At a half-day luncheon and awards ceremony May 15, the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2015 Athena Awards, presented by OhioHealth.

At a half-day luncheon and awards ceremony May 15, the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2015 Athena Awards, presented by OhioHealth.

Chamber President Theresa Byers said winning the award in one of three categories is a prestigious honor in that the recipient represents an unwavering commitment to the general good of the greater Pickerington-area community and beyond.

The Athena Awards are presented annually by the chamber to reinforce Athena International's mission to support, develop and honor women leaders, to inspire women to achieve their full potential and to create balance in leadership worldwide.

"Becoming Athena is not something most women and men set out to become," Byers said.

"It is something that just happens naturally through the course of time and their actions.

"This year, each of the Athena recipients represented Athena in many ways," Byers said.

She said the person chosen as the Youth Athena award recipient shows an ability to work as a team member while encouraging friends to grow as leaders with them.

"You become involved in the community and begin to give back, while also working to maintain high marks in your school work," Byers said.

The person receiving the Emerging Athena award is someone who continues to seek and gain knowledge to better themselves and their business, Byers said.

"You continue to give back to your community by volunteering your time, talents and treasures," she said.

The Athena Leadership Award recipient is a person who "has spent many years giving back to their communities," Byers said, adding, "but most importantly, they have brought men and women along with them through their journey."

This year's award-winners are:

* Youth Athena -- Shaili Kothari, Pickerington High School North.

Kothari, a distinguished senior at North, was chosen for her dedication to academics, athletics and service.

An Ohio Capital Conference Scholar-Athlete, she has been recognized as one of 12 Outstanding Young Women of Central Ohio by the Zonta Club and currently serves as president of the Leo Club, a youth program affiliated with the Lion's Club.

Kothari has also volunteered at Nationwide Children's Hospital since the ninth grade.

* Emerging Athena -- Maria Manzo, owner of Title Boxing.

Manzo was recognized for helping women reach their full leadership potential.

She has partnered with the Salvation Army of Fairfield County to hold a food drive and has generously donated to numerous area organizations to help raise funds.

She currently coaches both U9 and U12 girls soccer for the Barcelona soccer club and has coached for the past eight years, helping girls thrive and learn the game of soccer. Many of her former players went on to participate at the college level.

* Athena Leadership Award -- Margaret "Peg" Tobin, Tobin and Associates.

Tobin is a successful businesswoman who owns an executive-level consulting and recruiting company that caters to the healthcare industry.

She is also a published author, having written two books about leadership.

She has organized advocacy groups for patients and providers and assisted countless women in forging their career paths.

Tobin was also recently recognized with the Jane Johnson Outstanding Women's Advocacy Award for her advocacy of women in the long-term care industry.