Athena Awards

The Partnership has been honored to produce the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon since 1989. The award is celebrated around the world in more than 500 communities and 8 countries and is awarded to individuals who have achieved professional and personal success, given back to their communities and supported women professionals in the region.

Congratulations to the 2018 ATHENA Awards® Finalists!

Thank you to the 600+ attendees who joined us on Tuesday, June 5th as we honored and celebrated this year’s 14 incredible finalists.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Mary Owusu & Kathy Hochul.

Know someone who should be nominated for next year’s award? Contact Krystal Testa to be added to our mailing list so you know when nominations open this fall.

2018 ATHENA Leadership Award® Finalists:


Catherine Collins

NYS Board of Regents, NYS Education Department


Nina Heard

Community Relations Manager, General Motors Company

Kathy Hochul

Kathy Hochul

Lieutenant Governor, New York State


Althea Luehrsen

CEO, Leadership Buffalo

Carla Singleton

Carla Singleton

President & CEO, Singleton Construction Consultants, Inc.

Tanya Staples

Tanya Staples

Community Schools Director, Say Yes to Education Buffalo

Michelle Sullivan

Michelle Sullivan

Director, Freed Maxick CPA's

2018 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® Finalists:

April Baskin

April Baskin

Majority Leader, Erie County Legislature and Founder of The College Simulation Experience

Nancy Cox

Nancy Cox

Partner, Bonadio Group

Reetuparna Dutta

Reetuparna Dutta

Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP

Nadine Hartrich

Nadine Hartrich

Operations Manager, Buffalo Manufacturing Works

Katie Krawczyk

Katie Krawczyk

Partner & President, 19 Ideas

Mary Owusu

Mary Owusu

VP, Analytics and SEO, Mower (formerly Eric Mower & Associates)

Whitney Walker

Whitney Walker

Executive Director, VOICE Buffalo and NOAH

Honorary Steering Committee Members

Honorary Co-Chairs:

Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Assembly Member | New York State Assembly                                           

Trina Burruss
Regional Vice President & Community Relationship Office | Northwest Bank

Steering Committee Members:

Melodie Baker
Director of Education | United Way of Buffalo & Erie County

Felicia Beard
Director of Racial Equity Initiatives | Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Kari Root Bonaro
Director of Communications & External Affairs | Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Donna L. DeCarolis
Vice President of Business Development | National Fuel Gas Company

Ann Evanko
President and Managing Member | Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO | People, Inc.

Carol Horton
Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations | Buffalo News

Rupa Shanmugam
President and COO | SoPark Corporation

Sharon Randaccio
President and CEO | Performance Management Partners

Amy Habib Rittling
Partner | Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP

Eunice Lewin
President | Impacto Consulting

Thank you to the sponsors of our 28th Annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon:

Presenting Sponsor:

Northwest Bank

Event Sponsors:

PSESeneca Resorts & Casinos

Official Media Sponsor:

Networking Sponsor:

Television Sponsor:

Official Staffing Agency:

Key Resource Group

Finalist Sponsor:

Official Accounting Sponsor:

LM logo final

Supporting Sponsors:

ASG - Applied Sciences Group
Heather Bellini Photography
Inky Fingers Printing
National Grid
National Fuel Gas Company

Table Sponsors


  • Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
  • Univera Healthcare
  • Buffalo Manufacturing Works
  • United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Francisco Vasquez
  • 19 Ideas
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Say Yes to Education
  • Bond, Schoeneck, & King
  • The Martin Group
  • People Inc.
  • Leadership Buffalo
  • Synacor
  • Bonadio Group
  • Seneca Gaming Corporation
  • Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Freed Maxick CPAs
  • AAA Western and Central New York
  • Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc.
  • VOICE Buffalo
  • Singleton Construction
  • Friendship of Crystal Peoples Stokes
  • KeyBank
  • Power Drives
  • The John R. Oishei Foundation
  • Delaware North
  • Leadership Buffalo Class of 2014
  • Kaleida Health
  • Spectrum Reach
  • Amy Habib-Rittling
  • Mary Owusu
  • ECMC

2018 ATHENA Awards® Recipients

On Tuesday, June 5th, in front of a crowd of 600+ at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, we celebrated the 14 finalists and announced the two recipients of the 2018 ATHENA Awards®.

The 2018 recipients are:

For a full list of all previous ATHENA Awards® recipients, click here.

Save The Date:

29th ATHENA Awards® Luncheon will be on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at the Buffalo Convention Center. Stay tuned for more details to be announced!

Have questions about the ATHENA Awards®? Contact Krystal Testa at 716-541-1720.