The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (www.phoenixchamber.com) has a long tradition of honoring successful businesswomen with its ATHENA Businesswomen of the Year awards. They’ve been doing it for 24 years. The latest awards were presented Tuesday October 25th, 2011 at a packed luncheon of more than 800 people at the Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. The Athena Award is named after the Greek goddess of courage and wisdom and is a program of Athena International, a foundation dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women.
Private Sector award winner – Shelly Esque, vice president of corporate affairs at Intel Corporation. Esque is Intel’s first and only female vice president in Arizona and is a native of Mesa.
Public Sector award winner – Darlene Newsom, chief executive officer for UMOM New Day Centers which provides shelter to some 126 homeless families.
Young Professional award winner – Andrea Stouder Pursley, executive director for the Sanford Education Project at Arizona State University. The project is a partnership with Teach for America.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is honored to once again recognize inspiring business women in the Valley with the prestigious ATHENA Award because they excel in their professions, stay active in the community and offer their mentorship abilities to others,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. “It is such an inspiration to see the mark these women have made in their professions and in the community.”
More than 50 businesswomen in the Phoenix area were nominated for the awards. Esque, Newsom and Stouder Pursley were chosen from among 11 other ATHENA finalists, who were selected from the original group of nominees. Here is a list of the finalists:
ATHENA private sector finalists:
Loraine Bergman of Caliente Construction
Shelly Esque of Intel
Sue Navran of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Pam Overton of Greenburg Taurig
ATHENA public sector finalists:
Jessica Berg of Lodestar Day Resource Center
Janice Ertl of St. Vincent de Paul
Pam Gaber of Gabriel’s Angels
Darlene Newsom of UMOM New Day Centers
ATHENA young professional finalists:
Gelie Akhenblit of NetworkingPhoenix.com
Jaclyn Keller of Valley of the Sun United Way
Andrea Stouder Pursley of ASU
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is Arizona’s oldest and largest chamber, representing 2,600 businesses across metropolitan Phoenix.