Some honor Divas…but Lehigh Valley is one of 350 communities honoring Goddesses. On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Athena Awards presented by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Council.

The rainy weather could not dampen the spirits at Saucon Valley Country Club where the event was held. Upon arrival this year’s recipients were given beautiful corsages full of fall flowers which were carefully pinned to their jackets. What was equally impressive was the amount of corsages ordered for past honorees in attendance.

The festivities started with a champagne reception for the award winners past and present as well as the WBC Board of Directors of which I am a member. Originally this was designed to be an intimate gathering but the number of women who attend had the room packed. For most of these women, some now retired, it is a not-to-be-missed annual event and a reunion of sorts. Not one of these ladies slowed down at all!

This year’s Athena went to Stephanie Hnatiw, Executive Director at YWCA of Bethlehem. Her bio is too long to do it justice in this post but she lives up to the YWCA’s tag line of “eliminating racism, empowering women”. She also was one of the founding members and first chair of the Chamber’s “Executive Women’s Task Force” back in 1982.

The Athena Young Professional Award was presented to Michelle Chrin, Marketing Associate for Caruso Benefits Group. Equally deserving and a name that is sure to come up in many circles. Both ladies gave very moving and motivating acceptance speeches and by the end of the event the entire room buzzed with energy.

Lehigh Valley is home to so many great women leaders. Who do you think should be next year’s Athena Award winners?

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