Women from Greeneville/Greene County distinguished for professional excellence and outstanding service to others -- especially to women -- will be recognized for their contributions to the community later this year through the county's first ATHENA Leadership Award Program.
The program is being sponsored and coordinated locally by The Greeneville Sun.
Nominations are now being sought for the ATHENA Leadership Award, which is affiliated with the internationally-known program by the same name.
The Sun will honor finalists and announce the first annual ATHENA Leadership Award winner at a red carpet gala event on May 1.
Internationally, nationally and locally, the ATHENA award is designed to identify and honor women who are noted by others for being:
* Individuals who have achieved the highest level of professional excellence.
* Individuals who contribute time, energy and talent to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
* Individuals who actively and consistently assist others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.
The winner will be selected by a diverse and anonymous group of community leaders based on these criteria.
Nominees must be 40 years of age and residents of Greene County.
"We all know women who should be honored for their professional excellence and community service," Sun Co-Publisher Gregg K. Jones stated in making the announcement.
"Recognizing outstanding women such as this is the purpose of the ATHENA program at every level, and the Sun is honored to be able to introduce it to our town and county," he said.
ABOUT THE ATHENA PROGRAM
As described on the ATHENA International website ( http://www athenainternational.org), the nonprofit organization was founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz.
ATHENA International seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The program is designed to inspire women to reach their full potential, and strives to create balance in leadership worldwide.
The website explains that Mertz developed her vision for ATHENA International while serving on the Board of Directors of the Lansing, Mich., Regional Chamber of Commerce.
As the only woman on the Board, she quickly recognized that the Chamber's boardroom did not reflect the reality of the business community.
Mertz believed that if women's strengths and contributions as leaders were publicly acknowledged, they could no longer be dismissed.
She then spearheaded a new leadership award program, the ATHENA Award, named for the Greek goddess Athena, who was known in Greek mythology for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment.
As Mertz conceived it, the award would go to individuals who excelled in their respective professions, gave back to their communities, and helped raise up other leaders, especially women.
Since the program began in 1982, more than 6,250 exemplary leaders in more than 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award.
Pat Summitt, women's basketball head coach emeritus at the University of Tennessee, was awarded the 2012 Global ATHENA Leadership Award.
To date, the Global Award has been presented to only 28 outstanding women.
Summitt joined such notable women as Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Patricia Schroeder, former 12-term U.S. congresswoman; Lynn Martin, former U.S. Secretary of Labor; Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks and the first woman network president in television history; and Frances Hesselbein, editor-in-chief of Leader to Leader and, like Summitt, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.
'ADVANCING WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP'
"For more than 30 years, ATHENA International has recognized, celebrated and advanced women's leadership in the United States and across the world," Jones said.
"By honoring exceptional leaders, we seek to inspire others to achieve excellence."
The Greeneville Sun ATHENA recipient will be invited to join ATHENA Leadership Award recipients and other leaders at the annual ATHENA International Women's Leadership Summit, held each spring in Chicago.
"If you know someone who is deserving of the ATHENA Leadership Award, please submit the person's name and related information to the Sun in writing on or before Feb. 28," Jones urged interested persons and organizations.
* the full name of the person you are nominating;
* a complete list of her personal and professional accomplishments;
* and the reasons why you feel your nominee is deserving of the ATHENA Leadership Award.
A photo of the nominee should also be included.
Please see the ATHENA Award nomination form on page A-10.
Also, he said, please include your name and your home telephone number or mobile telephone number, so that the committee coordinating the nominations can contact you if necessary.
Please submit required nomination information to:
The Greeneville Sun
ATHENA Award Nominee
PO Box 1630
Greeneville, TN 37744
Nominations can also be emailed to (firstname.lastname@example.org)