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Jean Howard wins Athena Award

Jean Howard, retired executive director of Wilson Commencement Park and chief of staff of the city of Rochester, today was named recipient of the 2006 Athena Award.

Jean Howard wins Athena Award

Jean Howard, retired executive director of Wilson Commencement Park and chief of staff of the city of Rochester, today was named recipient of the 2006 Athena Award.
Howard was honored Thursday at a luncheon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Some 1,000 people attended the event. Martha Mayhood Mertz, founder of the national Athena Award program and owner of Michigan-based real estate firm Mayhood/Mertz Investment Inc., was the keynote speaker.
Twenty-two women were nominated for Rochester’s 20th annual Athena Award, given to the local woman who best reflects the values of business achievement, community service and support of professional women’s advancement. The nominees came from varied backgrounds, including politics, medicine, law, education and business.
Howard is widely known for her efforts at growing Wilson Commencement Park, a family self-sufficiency and life skills organization that provides services through various business units to very low-income, single-parent families. The park’s business units include a two-year transitional housing community, case management, employment services and others. The organization has served more than 2,100 single parents and their children since its launch in 1991. It employs some 38 staffers.
“It is very special to be recognized,” Howard said at the luncheon. She also praised the Rochester community for supporting programs such as those run by Wilson Commencement Park.
Howard has been with the park since its earliest planning stages in 1990. She moved to Rochester in the 1970s. Until Howard joined Wilson Commencement Park, she held a variety of positions, including director of residential services at the United Cerebral Palsy Association of the Rochester Area Inc.

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