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Women Leaders

"What is honored in a country will be cultivated there." - Plato      

In 1982 Martha Mayhood Mertz began a legacy of cultivating women leaders by honoring the first ATHENA Award recipient in Lansing, MI.  Martha created the award after realizing that women in her community were not seen as leaders.  She believed that every community had women leading behind the scene.  The purpose of the ATHENA Leadership Award was to publicly acknowledge the strengths and contributions of women as leaders within their local community.

Since the first award in 1982, ATHENA International, a non profit organization, has honored approximately 7,000 individuals in 500 communities and 8 countries with ATHENA Leadership Awards.  These individuals are committed to their profession, their community and to helping other women achieve their full leadership potential. They embody the attributes of the ATHENA Leadership Model ~ Being Authentic; Building Relationships; Collaborating with Others; Being Courageous; Advocating Fiercely; Constantly Learning; Giving Back and Celebrating.

ATHENA honors the highest level of professional excellence coupled with the values of giving back and the responsibility for opening leadership opportunities for others. Honoring successful women in business encourages others to both envision and strive for their highest potential. The long-term vision is to achieve a balance in the voices of leadership. 

ATHENA programs have expanded to include the ATHENAPowerLink® Program, ATHENA Connections and ATHENA International Leadership Day.   


Martha Mertz


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