The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Girls Incorporated are calling on the community for the 23rd Annual Athena Awards. It's time to nominate and you may know the exact person who deserves this award.

This award honors a woman within the community who hasattained and personifies the highest level of professional excellence; has devoted time and energy to the community in a meaningful way; and most especially, has generously assisted women in attaining their full leadership potential. 

The ATHENA award founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz.  ATHENA International is a non-profit organization which seeks to develop and honor women as leaders in our world.  The purpose is to encourage and inspire women to seek out and reach their full potential.

Girls Inc. of Owensboro-Daviess County and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce developed the ATHENA awards locally in 1999.  Their vision was not only to recognize but empower those women who have opened doors and enable other women in our community to want to serve and realize what they can do if they reach deep within.

In 2017 they added the Legacy Award.  The Legacy Award honors someone who encompasses all of these things and has gone on before all all of us.  Olive Burroughs was honored in 2020 for this award.  She was a member of the Owensboro City Commission and the founder of the Owensboro Youth Council which empowered youth to take hold of their place in the community along with serving in roles of leadership and voluteering.

Here is what you need to know if you would like to nominate someone;

CRITERIA: The award recipient must meet each of the following criteria:
* Actively assisted women in realizing their full leadership potential
*Demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession
*Provided valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life
for others in the community.

• Both females and males are eligible for consideration.
• The nominee must live, work, or influence the Owensboro-Daviess County community.
• Past ATHENA Award recipients are not eligible for nomination. However, past nominees may be nominated again.
• There is no age qualification for nomination or consideration.
• Nominees do not need to be actively employed to be considered.
• Award candidates may not nominate himself or herself.
• Current or past affiliation with Girls Inc., the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce or award sponsors is not a prerequisite for consideration or given undue weight in the selection process.
• No staff member of Girls Inc. or the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce or award committee member is eligible for consideration during their active tenure.
• No posthumous awards will be given except for the possibility of a person who died within the current year of the award.

With circumstances continuing from 2020 there will not be an in-person banquet to honor each nominee.  There will be a virtual event at the end of March date TBA.

The deadline for submitting nominations is January 28, 2021.   Nomination forms may be obtained by contacting the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce at 270- 926-1860 or Girls Incorporated at 270-684-7833.

As I typed this story I thought of a handful overflowing of women and men deserving of this honor.  We are blessed as a community with so many amazing leaders.

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