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February 21, 2023

Liz Benkovich
V.P. Member Engagement & Development 

Buffalo Niagara Partnership Announces 2023 ATHENA Award® Individual Finalists

Awards recognize contributions made by individuals to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to announce the individual finalists for the 2023 ATHENA Leadership and Young Professional Leadership Awards® 

After a months-long nomination process, 20 finalists were selected by the ATHENA Executive Committee, comprised of women leaders representing a wide range of industries and professional services in the region. The results of the confidential ballot are calculated by Lumsden McCormick LLP, and the recipient of each award will be revealed LIVE during the celebration luncheon at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.     

The ATHENA Leadership Award® honors exceptional individuals who have achieved the highest level of professional excellence, contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist others—particularly women—in realizing their full leadership potential. 

Finalists for the 2023 ATHENA Leadership Award® are: 

  • Jamie Batt | Partner | Rupp Pfalzgraf LLC 
  • Gwendolyn Bork | Independent Financial Advisor | The Legend Group  
  • Dr. Allison Brashear | Vice President for Health Sciences & Dean | Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo 
  • Jody Briandi | President/Managing Partner | Hurwitz Fine P.C. 
  • Dr. Christine Farrow | Commissioner of Jurors | NYS Unified Court System 
  • Alicia Fellows | Executive Director | Person Centered Services  
  • Katie Gorman | Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Initiatives | Delaware North  
  • Tyra Johnson Hux | WNY Operations Director | LISC Western New York  
  • Shantelle Patton | CEO/Founder | That Brown Bag Minority Business Directory 
  • Daniella Piper | Regional Manager, Western NY and Chief Transformation Officer | NY Power Authority 

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® honors emerging leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession, contribute time and energy to improving the quality of  

life for others, and serve as role models for young women personally and professionally. Nominees must be under the age of 40. 

Finalists for the 2023 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® are: 

  • Alexis Book | Product Owner, Associate Experience Agile Team | Rich Products 
  • Tiffany Gaines | Curatorial & Digital Content Associate | Burchfield Penney Art Center 
  • Christina Holdsworth | Partner | Goldberg Segalla LLP 
  • Stephanie Lawson | Chief Development Officer | Investigative Post  
  • Anastasia McCarthy | Member | Hurwitz Fine P.C. 
  • Stephanie Peete | Director of Workforce Development | Say Yes Buffalo 
  • Emma Phillips | Project Planner | C&S Companies 
  • Crystal Selk | Executive Director | West Side Community Services 
  • Jessica Smith | Deputy Counsel | BestSelf Behavioral Health 
  • Kelsey Sweet | Social Media Strategist | Pegula Sports & Entertainment 

For more information or to purchase individual tickets or tables, please visit   

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area representative for ATHENA International, a nonprofit that seeks to support, develop, and honor women leaders. The ATHENA Awards® luncheon is presented by Title Sponsor: Northwest Bank. Other supporters include Presenting Sponsors: Seneca Resorts & Casinos; Official accounting firm sponsor: Lumsden McCormick LLP; Finalist Sponsor: National Grid; Official Media Sponsor:  Buffalo Magazine; Event Sponsor: Ninja Graphics and Supporting Sponsor Heather Bellini Photography. 

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The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately funded economic development organization. BNP members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the BNP grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening. Learn more at