The Partnership has been honored to produce the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon since 1989. The award is celebrated around the world in more than 500 communities and 8 countries and is awarded to individuals who have achieved professional and personal success, given back to their communities and supported women professionals in the region.

Congrats to the 5 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Awards® Finalists:

Melodie Baker

Melodie Baker

Director of Education, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Sarah Cotter

Sarah Cotter

Vice President, Clinical Transformation & Operations, Catholic Medical Partners

Christina Pearl

Christina Pearl

Director of Corporate Communications, Horizon Health Services


Nicole Savage

President/CEO, Nature’s Way Environmental


Tayrin Tapia

Founder/CEO, Dear Tayrin, Inc.

Congrats to the 5 ATHENA Leadership Awards® Finalists:

Anne Constantino

Anne Constantino

President/CEO, Horizon Corporations

Katherine Conway-Turner

Katherine Conway-Turner, Ph.D.

President, Buffalo State College

Ellen Grant Buffalo Niagara Partnership ATHENA Award Finalist

Ellen Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R

Senior Vice President of Chapter Programming, Say Yes to Education


Yvonne Minor-Ragan, Ph.D.

President/CEO, YMRagan Consulting, LLC


Norma Nowak, Ph.D.

Executive Director, UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences


Our 27th Annual ATHENA Awards® Luncheon will be on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 from 11:00am – 1:30pm at The Buffalo Convention Center.

New This Year: Networking Hour at 11:00am - mix and mingle with the amazing finalists, the outstanding members of the honorary steering committee and hundreds of professionals attending the event.

$75 per ticket
$550 for a table of 8 (company table signage included)

For any questions, please email Krystal Testa or by calling 716-541-1720.

Honorary Steering Committee Members

Thank you to the committee for their support of the event and commitment to the recognition of outstanding achievements in our region:


Kim Pegula, Honorary Co-Chair
- President and CEO

Pegula Sports & Entertainment

Crystal Peoples Stokes, Honorary Co-Chair
- Assembly Member

New York State Assembly

Ann Evanko  
- President and Managing Member  

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Rhonda Frederick - President and CEO  

People, Inc.

Amy Habib Rittling
- Partner  

Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP

Carol Horton
- VP of Marketing and PR  

The Buffalo News

Laurie Irish Jones

Irish Companies

Donna L. DeCarolis
- Vice President of Business Development

National Fuel Gas Company

Eunice A. Lewin
- Co-Founder 

Impacto Consulting

Sharon Randaccio
- President and CEO

Performance Management Partners

Mary Roberts
- Executive Director  

Martin House Restoration Corporation

Kari Root Bonaro
- Head of Marketing  

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Rupa Shanmugam
- President and CEO  

SoPark Corporation

Shandra Spicer
- President and CEO  

Spicer Group

Whitney Walker
- Community Impact Coordinator

The John R. Oishei Foundation

Christie Joseph
- Vice President of Human Resources  

Buffalo Sabres

Download full bios here

Thank you to the sponsors of our 27th Annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon:

Presented By:

2014 NEW logolarge

Event Sponsors:


Tops Friendly Mkts 2010 weblink 2
Media Sponsor:

Buffalo Mag logo

Pre-Luncheon Networking Sponsor:


Official Accounting Sponsor:

LM logo final

Supporting Sponsors:

Catholic Medical Partners
Heather Bellini Photography
Morgan Stanley
Inky Fingers Printing

National Fuel Gas Company
Seneca Gaming Corporation

2016 ATHENA Awards® Recipients

On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in front of a crowd of over 420 at the Buffalo Convention Center, we celebrated the ten finalists and announced the two recipients of the 2016 ATHENA Awards®.

NYW_0201The 2016 recipients are:


For a full list of all previous ATHENA Awards® recipients, click here.