The Athena Awards were first presented in 1982 to honor those who have helped women achieve their full leadership potential. The impartial judging committee also considers those who demonstrate creativity and initiative in their careers and help improve the lives of those in their community.
The finalists were honored at a reception hosted by Inside Business Magazine on October 1, 2009.
This year's class of ten Northeast Ohio's finalists is a well deserved group of women and men. Yes, for the first time Cleveland has added a man to the group, Paul Clark of National City Bank now part of PNC.
"Athena would not be in Cleveland if it were not for Paul Clark and a few other people." says Inside Business publisher Frank Bird. Bird says "Back in the 60's and 70's he was working for women's rights "and at that time it wasn't generally accepted or typical." Bird praised the entire class of finalists for their commitment to women's rights.
This year's winners were Jacqueline F. Woods and Jacqueline Silas-Butler. Ms. Woods is the former President of AT&T Ohio and trustee at Kent State University. Ms. Silas-Butler is the Executive Director of Project GRAD in Akron an "educational reform program to increase high school and graduation rates in some of Akron's lowest performing public schools.
Congratulations to the winners and all of the finalists.