Women’s Leadership Breakfast
March 7, 8-9:45am
The presentation of the 13th Annual ATHENA Award will take place at the Professional Women’s Leadership Breakfast, hosted by Harford Community College’s Continuing Education & Training Division, on Friday, March 7, 8am, at Water’s Edge in Belcamp, Md. Since 1999, the Harford County ATHENA Award has been presented annually to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and assisted women in reaching their full leadership potential.
The award, begun in 1982 in Lancing, Mich., is now presented in hundreds of cities in countries throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, Russia, China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. It was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment. The values underlying the ATHENA Foundation’s philosophy support incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of businesses, communities and government.
Over 20 nominations were presented this year, and from those, seven were selected as the finalists who will be on the dais at the event on March 7. One woman will be honored as the 2014 Recipient.
This energetic group of women was gracious and humble when notified that they would be recognized as a finalist. Claudia Holman said, “It is a tremendous honor to be chosen, especially when considering the group of women being honored this year. They are all so deserving!” Patrice Ricciardi and Ronnie Davis agreed.
Julie Chmura was moved to say, “My inspiration to help others is driven from my belief that everyone has greatness within. Releasing an individual’s potential to believe in themselves makes all things possible. Empowering men and women to realize their potential is my opportunity to pay it forward.” Monica Worrell agreed. “I have learned that when you give of yourself, you truly give. To be included in the company of such fine women who give to their community is a true honor that touched my heart.”
When asked how she felt as a finalist this year, Dr. Mary Teddy Wray was introspective. “During life’s trials and tribulations some will hit rock bottom, call it failure and give up. Some will quickly gather themselves and become determined to climb out of there. It’s that determination to work hard and rise from the bottom, set higher goals and triumph, that I call the ultimate success.”
Carolyn Kustanbauter has been a lifelong mentor to students, with over 40 years in public education. “I believe every young person I have taught has the ability to learn, achieve, succeed and give back to their community. I believe I have instilled these concepts into the fiber of the students I have influenced.”
The keynote address will be given by Charlotte Farmer, Principal with MITRE Corporation in Belcamp. Farmer is committed to STEM issues and has been nationally and locally recognized for addressing social issues, including the development and implementation of a corporate Meals-on-Wheels program.
This year’s Platinum Sponsor is the Small Business and Technology Development Center, located on the community college campus, and M&T Bank. Other key sponsors include Women in Defense, Boyle Buick, the Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network, APG Federal Credit Union, Advanced Eyecare and I95 BUSINESS, media sponsor.
Last year’s Harford County ATHENA Award recipient was Jayne Klein, Klein’s ShopRite. Jayne has selected “Blessing in a Backpack” as the recipient of charitable contributions this year. They provide food to elementary school children on weekends and school holidays. To contribute, bring easy to prepare, non-perishable foods such as canned soup or pasta, pudding, fruit cups, applesauce and snack bars (no peanuts). I95