Napier, Allen, Dixon Schwabl Receive 2018 ATHENA Awards

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate presented Partners + Napier CEO Sharon Napier with their 32nd annual ATHENA Award.  Kim Allen, Dixon Schwabl Managing Partner, Communications, received the fourth annual ATHENA Young Professional Award and Allen’s employer, marketing and advertising agency Dixon Schwabl took home the inaugural ATHENA Organizational Award. 

The ATHENA Award is given annually to a professional female leader who has demonstrated significant achievements in business, community service, and the professional advancement of women. 

In nominating Sharon Napier for the ATHENA Award, Partners + Napier Head of Public Relations and Social Rebecca Bellush said, “For more than 36 years, Sharon Napier has broken glass ceilings, defied stereotypes, raised standards, and mentored, serving as a role model for hundreds of young women making their way in the ad industry. In the process, as founder and CEO of Partners + Napier, she’s shown that it’s possible to build a small regional advertising agency in a mid-size market like Rochester into a serious national player.” 

The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes emerging leaders in the 30 to 45 year old range who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession.  Recipients also provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life of others in the community while serving as a role model for young women both personally and professionally. 

Kim Allen’s nominator, 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient Melisza Campos said, “A strong, compassionate leader, Kim Allen exemplifies attributes the best leaders should possess: She’s in the trenches with her team, steps aside to allow them to lead, gives them the tools to be successful, and always provides the right level of support for them to grow and shine. Kim is the consummate professional who knows the importance of building a team, builds up individuals to be their best professional self, and is a woman who, once she gets to the table, makes room for other women to join her.” 

The ATHENA Organizational Award goes to a woman-owned or woman-led business or organization that creates a culture encouraging women employees to achieve their full leadership potential and supports leadership development opportunities for women and girls in the community. 

Dixon Schwabl Vice President, People and Development, Britton Lui, who nominated her employer for the honor, said, “Dixon Schwabl has always enjoyed strong women leaders and worked hard to grow and develop them to their full potential. Aside from our CEO and President, Lauren Dixon and Mike Schwabl, four of our six-person leadership team are female. Our culture has a strong focus on training and developing our future female leaders. Informal mentoring is happening on a daily basis within our four walls. Any woman can book time on Lauren’s calendar, or the calendar of any other person they would like to have a conversation with. It can be about finding work/life balance, about their career path, advice about a situation they’re struggling with, or just to be inspired.” 

Recent ATHENA Award recipients include: 

  • 2017: Nannette Nocon, Nocon & Associates Private Wealth Advisor
  • 2016: Elaine Spaull, Executive Director, Center for Youth
  • 2015: Amy Tait, Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Broadstone Real Estate
  • 2014: Dr. Lynne Maquat, Director, U of R School of Medicine Center for RNA Biology
  • 2013: Dr. Anne M. Kress, President, Monroe Community College 

Recent ATHENA Young Professional Award recipients include: 

  • 2017: Melisza Campos, Store Operations, Wegmans
  • 2016: Melanie Wolk, Partner at Trevett Cristo Salzer & Andolina, P.C.
  • 2015: Claudia Burcke, Project Manager, Trillium Health