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
Maggie Hamilton Winship
Director of Economic Development
Town of Amherst
Maggie Hamilton Winship is Director of Economic Development in the Town of Amherst and President of Common Owner, a web site that brings investors and developers together under one domain including real estate developers of all sizes and investors of all financial means to invest in projects. A licensed New York State Real Estate Broker, Maggie previously served as Director of Economic Development in the Village of Williamsville.
Maggie’s many volunteer and community involvement activities include coaching the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart’s swim team for four years and serving on the local Urban Land Institute Leadership Committee as a Vice-Chair. She also works with students at UB, serving as a mentor for the Real Estate Development program, and teaching classes in the school of Architecture & Planning.
As a swimmer, Maggie was always working around the pool, lifeguarding and teaching swim team. By 19, she was managing three swimming pools for a small City outside of Atlanta.
Maggie says one of her career highlights thus far is the opportunity to be the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Amherst, which, she notes, is a larger municipality than the City of Albany.
She adds another career highlight as the time she was asked to buy into a new real estate technology platform, Common Owner Portals. Common Owner is a platform that will open equity opportunities to non-traditional real estate developers. Maggie says she believes she was asked to participate because she has an impressive network and does not keep her opinions to herself.
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
Always hire and surround yourself with people smarter than you, you’ll go further faster. (Given by her first boss.)
Advice to Give to a Woman Just Starting in the Workplace
First, be patient and learn as much as you can; not just about your position but about the people around you and the larger goals of your company or organization. Then, speak your mind, because what you have to say will be for the betterment of everyone, and so you should have no fear in doing so.
About being an ATHENA Award® Finalist
“Being named a finalist for ATHENA is a huge honor, especially as I see the names and achievements of the other women who have also been selected as finalists. It is also a great time to celebrate and a validation! I am flattered that my boss even thought to nominate me.”
On Buffalo Niagara
I love the size of our professional community in Buffalo Niagara. I love that the people here value family and time with family. I love the cost of living. I love the summer, when you can enjoy the outdoors instead of hiding in the air conditioning like in the South.
Favorite Spot in Buffalo
A summer night with a picnic on the Outer Harbor.
Lightning Round: Added Insights
- Guilty Pleasure: Thinking of pleasure as guilty is an out-of-date puritan principle. Life is short; be kind to yourselves!
- My Superpower: I can see the future. The challenging task is explaining to everyone else how to meet me there.
- Best Describes Me: Determined
- Most likely To: Bike to work in heels
- Best At: Change. It doesn’t bother me. This could also be a superpower I think.
- Most Used Emoji: Thumbs up
- If You Were a Celebrity, You’d Be: Amy Pohler as Leslie Knope
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.