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ATHENA Leadership Awards

ATHENA Leadership Awards, first hosted in Canandaigua in 1985, has grown to be one of Ontario County's largest awards events.

Nominees for ATHENA exemplify the highest level of professional excellence and exceptional leadership. They contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively mentors others, particularly women, in realizing their full potential.  Nominees are honored at the ATHENA Leadership Awards Program each November, and recipients of the ATHENA Leadership and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Awards (nominees 40 and younger) are announced for the first time that evening.

The event is a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and Professional Women of the Finger Lakes.  A portion of the proceeds fund college scholarships for local women.

37th Annual ATHENA Leadership Awards

The 2022 ATHENA Leadership Awards Program took place on Friday, November 18th, 2022 at Finger Lakes Community College.

This year’s ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees were:

  • Mary Beer, RN, MPH, Public Health Director, Ontario County  
  • Alyssa Belasco, Executive Director, New York Kitchen 
  • Tracey Dello Stritto, Executive Director, Partnership for Ontario County 
  • Diane Hayton, RN, Director of Nursing for Long-Term Care, UR Medicine Thompson Health 
  • Michelle Pedzich, SVP, Chief Human Resource Officer, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust 
  • Pamela Rhodes, Officer and Pastor, The Salvation Army, Canandaigua 
  • Kimberly Sandic, Program Manager, National Sales Operations, Marsh McLennan Agency 
  • Suzanne B. Underhill, Executive Director, Light Hill - Canandaigua Comfort Care Home 

This year’s ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Nominees were:

  • Andrea Brown, Assistant Director of Student Life, Finger Lakes Community College 
  • Tara Rago, VP, Branch Manager, Lyons National Bank 
  • Caroline Wenzel Chapman, Director of Communications & Advisement, Canandaigua City School District 

ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients

Michelle Pedzich
2022: Michelle Pedzich

SVP, Chief Human Resource Officer, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust

Hazel Robertshaw
2021: Hazel Robertshaw

Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, UR Medicine Thompson Health

Margaret Somerset
2019: Margaret E. Somerset, Esq.,

Partner, Underberg & Kessler LLP

Marjorie Donhauser
2018: Marge Donhauser

Owner/LPN, Donhauser Nursing Service

Terrie L. Meyn
2017: Terrie Meyn

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives,  Happiness House

Ann Scheetz
2016: Ann Scheetz

Executive Director, Ontario ARC

Lauren Kolb
2015: Lauren Kolb

Senior Wealth Advisor, Tompkins Financial Advisors

Deborah Wilbur
2014: Deborah Wilbur

Retired Teacher, Canandaigua Schools

Stephanie Kunes
2013: Stephanie Kunes

President, National MS Society Upstate New York

Sharon Gullo
2012: Sharon Gullo

Retired Psychiatric Nurse, Canandaigua Lake Counseling

Barbara Risser
2011: Barbara Risser

President Emeritus, Finger Lakes Community College

Lynne Erdle
2010: Lynne Erdle

Retired Superintendent, Canandaigua City Schools District

Randy and Margaret Farnsworth
2009: Margaret & Randy Farnsworth

Owners, Randall Farnsworth Auto Group

2009: Virginia "Ginny" Clark

Executive Director, Sands Family Foundation

Deborah Denome
2008: Deborah Denome

Director, Seeking Common Ground

Barbara Fuge
2007: Barbara Fuge

Former CFO, Genesee Regional Bank & Community Volunteer

Janet Tenreiro
2006: Janet Tenreiro

Former Owner, The Medicine Shoppe

Rhoda Childs
2005: Rhoda Childs

Former Managing Regional Director, United Way of Ontario County

Marci Diehl
2004: Marci Diehl

Owner, Double Vision Creative

Karen Blazey 2003
2003: Karen Davison Blazey

Former Executive Officer, Quantum Performance Group, Inc.

Deborah Weymouth
2002: Deborah Weymouth

President & Chief Executive Officer, HealthAlliance Hospital

Valerie Knoblauch
2001: Valerie Knoblauch

President, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection

Lauren Dixon
2000: Lauren Dixon

CEO & Owner, Dixon Schwabl Advertising, Inc.

Gail O'Brien
1999: Gail O'Brien

Retired President, Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce

Sharon Pepper
1998: Sharon Pepper

Retired, Senior Vice President of Senior Living Services, Thompson Health

Teresa Hall
1997: Teresa Hall

President, TCHMED Consulting, Inc

Ellen Polimeni
1996: Ellen Polimeni

Former Mayor of the City of Canandaigua and Retired Assistant Principal, Canandaigua Middle School

Gail Love
1995: Gail D. Love

Retired Owner, Human Resource Associates

Judith M. Stewart
1994: Judith M. Stewart

Retired Senior Vice President, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust

Linda Farchione Hawks
1993: Linda Farchione Hawks

Retired President and CEO, Thompson Health

Joyce Ezrow
1992: Joyce Ezrow

Retired Associate Professor of Business, Anne Arundel Community College

Linda Welch
1991: Linda Welch

Retired Owner, The Shopping News

Kay James
1990: Kay James

Retired City Manager, City of Canandaigua

Lois Kozlowski
1989: Lois Kozlowski

Retired Owner, Wizard of Clay Pottery

Gail Herman
1988: Gail Herman

Director, Sales and Marketing, Canandaigua The Medicine Shoppe

Barbara Nelson
1987: Barbara Nelson

Former Executive Director, West Ontario County Red Cross, American Red Cross

Tarry Shipley
1986: Tarry Shipley

Retired Business Manager, WCGR/WFLC

Diane Reed
1985: Diane Reed

Associate Professor and Co-Director, Graduate Educational Leadership Program, St. John Fisher College

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award

ATHENA Young Professional
Leadership Award Recipients

Tara Rago
2022: Tara Rago

VP, Canandaigua Branch Manager, Lyons National Bank

Mandy Friend Gigliotti
2021: Mandy Friend Gigliotti

Team Leader, The Friend Team at Keller Williams Realty

Allison Hildebrandt
2019: Allison Hildebrandt

Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County

Jennie M. Erdle
2018: Jennie Erdle

Director of Student Life, Finger Lakes Community College

Sayeh Rivazfar
2017: Sayeh Rivazfar

Investigator, New York State Police

Kimberly Sorel
2016: Kimberly Sorel

Assistant Vice President, Community Office Manager, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust

Teresa Deacon
2015: Teresa Deacon

Family Assessment and Support Worker, Child & Family Resources

Nadia Harvieux
2014: Nadia Harvieux

Conservation Outreach Educator, Muller Field Station and Adjunct Faculty Member, Conservation Department, Finger Lakes Community College; Education Program Manager, Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Erica Bapst
2013: Erica Bapst

Owner, Adorn Jewelry and Accessories

Margaret "Maggie" Whelehan
2012: Margaret "Maggie" Whelehan

Assistant Vice-President and Personal Banking and Insurance Services Manager, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust

Tracey Fuller
2011: Tracey Fuller

General Manager, Heiser Logistics and L&J Fire Equipment

Teresa Pare
2010: Teresa Pare

Owner, The Law Offices of Teresa M. Pare

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