Today, Girls Incorporated of Owensboro, hosted the 19th Annual Athena Award Banquet at the Owensboro Convention Center.  The event is a partnership between Girls Inc and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by First Security Bank. 

The prestigious Athena Award honors one particular woman in our community who excels in her profession and who has served and assisted the women of our community to develop their leadership potential.

The nominations come from the community of Owensboro and then the applications for each nominee are sent outside of our community to be judged.

The recipient of the Athena Award this year is, Kathryn Raymer, Executive Vice President of Correspondent Lending Operations for U.S. Bank.

New this year, the Legacy Award, for those women who have gone before us, rallied the troops and championed causes and issues that affect other women in our community.  This year's recipient is  the late Clara Oldham.  Clara helped to found Oasis and worked closely to make sure that women's rights were recognized and spear headed equality for all women.  Clara's daughter, Linda Oldham Tilly, of Birmingham, Alabama accepted the award in her mother's honor.

Past recipients of the Athena Award include;

Lamone Mayfield (1999)                                                                                                           Jean Wells (2000)                                                                                                                  Brenda Clayton (2001)                                                                                                        Debbie Nunley (2002)                                                                                                          Helen Sears (2003)                                                                                                               Jane Noble (2004)                                                                                                                 Martha Clark (2005)                                                                                                              Marianne Smith Edge (2006)                                                                                                Jackie Addington Glover (2007)                                                                                              Vicki Stogsdill (2008)                                                                                                              Ursuline Sisters of Mt. St. Joseph (2009)                                                                                Virginia Braswell (2010)                                                                                                         Patricia Rayburn (2011)                                                                                                       Cherri Lolley (2012)                                                                                                             Helen Mountjoy (2013)                                                                                                       Margaret Britton (2014)                                                                                                         Deborah Fillman (2015)                                                                                                  Aloma Dew (2016)

Congratulations and many thanks to all the women who have paved the way for the rest of us.