Rochester Chamber, Women's Council Announce 2018 ATHENA Awards Finalists

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate announced finalists chosen for the ATHENA Award, the ATHENA Young Professional Award, and the ATHENA Organizational Award.  Rochester Chamber and the Women’s Council plan to present the internationally-recognized awards, which honor and empower women in business, at the 32nd annual ATHENA Awards dinner January 25, 2018.

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. 

The 2018 ATHENA Award finalists are:

  • Laurie Baker, The Summit Federal Credit Union Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Pamela Fennell Baker, Tom Reed for Congress Finance Director
  • Cindy Becker, Highland Hospital Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Alice Calabrese, Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester President and CEO
  • Kristen Clark, The Bonadio Group Partner
  • Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan of Greater Rochester President and CEO
  • Sitima Fowler, Capstone Information Technologies Co-CEO
  • Jodi Gaines, CRFS, LLC Vice Chair and Founder
  • Seanelle Hawkins, Wilson Commencement Park – Sojourner House Executive Director
  • Wendi Heinzelman, University of Rochester Dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Sharon Napier, Partners + Napier CEO
  • Marisol Ramos Lopez, City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services Commissioner
  • Mary Richardson, iuvo Bioscience Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, and Co-Founder
  • Pam Sherman, Business Advantage President
  • Deborah Stendardi, Rochester Institute of Technology Vice President for Government and Community Relations

The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes emerging female leaders in the 30 to 45 year old range who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession and serve as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.

The 2018 ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists are:

  • Kim Allen, Dixon Schwabl Managing Partner, Communications
  • Courtney Cotrupe, Partners + Napier President
  • Rose Anne Cooper, Martino Flynn Lead Planner for Integrated Marketing Strategy
  • Susan Glenz, Keller Williams Realty Operating Principal of Keller Williams Gateway and Team Leader of Susan Glenz Team
  • Sharitta Gross-Smith, Rochester Institute of Technology Assistant Director, Student Development
  • Nicole Kingsley-Brunner, Manning & Napier Director, Marketing Strategy
  • Jessica Lewis, ROC the Future Communications Specialist at The Children’s Agenda
  • Angelica Perez-Delgado, Villa of Hope Chief Compliance Officer and VP, Administration
  • Natalie Sinisgalli, Natalie Sinisgalli Photography Founder, President, and Photographer
  • Maria Thomas Fisher, Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO Chief of Staff

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.

The 2018 ATHENA Organizational Award finalists are:

  • Butler/Till
  • Dixon Schwabl
  • Latinas Unidas
  • Mirror Show Management
  • Willow Domestic Violence Center

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “All of the ATHENA Award, Young Professional Award, and Organizational Award finalists are outstanding examples of the invaluable contribution of professional women in our community.  Rochester Chamber and our Women’s Council affiliate congratulate them and look forward to bestowing these international honors in January.”

Women’s Council President Wende Knapp, Esq. said, “The ATHENA Awards are the only international awards given in Rochester that focus on recognizing outstanding professional women in our area and that highlight the significant contributions they make professionally, to our community, and to other women.  The awards also reinforce the Women’s Council’s overall goal to recognize and empower women at every stage of their careers and to provide a platform for their personal and professional growth.”

For more information on the ATHENA Awards, contact Nina Shelton at or (585) 256-4644.  To purchase tickets or explore sponsorship opportunities for the January 25, 2018 ATHENA Awards dinner, visit