Chamber Opportunities & More

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is always on the lookout for programming that adds value to your membership. Our Chamber Events & More series brings you opportunities that don’t always fit into our traditional networking and events offerings. Whether it’s a chance to meet with out-of-town (or out-of-the-country) business leaders or a special pop-up event, this is where to find more ways to make your Rochester Chamber membership work for you.

Healthcare Events

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce members consistently list health care costs as their number-one concern about doing business in our annual surveys. To help businesses learn more about how to control costs, we offer a Rochester Chamber Healthcare Conference featuring keynote speakers, an expert panel, and breakout sessions on topics important to our members. The Urban Wellness Summit, a project of the High Blood Pressure Collaborative of Rochester Chamber and Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, seeks to energize neighborhood wellness efforts and other grassroots initiatives to foster a more vibrant and healthy community.

The ATHENA Award® and ATHENA Young Professional Award®

The internationally recognized ATHENA Award Program was founded in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, by ATHENA International Founder Martha Mertz. The award was originally established to honor the achievements of exceptional women leaders. And more important, it was established to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and business lives.

Since 1982, more than 6,700 top leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

The program was introduced to the Rochester community in 1987 by the Women's Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate.

The ATHENA Award recognizes women who:

  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession.
  • Provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

The ATHENA leadership model is a philosophy of leadership based on women's unique ways of knowing and leading. Developed by the ATHENA Foundation in collaboration with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the model identifies eight district attributes or tenets that are reflective of women's contributions to leadership:


These personal traits have been shown to be more intuitive to women than men. They combine with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership—taking risks, assertiveness, hard work. And they prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st century.

The ATHENA Young Professional Award®, newly launched by Women’s Council in Rochester in 2015, celebrates emerging female business leaders between the ages of 30-45. ATHENA Young Professionals are poised to take over high-level leadership roles and demonstrate that they are women-to-watch!

Young Women of Distinction Award

Brought to Rochester in 2000 by the Women's Council, the Young Women of Distinction Award is presented to high school senior women who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to community service. The award embodies the Women’s Council’s belief that young women with promise today will become tomorrow’s leaders. 

Out of 20 finalists, four award recipients are selected from each of the following demographic areas:

  • REGIONAL (8 counties surrounding Monroe)

Each of the four recipients receives a $2,000 scholarship, an opportunity for a paid internship at an area company, and tuition to a young women’s leadership course. The remaining 16 finalists are also awarded an opportunity to participate in the leadership course.