Rochesterians came together this week as family, friends and colleagues to celebrate the 25th Athena Award at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. In the last quarter-century, we have recognized and celebrated more than 500 Athena nominees and, as of this year, a collection of 25 recipients.
This award is named in emulation of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, who was known more for her role as judge, diplomat and mediator than for actually fighting in battle. Her decisions were renowned for their fairness and compassion. Athena was noted as a superb strategist, and many of the Greek myths recount tales of her help given to various gods, goddesses and heroes as they went into battle or faced seemingly impossible tests.
Each year, women chosen as award nominees embody the eight attributes of Athena:
The authentic self is demonstrated by a woman who consistently thinks, acts and speaks in congruence with her values and who demonstrates unwavering integrity.
Strong, enduring relationships are demonstrated by a woman who values all the relationships in her circle and is committed to contributing energy, passion and attention to the development of those relationships.
Giving back is demonstrated by a woman who holds a socially responsible point of view, who is committed to returning time, attention, energy and personal resources to the community in which she lives, and who supports the people in that community.
Collaboration is demonstrated by a woman who promotes trust, builds a shared perspective and takes a cooperative approach in working with others.
Courageous acts are demonstrated by a woman who meets challenge and adversity with conviction and confidence, using courage to push beyond obstacles in her way.
Learning is demonstrated by a woman who is committed to lifelong discovery and personal growth, showing a genuine conviction to seek meaning and purpose in the work she does.
Fierce advocacy is demonstrated by a woman who ardently champions a cause, providing active encouragement and unflagging support to those who share that cause.
Celebration and joy are demonstrated by a woman who revels and shares in the happiness and success of others as well as in her own.
This year, 18 local women leaders were nominated as "Athenean" exemplars. These women were recognized for their collective dedication to business development and for supporting those in their community who benefit from advocacy, assistance and service. They are celebrated for committing their precious time to mentoring and supporting young women and female colleagues, and for consistently providing a model for others to aspire to.
The goal of the Athena Award is to support, develop and honor women as leaders and to inspire women to reach their full potential. Over the last 25 years, this award has helped recognize Rochester’s strong legacy of female leaders and supported the community that will give rise to the leaders of tomorrow and keep this legacy strong into the future.
As Rochesterians, we can feel a deep sense of pride and honor in the strong legacy that is now an inherent strength of our community.
Linda Hall is president of Wakefield Way Consulting LLC and chaired the 25th Athena Award celebration, sponsored by the Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc.
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