/Violet Township region or their professionalism, community involvement and for helping other women reach their full potential.

Athena International is a non-profit organization founded by Martha Mertz in 1982.

The organization supports, honors and inspires women leaders to reach their full potential.

The Athena Workshop portion of the event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and includes four women speaking on various topics ranging from empowerment and advocacy.

The keynote speaker will be Suellen Goldsberry, director of the Pickerington Public Library and the recipient of a 2013 Athena Award.

"The last few years have been spent working for a community I love and I am touched to be included in a group of outstanding female leaders," Goldsberry said.

"I'd like to extend an invitation to everyone to attend the 2014 Athena Leadership event and learn from some wonderful leaders," she said.

After a roundtable discussion, the Athena Awards banquet will begin at 12:30 p.m.

It is sponsored by Fairfield Federal Savings and Loan.

Three awards will be handed out: Athena, Emerging Athena and Youth Athena.

The 2014 winners will be announced at the event.

The 2013 Emerging Athena winner, Jayme Gates, said the organization has inspired her to "pay it forward" by supporting and honoring female leaders in their journey.

"I had the privilege of hearing Martha Mayhood Mertz speak years ago at my first Athena workshop," Gates said.

"She spoke so powerfully regarding the strength of women and our responsibility to be active leaders in our communities. "

To receive the Emerging Athena award last year was a true honor," Gates said.

"I am humbled to be part of such an inspiring group of women."

Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce President Helen Mayle said both the workshop and awards luncheon are "a huge deal" in that they give area women not only the chance to network, but the opportunity to recognize true leaders in the community.

"Athena recipients are business owners, educators, government officials, spiritual leaders, etc.," Mayle said.

"(They) represent all sectors, both public and private," she said.

Cost for the Athena workshop and luncheon is $65. Tickets for the luncheon only are $30.

Attendees must pre-register for the event. To register or for more information, visit the PACC website at pickeringtonchamber.org; or call 614-837-1958.

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