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
Community Relations Partner
Kayleigh Terranova is Community Relations Partner at the Tesla Gigafactory in Buffalo where the company is producing solar roof tiles and Power Electronic units for commercial and residential use from a 1.2 million square foot facility. Prior to Tesla, she worked in community engagements roles at the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Kayleigh is also an instructor at Danceability, a nonprofit dance and movement program for children and adults with special needs.
In addition to dance instruction, Kayleigh gives back in many ways including serving on the board for United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s Women United, and is past board member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Greater Buffalo and Homespace Inc. She has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier and was a Youth Mentor for Leadership Buffalo’s Youth Program. She also has volunteered with United Way’s Program Investment Process.
Kayleigh was a server at an assisted living home in Liverpool, NY where she says she worked the morning shift and spent every Sunday serving breakfast while listening to the residents tell their stories about love, loss, and the “way it used to be.”
Up until this point, it was a dream of Kayleigh’s to lead Community Relations for a prominent organization in Buffalo. In 2020, that dream became a reality when Kayleigh was hired as Community Relations Partner for Tesla and because of this, is one of her career highlights. Kayleigh also points to the creation of Women United and Next Generation United at United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. Women United is a community of like-minded women who inspire, educate and motivate others through philanthropy, leadership, and volunteerism. It has grown to over 1,300 members, contributing $2.2 million back into the community. Next Generation United engages the next generation of leaders in philanthropy and developed a social innovation pitch competition for non-profits in Buffalo & Erie County, investing $60,000 into grassroots organizations, and engaging over 1,000 people in the process. .
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
“You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”
Advice to Give to a Woman Just Starting in the Workplace
You must be your own biggest advocate. If you aren’t, who will?
About being an ATHENA Award® Finalist
“It is an absolute honor to be a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Award. I look at the names of the past and present finalists and winners and am humbled to be held in that same regard. So many of those women have been an inspiration to me throughout my career – I hope I can be the same for other young women in our community.”
On Buffalo Niagara
I have lived and travelled to many other cities and there truly is nothing like the people here in Buffalo Niagara. I love that we get to experience all four seasons and personally believe we have some of the best food you can find!
Favorite Spot in Buffalo
One of my favorite things to do in Buffalo with my husband and son is go for walks and drives exploring this amazing region. Whether it is the outer harbor, East Aurora or Fort Niagara State Park Beach, we love getting out and experiencing all the beauty Buffalo Niagara has to offer.
Lightning Round: Added Insights
- Guilty Pleasure: Paula’s Red Velvet Donuts
- My Superpower: Empathy
- Best Describes Me: Servant Leader
- Most likely To: Sing every lyric to any 80s monster ballad
- Best At: Being able to identify what song is playing in the first 4-5 notes
- Most Used Emoji: Crying laughing emoji
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.