2018 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Finalist: Reetuparna Dutta

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:

Reetuparna (Reena) Dutta
Hodgson Russ LLP

Reetuparna “Reena” Dutta is a partner in the law firm Hodgson Russ LLP where she specializes in white collar criminal defense and government and internal investigations.  She says she works with people in extremely difficult circumstances – sometimes the biggest challenges of their life.  Criminal prosecutions or investigations by the government and litigation with people who used to be friends, are examples of extremely difficult situations that she commonly encounters with clients.  Reena takes the opportunity with each client to help by offering hope, comfort, and solutions.

As a board member for the United Way, Reena spearheaded the creation of Next Generation United (NGU) – a group that engages young professional to make tangible differences in the community.  NGU has awarded thousands of dollars to up-and-coming non-profit organizations via a community engagement model.  The success of NGU has led Reena to create an initiative to increase the engagement of immigrant/minority communities in the area in philanthropic endeavors.

First Job Out of School

Reena worked as a bus person at Park Country Club in her first job.

Career Highlights

Reena says she will never forget the first time she stood in front of a jury and began to question a witness.  It was in the middle of a high-stakes and very emotional criminal case, where the client’s liberty was at stake.  The experience was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating moments of Reena’s career.  When it was all over (and the client was acquitted), she knew that she was part of something truly important – ensuring that justice was properly served.

Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”  Attributed to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

About Being an Athena Finalist

“When my parents first immigrated to Buffalo, NY from Calcutta, India, they could only dream that their children would find happiness and success in this country.  And being nominated for this award shows that their dream has come true! I am deeply honored to be considered for an award that recognizes professional women both for their professional success and their commitment to their communities.”

On Buffalo Niagara

“I enjoy the feeling of familial closeness and deep roots that the region has.  People are so connected here, and have such a history with each other and, consequently, they are so invested in working together and helping each other to make the community stronger.”

Added Insights

Guilty Pleasure:  Anything involving the Real Housewives

Superpower: Turning strangers into friends and supporters

Personal Description: Always trying to be better

Most Likely To:  Start dancing before anyone else does and probably before it’s really appropriate to do so.

Best At:  Engaging others to find solutions together