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Athena Award Nominees

Vice president, finance and administration, YMCA of Greater Rochester

Education: MBA, accounting, Rochester Institute of Technology; B.A., English literature, New York University
Family: Husband, Dean; four children, ages 19 to 27
Professional and community leadership: Board vice chairwoman, Rochester Area Multiple Sclerosis; board member, Alternatives for Battered Women; board member, Al Sigl Center for Rehabilitation Agencies Inc.

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Honesty. 2. Respect. The lack of these values in business and government has contributed to a society full of distrust and suspicion that threaten individual safety, happiness and fulfillment.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: The experience of training for and completing my first marathon taught me that I have the self-discipline and dedication to achieve anything I set my mind to.

What motivates me profoundly: The chance to use my specific talents to help my organization make a difference in the lives of families and young children

Advice to young businesswomen: You can do anything you want to!

Athena Award Nominees

Partner, Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle LLP, and chairman, Upstate Business Group

Education: J.D., Georgetown Law School; B.A., Wellesley College, Massachusetts; additional studies, Harvard Law School
Family: Two children, ages 19 and 21
Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, United Neighborhood Centers of Greater Rochester Foundation; trustee and member of executive and nominating committees, George Eastman House; trustee and secretary, Genesee Country Museum

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Quality: Providing high-quality products and services is America’s special world economic niche and the best way to provide work satisfaction to our employees.
2. Efficiency: It is non-economic and morally indefensible to waste either people, time or raw materials.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: That it is necessary to schedule time in my work day for quiet and concentration

What motivates me profoundly: Being of genuine service to others. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with my clients and finding ways to solve their problems.

Advice to young businesswomen: Know yourself and remain centered in your own values. Interact with other people from a genuine sense of interest in them and empathy for their positions.

Athena Award Nominees

Regional president, Marine Midland Bank N.A.

Education: MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology; B.S., business and economics, Nazareth College of Rochester
Family: Husband, James; seven children, ages 2 to 23
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce Inc.; board member, Highland Hospital; board member, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.

Two values American business needs more of:
1. The firm is part of a community. The optimal benefit to all occurs when business supports the community.
2. Step back and look at the big picture. Too often, well-intentioned initiatives are implemented without checking to see if the overall goal is attained.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: Anyone who manages a large family must be flexible, and that flexibility has served me well when unforeseen issues start to derail a plan.

What motivates me profoundly: Adding value to a customer’s plans, whether it’s through international solutions or technological tools, or something as simple as referring to a solution that has worked for someone else.

Advice to young businesswomen: Keep your skills at a competitive level. Don’t be complacent. And never apologize for having a passion for your business.

Athena Award Nominees

Morning show co-host, WARM 101.3, American Radio Systems

Education: BFA, commercial illustration, Syracuse University
Family: Husband, Carl Langsenkamp; one daughter, age 1; son due in February
Professional and community leadership: Former media liaison, Desert Storm Volunteers and Family Support Organization; founder, Corning Area Women’s Center; founder, Corning-Painted Post Unemployment Council

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Balancing the bottom line with goals that may not immediately seem compatible with growth–for example, work-force stability, and research and development–but that over the long term will result in a healthier, more profitable company.
2. Being successful isn’t about wasting the company’s money.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: Being a parent has forced me to be more organized, more efficient, more discerning, has raised my level of all-around productivity–and has forced me to get to bed earlier.

What motivates me profoundly: I can influence the revenue of a growing, powerful company as well as individuals in Rochester, in the most private of settings: their homes.

Advice to young businesswomen: Don’t wait for people to “give” you an opportunity. Make it and take it on your own.

Athena Award Nominees

Monroe County clerk

Education: M.S., education, and B.S., history, SUNY College at Brockport; A.A., liberal arts, Monroe Community College
Family: Husband, Joseph; two sons, ages 22 and 24
Professional and community leadership: Graduate, board member and alumni chairwoman, Leadership Rochester; board member, Rochester Area Foundation; board member, Rochester-Monroe County chapter, American Red Cross

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Dedication to quality, caring service to co-workers, customers and the community. It’s being worked on in many sectors but isn’t pervasive in American culture.
2. Creating an environment where everyone gives one’s best every day, where innovation, creativity, taking risks and learning are everyone’s job, and where new and improved methods are constantly sought

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: That the capacity and energy required to learn and perform do not diminish with age, but rather increase to meet the challenges presented

What motivates me profoundly: The desire to make government service the best possible service to the taxpaying public

Advice to young businesswomen: Be involved in the community. Volunteer your time and talents, serve on boards, stay informed on community issues. Along your career path, a mentor or two can be an invaluable resource.

Athena Award Nominees

Executive director, Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired/Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester Inc.

Education: M.A., audiology and communication science, Kean College of New Jersey; B.S., speech pathology and audiology, SUNY College at Geneseo
Family: Husband, John; two daughters, ages 11 and 16
Professional and community leadership: Governor appointee, rehab advisory council, Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped; board member, National Industries for the Blind; former vice president, Rochester Women’s Network

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Initiative: Individuals need the ability to see what can be done, and the self-reliance and initiative to do it. Everyone needs to be an entrepreneurial thinker in today’s fast-paced, changing world.
2. Humor: Work has to be fun; laughter is the outcome of creativity.

What motivates me most profoundly: Helping people see things in themselves that they didn’t know were there and having them tap that potential and achieve great things. My greatest success is that others are successful.

Advice to young businesswomen: Cast a large net. Network within and outside of your company; volunteer and join new groups; learn everything you can about your job; and volunteer for new assignments. Become indispensable!

Athena Award Nominees

Deputy superintendent of schools, Rochester City School District

Education: M.A., counseling and guidance, and B.A., elementary education, English and fine arts, Michigan State University; administrative certification, SUNY College at Brockport
Family: Husband, William; one daughter, age 25
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Urban League of Rochester Inc.; fellow and advisory committee member, National Academy for District/School Restructuring

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Empowerment: It encourages decisions to be made as close as possible to the point of implementation, with consideration for those accountable for that decision.
2. Continuous improvement: It encourages risk-taking and fosters quality results.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: That I have the ability to deal with many competing forces effectively

What motivates me most profoundly: That the results of my work will have a positive and lasting impact on the teaching and learning of students

Advice to young businesswomen: Good decisions are often associated with timing: knowing when to hold them, roll them, walk away or run

Athena Award Nominees

Coordinator of instruction, East High School, Rochester City School District

Education: Master of arts in teaching, University of Rochester; B.A., history, D’Youville College, Buffalo; certificate of advanced study, SUNY College at Brockport
Family: Husband, Christopher; three sons, ages 28 to 31
Professional and community leadership: Project director, Rochester branch, American Association of University Women; president, Schoolmarms’ Investment Association, AAUW; former executive board member, 19th Ward Community Association

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Integrity: A business is its people as well as its product. People who lack an inherent moral code and ethical standard cannot be relied upon to make decisions in the best interest of a company and its employees.
2. Creativity: Problems must be addressed differently, using all of the available resources.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: To ask other people for help

What motivates me most profoundly: That young people must have access to opportunities

Advice to young businesswomen: Establish your priorities, not forgetting your family or yourself.

Athena Award Nominees

Executive director, Planned Parenthood of Rochester and the Genesee Valley Inc.

Education: B.A., journalism and sociology, Syracuse University
Family: Husband, Nicholas; two children, ages 25 and 28
Professional and community leadership: Vice chairwoman, board of trustees, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council; treasurer, Advertising Council of Rochester Inc.; past president, Rochester Women’s Network

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Community investment: to build an economically healthy environment in which the work force of today and tomorrow can thrive
2. Partnership with employees: to capitalize on their experience, knowledge and creativity to achieve business results and to share the benefits

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: New perspectives and insights in business challenges come easier when I give my mind time off.

What motivates me profoundly: Knowing that people’s lives are made better by the work our organization does

Advice to young businesswomen: Build bridges.

Athena Award Nominees

President, Kodak Imaging Services Inc., and vice president, Eastman Kodak Co.

Education: B.S., education, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Professional and community leadership: Former assistant treasurer, Rochester General Hospital; board member, Vehicare Corp.; former board chairwoman, Career Development Services

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Integrity, which is fundamental to motivating an organization and to the relationship of the organization to its key constituencies: customers, suppliers and shareholders
2. Achievement, at continually higher levels, is the reason we exist in business and is itself extremely motivating.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: I have gained a high level of confidence and trust in acting on my instincts, which are largely shaped by my values. This confidence has resulted from the personal fulfillment and affirmation from peers, supervisors and subordinates that has come from decisive action on positions consistent with my values.

What motivates me profoundly: The ability to make a difference on many levels: helping individuals realize their full potential, taking an organization to performance levels not thought possible, and bringing to market products and services of value to customers.

Advice to young businesswomen: Set your sights high, keeping your eyes on the future. However, keep your mind, heart and soul focused on doing the best that you can in your present work. Demonstrated results are the most potent lever in achieving career goals.

Athena Award Nominees

Senior vice president, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council

Education: B.S., political science, and course work, MPA, SUNY College at Brockport
Family: Husband, Daniel Lukach; two grown children
Professional and community leadership: Member, board and executive committee, Rochester Monroe County chapter, American Red Cross; board member and former treasurer, Urban League of Rochester Inc.; former treasurer, David Hochstein Memorial Music School

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Quality in all aspects of business operations
2. The value of excellent customer service

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: In spite of adversity, I am able to be positive and professional. I also remain 100 percent committed to the goals and purposes of public broadcasting.

What motivates me profoundly: All the services that WXXI provides benefit our community, and it is a privilege to be a part of this outstanding institution.

Advice to young businesswomen: Never underestimate the importance of having male mentors.

Athena Award Nominees

Vice president, administration, general counsel and secretary, General Railway Signal Corp.

Education: J.D., Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, and the East China Institute of Politics and Law; B.A., international politics, Denison University, Ohio, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Family: Husband, Vito; two children, ages 1 month and 2 years
Professional and community leadership: Member of board, finance and personnel committees, Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester and Monroe County Inc.; board member and personnel committee chairwoman, Main West Attorneys at Law Inc.; former board member, Greater Rochester Better Business Bureau

Two values American business needs more of:
1. Dignity: Employees whose spirits are bolstered by an employer are more likely to commit themselves to their company’s success.
2. Honesty: All of the carefully crafted and legally sound “positions” in the world cannot match the effect of the simple truth offered in a straightforward and timely manner.

What I’ve learned about myself in the past year: That I do not need to be on the winning side of every argument to achieve a satisfactory result

What motivates me profoundly: In cases where I am directing action for my company, I have the potential to affect many people’s lives. Keeping their confidence and trust is a critical motivator.

Advice to young businesswomen: Distinguish yourself in one extraordinary regard, for example, by learning an uncommon but useful language or acquiring expertise in one unusual but important aspect of your profession. Once you have attained success, help another woman.


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