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!

You’re invited to be a part of the region’s most prestigious event recognizing the professional accomplishments of exceptional individuals dedicated to the advancement of women.
Join us at the 28th Annual ATHENA Awards® Luncheon 
Tuesday, June 5 | 11:00am – 1:30pm | Buffalo Convention Center

Enjoy great networking with the finalists & steering committee members and
witness as the award recipients are unveiled! 

      2018 ATHENA Leadership Award® Finalists: 
  • Catherine Collins
    • NYS Board of Regents, NYS Education Department
  • Nina Heard
    • Community Relations Manager, General Motors Company
  • Kathleen Hochul
    • Lieutenant Governor, New York State
  • Althea Luehrsen
    • CEO, Leadership Buffalo
  • Carla Singleton, Assoc. AIA
    • President & CEO, Singleton Construction Consultants, Inc.
  • Tanya Staples
    • Community Schools Director, Say Yes to Education Buffalo
  • Michelle Sullivan
    • Director, Freed Maxick CPA's
2018 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® Finalists: 
  • April Baskin
    • Majority Leader, Erie County Legislature and Founder of The College Simulation Experience
  • Nancy Cox
    • Partner, Bonadio Group
  • Reetuparna Dutta
    • Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Nadine Hartrich
    • Operations Manager, Buffalo Manufacturing Works
  • Katie Krawczyk
    • Partner & President, 19 Ideas
  • Mary Owusu
    • VP, Director of Analytics and SEO, Eric Mower & Associates
  • Whitney Walker
    • Executive Director, VOICE Buffalo and NOAH

*Check back as we add profiles and photos of each finalist

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

Media Sponsor:

Networking Sponsor:


Official Staffing Agency:

Key Resource Group

Official Accounting Sponsor:

LM logo final

Supporting Sponsors:

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

2017 ATHENA Awards® Recipients

On Thursday, March 30th, in front of a crowd of over 520 at the Buffalo Convention Center, we celebrated the ten finalists and announced the two recipients of the 2017 ATHENA Awards®.

2017 ATHENA Award Recipients

The 2017 recipients are:


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