Athena Erie presents leadership awards to Gannon student Kathy Dahlkemper
Women and men may have different leadership styles, but a local leader believes that when they join forces, the most success can follow.
“I think when men and women work together we get our best results,” said Linda Stevenson, Founder and CEO of Athena Erie.
She said she wouldn’t want male leaders or just female leaders, but added that the desired balance has yet to be struck. That’s why Athena Erie continues to deliver programs locally to support, develop and honor women’s leadership. One such program took place earlier this month when the local Athena Awards were presented. Erie County Director Kathy Dahlkemper received the 2021 Erie Athena Leadership Award. Gannon University student Kathryn Dickey received the 2021 Athena Young Professional Award.
Stevenson, a retired banking executive, said she introduced Athena to Erie in 2000. She said Athena Erie is licensed by the non-profit organization Athena International, which has a mission to support, develop and honor the leadership and strives to create a balance in leadership. worldwide.
The Athena Leadership Awards have been presented to more than 8,000 recipients in 48 states and 11 countries, according to the Athena International website.
This was the 13th time that an Athena Leadership Award has been presented in Erie. The award is presented every two years, with a leadership lunch taking place on even years. Two of the 13 winners were men.
From 2019:Andrea Jeffress receives the Athena Erie Award
The award recognizes an individual, woman or man, who contributes to the community, demonstrates professional excellence and helps women become great leaders, Stevenson said. She said the award is also a way to highlight the importance of female leadership to the community. An Athena committee selects each recipient.
“We generally stay away from politicians,” Stevenson said.
But she said the group had good reason this time around to select Dahlkemper, who will complete his second four-year term as county manager in January. Dahlkemper did not run for a third term.
Leaving the office:Erie County executive Kathy Dahlkemper not running for third term
Stevenson said Dahlkemper, a Democrat who represented the 3rd Congressional District of Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011, is an incredible role model who is committed to the well-being of women and children. .
“She’s a woman of integrity and that’s why she was truly honored by Athena,” Stevenson said.
Her organization, however, not only wants to recognize the leaders of today, but also to highlight the women leaders of tomorrow. That’s why Athena Erie chooses to bestow her Young Professional Award on students, Stevenson said.
“We are counting on them to step up,” she said. “We need them to be ready.
Honoring them is a way to introduce Athena and the community to young women, she said.
Each of the four local colleges – Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, and Penn State Behrend – nominated a student for the award.
“The decision is extremely difficult,” Stevenson said of the winner’s selection. “These young women are just amazing.
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Dickey Gannon, who is the seventh local recipient of the Young Professional Award, is a social work student and a student in the school’s specialty program. She is president of the Gannon University Social Work Club and painted a mural of a willow tree at the Honors Center, depicting the Honors Program’s ability to bend and adapt during difficult times like COVID-19, according to reports from Athena Erie. Dickey performed poetry related to social justice at Gannon, was the first student member invited to participate in Gannon’s mental wellness initiative, and hosted the first open mic style event on the Erie campus. on the topic of mental health.
Dickey and Dahlkemper were recognized on October 13 at an event at the Ambassador Center.
The keynote speaker was Pam Parker, project manager at the Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center in Erie. Parker was previously a writer and editor for the Erie Times-News.
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The celebration was hosted by Athena Erie and Athena PowerLink, the business mentoring program designed to increase the growth and profitability of women-owned businesses.
PowerLink is one of several programs under Athena Erie that are available to the Erie community.
“There are so many options,” Stevenson said.
She encouraged anyone who would like to know more to visit www.athenaerie.org.