The ATHENA Leadership Award was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment – qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Award is unique in both scope—local, national and international—and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman —or man— who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
ATHENA Leadership Award recipients are individuals and/or organizations who:
• Have achieved the highest level of professional excellence.
• Contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
• Actively assist others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.
This year, the NC CEO Forum has the distinct honor of recognizing two recipients at the 2019 NC CEO Forum:
Cynthia Marshall was named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America in 2015. Marshall is a quick thinker, straight talker, and highly respected leader who was senior vice president, and human resources and chief diversity officer at AT&T before she retired in 2017 to launch her own consulting firm, Marshalling Resources, and most recently becoming CEO of the Dallas Mavericks—the first African American female CEO in the NBA. Marshall has always been assisting and supporting women. She used her own 36 years’ successful experience as an example to demonstrate that “women can do the same jobs that men can do and we can excel like men can.”
Both FORTUNE and Great Place to Work® have ranked Wegmans #2 on the list of the 2018 Best Workplaces for Women. The ranking was based on anonymous survey feedback representing more than 4.5 million US employees from Great Place to Work-Certified companies. The success of Wegman’s demonstrates the importance of a positive workplace environment, as well, as recognizing the unique leadership qualities of women and their impact in making an organization prosperous and healthy.
ANDREA CONNER is a change agent and strategic relationship builder. Through her success in global leadership roles spanning four countries, she promotes corporate social responsibility, leadership development, and gender equity.
As President of ATHENA International, Andrea leads the organization in its mission to support, develop and honor women leaders. In doing so, she brings an international approach and global awareness of the challenges facing women’s educational and equal opportunity advancement.