FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 19, 2016


BUFFALO, NY–The Buffalo Niagara Partnership announces a call for nominations for the region’s 27th Annual ATHENA Awards®. Nominations will be accepted in the following categories:

  • 27th Annual ATHENA Leadership Award®
    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.
  • 8th Annual ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award®
    The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honors emerging leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession, provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and serve as role models for young women personally and professionally. Nominees must be under the age of 40.

Nominations are due by Friday, October 28th, 2016 at 12:00pm. For more information on the nomination process, award requirements and to request the full nomination form, please visit

The nominees will be vetted by our ATHENA Steering Committee, which is comprised of women business leaders from a variety of sectors across the region led by this year’s co-chairs, Kim Pegula, CEO of Pegula Sports & Entertainment and Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Assembly Member for New York State.

“We are honored to have been able to convene such an outstanding group of individuals this year. With the committee’s involvement, we plan to elevate the Athena awards to its highest level yet by increasing number and diversity of nominees and raising the profile of the event in order to highlight the exceptional achievements of the finalists.” Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership said.

The full list of Steering Committee members and short bios is attached separately here.

The finalists will be announced at our ATHENA Awards® Kickoff Party on Monday, November 28th. Five finalists will be named for each award. The finalists will be honored, and the two recipients announced, at the 27th Annual ATHENA Awards® Luncheon on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 at the Buffalo Convention Center. Sponsors for the 27th Annual ATHENA Awards® Luncheon include The Buffalo Bills, Tops Friendly Markets, Alexandria Professional, Lumsden McCormick and Seneca Gaming Corporation.

Contact: Krystal Testa
(716) 541-1720

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership 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 Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.

For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at or 716-541-1736