THE ATHENA AWARD is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. The award is established through local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA International’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors. 

This year, Melissa Giovagnoli of Networlding was one of the judges and I had the honor of attending the Chicago Awards Presentation with her. Kathy Hannan was named as ATHENA International’s 2006 Chicago ATHENA Award Recipient at a luncheon held at the Palmer House Hilton in November .

Kathy is the Area Managing Partner of Tax Services for KPMG LLP’s Midwest Area, the first woman to be named to such a position at KPMG. The ATHENA Award is presented to one who has attained and embodies the highest level of professional excellence in her/his business or profession, has devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and who actively assists women in realizing their leadership potential. Kathy exemplifies the quality of character and service this prestigious award represents and serves as an inspiration to other women. She joins the more than 5000 ATHENA Award Recipients who have received the award in the United States, Canada, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and India.

Nominees in Chicago included:
– Cheryl Burton, Anchor/Reporter; ABC 7 Chicago, WLS-TV
– Julie Murphy Casserly, Owner, President; JMC Wealth Management
– Eileen Durkin, CEO; Neumann Association
– Janet Froetscher, President and CEO; United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
– Susan Fullman, Corporate Vice President, Director Consumer Solutions & Innovation; Motorola 
– Judy McCaskey, Board Chairperson; State Treasurer’s Advisory Board for Women’s Issues
– Sarah Pang, Senior Vice President; CNA Corporate Communications
– Alice Peterson, President; Syrus Global

History was made in October  at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India.  The ATHENA Award was presented for the first time there, marking the inauguration of a prestigious event which will be continued in Mumbai and in other Indian cities in the years to come. 

Ms. Bakul Patel was honored as the 2006 ATHENA Award recipient in Mumbai.  Ms. Patel has held leadership positions in diverse fields of business and corporate management as well as socio-economic development.  Ms. Patel has the quiet dignity of a person who is fully authentic with her values, is one who gracefully places the needs of others ahead of her own, and one who is creating a different kind of legacy for the people and especially the women in Mumbai and beyond.

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