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Athena award nominees announced

Six women who have contributed to their community while mentoring girls and young women have been nominated for the 2019 Athena Award, the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce and the ATHENA Committee announced Thursday.


The nominees are Peggy Frisbee Allen, Jackie Dula, Julia Hockenberry, Patsy Farmer Jones and Barbara Morgan.

Sponsored by Pardee UNC Health Care, with support from Morris Broad Band and Judy Stroud –State Farm Insurance,the award is presented in memory of Vanessa W. Mintz.

The nominees will be honored at a reception presented by Judy Stroud – State Farm Insurance, on Thursday, May 9th. The recipient of the 12th Annual ATHENA Award presented in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz will be announced at the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon on Thursday, May 16th at Kenmure Country Club. The ATHENA Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishments, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow. The award is co-sponsored by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.

The Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon is hosted as part of the Henderson County Chamber’s Small Business Week celebration to honor the work that women are doing in area businesses and the community. This year’s luncheon will feature a keynote from former Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, current director of Economic Development of Madison County.

“The ATHENA program is a way to honor and celebrate the contributions individuals in our community have made to the cause of women’s leadership,” says committee chair and 2018 recipient Lee Henderson-Hill. “When you look at the history of Henderson County, you see how much of how our community is shaped today as a result of female leadership. We want to celebrate and continue that work.”

The ATHENA of Henderson County programming will continue throughout the year with the Leadership Breakfast hosted in the fall of 2019, Leadership Dinner hosted in the late winter of 2020 and quarterly women-centric networking events, Empower Hours, hosted throughout the year. The next Empower Hour will be held on June 4 at Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For more information on the ATHENA Award or to make reservations to the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon, call the Chamber at 828-692-1413.