Mesa, AZ (February 21, 2017)

ATHENA Valley of the Sun, a nonprofit based in Mesa, is honoring outstanding woman business leaders and young women in our community at the “ATHENA Leadership Awards – Honoring ATHENA Inspired Leaders” on April 4 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Marriott Tempe at the Buttes. The organization has announced a call to sponsors to invite local businesses to participate in the event which will feature a special presentation by honoree and American businesswoman, ambassador and former United States astronaut: Barbara Barrett.

According to Dr. Kristine Quade, President of ATHENA Valley of the Sun, “This is an event of ‘Celebration, Education and Inspiration’ to applaud not only the remarkable lifelong achievements of Ambassador Barbara Barrett, but to also recognize our 6 other ATHENA Leadership Award winners who were selected by local business leaders and our young ATHENA candidates who are making a difference in their high schools and community.” The complete list of honorees and more information will be announced on March 1.

Businesses can participate by sponsoring a table, through the purchase of a ticket for a valued woman in their organization and through monetary donations to the ATHENA Foundation.

Quade says that, “These awards will feature women in our community whose stories deserve to be heard. These are extraordinary leaders who are demonstrating the ATHENA Leadership Principles: Live Authentically; Learn Constantly, Build Relationships; Foster Collaboration; Advocate Fiercely; Act Courageously and Give Back and Celebrate. ATHENA Valley of the Sun provides a platform for emerging and established women leaders to have deep, inspiring conversations to help them identify, embrace, and realize their aspirations.”

ATHENA Valley of the Sun is the new independent Arizona Chapter of Athena International. Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities across the world have received the prestigious ATHENA Award. The ATHENA® Leadership Award is presented to women who are honored for professional excellence, community service and actively assisting other women.

Proceeds of the event will support the ATHENA Principle of “Leave No Woman Business Leader Behind” through mentorships, forums and other critical community initiatives.

Quade adds, “We want to feature the stories of the amazing things Arizona women are doing. Every woman has a story to tell and ATHENA Valley of the Sun wants to provide a platform by identifying and honoring women who are leading by example.”

“It takes stories of others who are acting courageously, and noticing what needs to change, in order to improve our community. It is through the acts of others that we become motived and draws us to collaborate with others in a way that builds strong relationships, forms a goal oriented team wanting to exceed expectations or accomplish something yet to be experienced.”

For more information on ATHENA Valley of the Sun, visit, email or call (612) 860-5992. Article Credited to: AZ Business Leaders

For Immediate Release 


Contact: Emily Harris| | 312.580.0111

ATHENA International Selects A New President and Executive Director, Andrea Stevenson Conner.


Chicago, IL (October 26, 2016) – ATHENA International, a non-profit organization, that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders, is pleased to announce their new president and executive director, Andrea Stevenson Conner. Conner brings over a decade of nonprofit experience to the organization through her extensive work to achieve gender equality and social responsibility from the sandbox to the boardroom.

ATHENA International is fortunate to have the vision and guidance that Andrea will bring to our organization.  Having worked with her closely during the last six months I have found that she exemplifies the qualities of leadership that ATHENA represents,” said Martha Mayhood Mertz, Founder of ATHENA International.

As president of ATHENA International, Conner will oversee an organization that, since the program’s inception in 1982, has honored nearly 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities. ATHENA International also offers programs tailored for women business owners, young professional women, outstanding organizations, and a newly piloted program for women in university.

“It’s an honor to join ATHENA International and to work with our communities across the United States and around the world. Together through collaborative amplification, we will continue to support the world’s women in their leadership journey and create a balance in leadership worldwide,” said Conner.

Prior to working at ATHENA International, Conner served with UN Women China in Beijing, where her understanding of the impact of women was broadened.  She developed the program to advance gender empowerment through corporate social responsibility for UN Women China, and has a clear vision of the global strategy for gender equality built through collaborative relationships between public and private partnerships. 

"We are pleased and excited that Andrea Conner has joined us as our new President of ATHENA International. Her background and international experience make her uniquely qualified to lead us in spreading ATHENA International's mission of supporting, developing, and honoring women leaders and in growing our programs across the United States and around the world,” said ATHENA International Board of Directors Chair, Judith Lancaster, Esq.

A servant to the global community, Conner serves as the Board Vice President of Sias International University Foundation, and a Governing Body Board Member for the Raleigh Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She is a consultant for the World Academy for the Future of Women. She has been a keynote speaker for UN Women, ATHENA International, and Edinboro University, concerning global leadership and social responsibility. 

Conner holds a master’s degree in Global Leadership from Duquesne University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit or call 312.580.0111.