The BNP is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2021 ATHENA® honors including the ATHENA Leadership Award® and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award®. NEW THIS YEAR, we will also present the ATHENA Organizational Award® to recognize one for-profit organization and one non-profit organization that inspire women in WNY to achieve their full potential.
We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards event. Come back often to read the profiles and you’ll learn what it means to be an Athena. And if you’d like to attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon, the region’s most prestigious event dedicated to the professional accomplishments of those who work to advance women, you can get tickets here.
Meet This Week’s ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® Finalist
Human Resources Business Partner, Catholic Health
Council President, City of Tonawanda
Jenna Koch is a Human Resources Business Partner at Catholic Health and has more than 15 years of experience as a human resources professional. Prior to joining Catholic Health, she served as director of human resources for Absolut Care LLC. She currently serves as the Council President in the City of Tonawanda where she previously served as a Council Member in the 4th Ward.
Outside of her busy professional life, Jenna has been involved in numerous volunteer activities including serving on the Board of Directors with the Boys and Girls Club and the Board of Directors with Totally Buffalo’s Hope for the Holidays program. She is also a member of the Clean Air Coalition and the Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association.
Jenna’s first job was as a cashier at Wendy’s which she started at the age of 15. She worked there with her best friend which made her first job that much more memorable.
Jenna notes she is proud to be elected as the first woman Council President in her hometown of the City of Tonawanda. She was also the first woman elected as a Council member in the 4th Ward of the City of Tonawanda. Currently with Catholic Health, she serves as a Human Resources Business Partner and she has been supporting the COVID-19 response team which she says has been incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
Follow your dreams, no matter where it takes you. Be You, Always be you. Don’t ever change for anyone.
Advice to Give to a Woman Just Starting in the Workplace
Don’t ever give up. Nevertheless, she persisted.
About being an ATHENA Award® Finalist
This is a tremendous honor to be recognized as a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award two years in a row. To be amongst a class of women who put their community first and embody the true meaning of the ATHENA award is humbling and rewarding.
On Buffalo Niagara
“There is no better place to live. Our location to downtown and Niagara Falls. The opportunities for growth and development are right before our eyes.”
Favorite Spot in Buffalo
Anything on Elmwood and local restaurants in the City of Tonawanda.
Lightning Round: Added Insights
- Guilty Pleasure: Wine and Hallmark Christmas Movies
- My Superpower: Problem Solver
- Best Describes Me: Caring and Compassionate: Would do anything to help anyone
- Most likely To: Save the world
- Best At: Bringing a team together to fulfill a mission and succeed
- If You Were a Celebrity, You’d Be: Ellen
- Most Used Emoji: Heart
- Book Recommendation: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederick Backman
Attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon
The ATHENA Awards® Luncheon is the region’s most prestigious event recognizing the professional accomplishments of exceptional individuals who are dedicated to the advancement of women. Be there when the winners are announced.