ATHENA Awards return to your League City Regional Chamber!
2021 marks another year for the annual Athena Awards, an award program that has been a staple of your League City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Athena Program (named after the goddess of wisdom Athena) at its core is dedicated to honoring leadership. The program is designed to honor women and men for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
The program was founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz to honor women leaders. Every year, the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce encourages its members and community to nominate those who they believe have shown spectacular leadership skills in our wonderful region. The nominees are recognized at the chamber’s annual fall ATHENA of the Bay Area Awards Luncheon.
The Athena awards were cancelled last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, making Ashley Quinonez, the director of local and community relations at Memorial Hermann, the last winner of the Bay Area Athena awards.
Quinonez has long had a role in the community representing the leadership and interests of Memorial Hermann. Quinonez now serves as one of your chamber’s executive board of directors and won the Athena award in 2019.
Quinonez said she was absolutely honored to be selected as a nominee.
“Our community consists of so many incredibly talented and committed women leaders and to be nominated and selected as the 2019 Athena Award Recipient was an absolute honor,” Quinonez said. “I recall being overwhelmed with emotion when my name was announced as the recipient. I had prepared a few remarks and couldn’t make my way through them before the tears started flowing. I am so incredibly thankful for the countless people who have poured into my life –personally and professionally. Without their love and support, this recognition would not have been possible.”
Quinonez described what she believes makes a great leader:
“Integrity – Approaching every aspect of your life with integrity. Whether it be leading in your family or leading in your company, integrity is paramount to making sound decisions, guiding a successful team and achieving your goals.
“A Room at the table – Recognizing the value of bringing more people to the table. Specifically, recognizing that no person in leadership has all the answers or all the ideas and by creating space at the table for other ideas and discussion points, your leadership will benefit. This is an attribute of a leader that I did not rightfully recognize as a recent college graduate early in my career. Thanks to more seasoned leaders who have mentored me and demonstrated leadership through their actions, I’ve learned the importance of a team and the importance of pouring into others so that they can achieve their personal and professional best.
“Selfless service – God created us to serve Him and to serve others. Great leaders lead with that in mind, knowing that we are on this Earth for a very short amount of time, borrowed time best suited to serve. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln, “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.””
The Athena winner provided a message to all new 2021 nominees.
“Congratulations on your nomination and joining an elite group of incredible women leaders,” Quinonez said. “Thank you for your leadership and the commitment you have demonstrated in leadership and service to our community. You are worthy and there is a purpose for your nomination. I’d recommend the nominees invite their spouse, children and family to join them at the ceremonial luncheon. It really is a special event.”
Quinonez also had a special message for future winner of this year’s awards.
“Soak it in and enjoy the moment,” the community relations director said. “As is often the case with significant life events, memorize the moment and relish the recognition. The winner has undoubtedly exemplified strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment in their demonstrated leadership, and this brief moment of recognition is for them and their leadership journey.”
The League City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Athena Awards Luncheon will be September 15, 2021. Those who wish to attend can register at the chamber’s website. The deadline to nominate someone for the 2021 awards is August 15, 2021.