The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman ---or man--- who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Click here for more information on hosting an ATHENA Award in your community.  
The ATHENA Leadership Model®, developed through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership. Click here to learn more about the ATHENA Leadership Model and programs based upon it.

Join Now! The ATHENA Leadership Circle and ATHENA Founding Lifetime Membership helps ATHENA fulfill its mission and bring us closer to our shared vision of a balance in the faces of leadership worldwide. Click here to learn more about becoming a member of ATHENA International.  

We would love to keep you up-to-date on all of ATHENA's events, celebrations, and other news. Here is the link to our current newsletter:

May 2016

Archived Newsletters:

April 2016
March 2016
February 2016

What’s new


Celebrate the 35th anniversary of ATHENA International and join us for three days of world-class inspiration, motivation and business networking at Ignite8.
For more information on the Ignite8 Conference click on the logo below

September 25–27, 2016
Lansing, Michigan, USA, where ATHENA was founded.

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ATHENA International™ Elects New Board Members/Officers

CHICAGO, IL – May 4, 2016 –ATHENA International™, the Chicago-based not-for-profit organization that honors, supports and develops women leaders nationally and internationally, has elected new officers for 2016-2017 and added five new members to its board of directors.

Elected to lead ATHENA International™ for 2016/2017 are:

  • Chair – Judith Lancaster; Attorney and Owner, Judith E. Barnes Lancaster; Canton, OH
  • Vice Chair – Janine Janosky, PhD; Dean, College of Education, Health and Human Services, University of Michigan; Dearborn, MI.
  • Vice Chair – Mary MacLaren; Retired Executive Director, The Executives’ Club of Chicago; Chicago, IL
  • Secretary – Tiffany Hughes; Senior Associate Director of Executive Development Center, University of Central Florida; Geneva, IL.
  • Treasurer – Cathleen Harris; former VP Global Internal Audit and VP Corporate Strategy, General Mills; Naples, FL
Andrea Stevenson Conner was hired as Interim Executive Director.
The new board members are:

  • Joanne Lally Eberhart; Retired Executive Director of Advancement, the Stark State College Foundation; North Canton, Ohio
  • Cathleen Harris; former VP Global Internal Audit and VP Corporate Strategy, General Mills; Naples, FL
  • Debbie Peterson; Founder, Getting to Clarify; Cape Coral, FL
  • Ann Playter; retired General Motors Executive; Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • Dr. Kristine Quade, Jd, EdD, MSOD; Management Consultant; Mesa, AZ
  • William C. Shivers; President of Huntington Bank’s Greater Akron/Canton and Mahoning Valley Regions; Canton, OH
  • Brittany Grimes Zaehringer; Human Resource Director, Brown County, WI; Green Bay, WI 


We thank you for hosting the ATHENA Award® Program and illuminating the exemplary leadership of ATHENA Nominees and Recipients in your community. Since the program’s inception in 1982, nearly 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award® Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives. Click here to renew your ATHENA Award Program today!

"What is honored in a country will be cultivated there" - Plato
Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders through programs that we administer in partnership with ‘host organizations’ from local communities.These programs inspire women to reach their full potential and strive to create balance in leadership worldwide.
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ATHENA Founding Lifetime Members
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Mary Ann Jones, Ph.D.
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Judith Lancaster
George Lemon
Kathryn Lima
Mary MacLaren
Jan Maddox
Karalin G. (Alsdurf) McKain
Martha Mertz
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Aimee Mills
Barbara Moore King
Colleen Moore Mezler
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Ann Player
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Sandi Saksena
Mari Kay Scott
Ilene Shapiro
Billye Proctor Shaw
Rita Shisler
Patricia Shultz
Deirdre Joy Smith
Chuck Spadafora
Gabriella Spadafora
Giavanna Spadafora
Linda Spadafora
Mia-Ann Spadafora
Linda Stevenson
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Donna Waltz-Jaskolski
Cheryl Ward 
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Gladys Wright Knox
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