On Thursday night, the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2012 ATHENA Awards during a banquet at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint. More than 300 people were on hand as the 2012 ATHENA Award was presented to Lucy Ham and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award was presented to Angie Fields. In addition, recipients of the Katherine Roat Stevens scholarships were recognized, along with the Regional Chamber Ambassador of Year.

“Tonight we celebrated excellence and leadership,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber. “The ATHENA awards present an important opportunity to applaud women in our community who have demonstrated great leadership, have an enormous capacity for giving and are engaged in mentoring other women. Celebrating the nominees and their achievements has a positive impact on our overall community. The Regional Chamber is proud to partner with ATHENA International to host this program in Genesee County.”

Dianne Dinkel, President and CEO of ATHENA International served as the keynote speaker for the award ceremony. The ATHENA Awards honor women who personify excellence professionally, work to improve the quality of life for others and work to help other women realize their leadership potential. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honors emerging leaders who demonstrate creativity, initiative and excellence in their profession and a commitment to the community, as they serve as role models for young women both personally and professionally. Both awards were chosen by a selection committee.

Lucy Ham was chosen from among 13 nominees for the ATHENA Award. She has more than 38 years of real estate experience as the owner of the Lucy Ham Group. Her community involvement includes her commitment to supporting Motherly Intercession, a Flint-based organization that provides tutoring and support to children whose parents are incarcerated. Ham also is active with Revive Flint, serves on the Community Foundation Advisory Board and serves as an Elder at New Creation Church. During the ceremony, she was presented with an ATHENA statue, in addition to a diamond and gold ATHENA pin.

Athena Young Professional Leadership Award recipient Angie Field was selected from among five nominees. She began her career by participating in Teach for America following her graduation from Olivet Nazarene University. Through Teach for America she gained experience collaborating with social workers, psychologists, parents and student. Currently, she serves as the Director of Children’s Ministry at the First Presbyterian Church of Flint. Field volunteers as an ACT tutor and serves on the board for Zoie Sky, an organization that provides bedroom make-overs for vulnerable children and youth. She is also the co-founder and leader of Girls on the GO, an organization that provides mentoring and fitness opportunities for girls between the ages of 12 and 18. To recognize her selection, Field was presented with a diamond cut sculpture during the banquet.

The 2012 ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional nominees each received a Pandora bracelet to recognize their inclusion among those considered for the award. The ATHENA nominees are:

  • Candace Dunbar, Almighty Tatoo
  • Cathy Lane, Charter Township of Grand Blanc
  • Debbe Campbell, HealthPlus of Michigan, Inc.
  • Dora King, Youth Karate-Ka Association
  • Elizabeth Marasco, Brady Events & Marketing Inc.
  • Karen Smith, Link Publishing, LLC
  • Lori Tomlinson, Women2Women
  • Rhonda Willingham, Hurley Medical Center
  • Teresa McClelland-Sargent, Financial & Tax Planning, Inc.
  • Terry Matlock, Terry Matlock School of Performing Arts
  • Vicki Hawkins, Dort Federal Credit Union
  • Walethia Aquil, Grace and Charm

The 2012 ATHENA Young Professional nominees are:

  • Brenda Coleman, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
  • Catherine Lancaster, Flint Public Library
  • Dr. Khadra Kahin, Holistic Health Center, LLC
  • Sasha Aistrop, Citizens Bank – Downtown Flint

Katherine Roat Stevens Scholarship recipients were also recognized during the event. The annual scholarship was named for a Genesee County business leader who was the second recipient of the ATHENA award in 1988. Scholarship recipients Samantha Mabbitt, a 2012 graduate of Davison High School; Kathryn Hazel, a 2012 graduate of Davison High School and Haley Luxton, a 2012 graduate of Bendle High School were selected from among female high school seniors with an interest in entrepreneurship who were graduating from a Genesee County School at the time of application.

DeQuindra Johnson received the Katherine Roat Stevens Education and Training Fund Scholarship awarded to a currently matriculating college, trade school or business training student with entrepreneurial aspirations. The Flint native currently attends the University of Michigan-Flint.

In addition, Carol Van Buren, Secretary to the Executive Dean at Mott Community College was named Regional Chamber 2012 Ambassador of the Year during the event. She has served as an ambassador for five years supporting Regional Chamber events.

The 2012 ATHENA Awards was made possible by the following sponsors: Baker College, Bishop International Airport, Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network, Davenport University, Financial Plus Federal Credit Union, Gaines Jewelry and HealthPlus of Michigan.


More From WFNT