The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2018 ATHENA® Awards. The awards recognize contributions made by individuals to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.
We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
So come back often and learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – June 5 – to attend the awards luncheon.
Meet This Week’s Athena Finalist:
Althea Luehrsen is CEO of Leadership Buffalo, a non-profit organization uniting and developing existing and emerging area leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Althea and her team are driven by a mission of “Making Buffalo Better”, working with local leaders and organizations, identifying the critical issues facing our community and developing action plans for strategic, positive change. Prior to joining Leadership Buffalo, Althea was owner of a consulting firm for small business and was vice president for corporate and foundation relations at University at Buffalo.
For nearly five years, Althea has served as chair of the Susan G. Komen Western New York affiliate. She is also a board member of the Erie Community College Foundation and the Alumni Federation Board of Empire State College. She has also served as a mentor in a collegiate leadership program at SUNY Buffalo.
First Job Out of School
Althea’s first job was as an accounts payable clerk at the age of 17 at Peter J. Schmitt Co.
When asked about the greatest accomplishment of her career, Althea point to having the tenacity to put herself through college (earning three degrees) while working full time as a single mother. Today, she is also most proud of the work done by Leadership Buffalo and its impact on the community. She notes that Leadership Buffalo works hard to break down biases and stereotypes, open people’s eyes and minds to build a better Buffalo that we can all benefit from.
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
About Being an Athena Finalist
“As this award is about individuals who have achieved professional and personal success, given back to their communities and supported women professionals in the region, it makes me extremely proud to be nominated. As someone who came up ‘through the ranks’ and who continues to support women through mentorship to achieve their goals, it means a lot to me both personally and professionally.”
On Buffalo Niagara
“I enjoy living and working in Buffalo Niagara because of the people. We truly are the city of good neighbors. We have so much (variety) to offer, something for everyone from our sports teams, our history, our amazing restaurants, our waterfront and so much more – and I love the four seasons!”
Guilty Pleasure: Smoking an occasional cigar!
Personal Description: Driven, passionate, energetic, caring, optimistic, approachable
Most Likely To: Never retire
Best At: Being inclusive, bringing people together