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.

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

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

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.