Athena 2016 Fact Sheet


For 19 years, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce has hosted the annual ATHENA Award in Denver. The ATHENA Leadership Model® was developed by ATHENA International through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This model identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: authentic self, relationships, giving back, collaboration, courageous acts, learning, fierce advocacy, celebration and joy. These personal traits combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership: taking risks, assertiveness and hard work. All these attributes are combined to honor successful and accomplished women in our community.

This year, CWCC’s ATHENA Award Dinner event will honor one woman who best exemplifies ATHENA leadership attributes. The evening will feature keynote speaker, Kristen D. Russell, Director, Deliotte Digital, who will speak about her career journey. Additionally, CWCC is introducing a new component to the event: 2016 ATHENA Conference led by Wendy Hall Bohling, Founder & CEO, Corporate Cowgirl Up. The conference will focus on professional development and relationship building. The conference goal is to leave attendees inspired for action so they can grow their business and to better achieve their career goals.


Conference: 12:30 – 5:30 pm; Dinner & Award Ceremony: 5:30 – 8:30 pm


Ritz Carlton, Denver (1881 Curtis Street; Denver, CO 80202)


Do you know an outstanding woman who exemplifies ATHENA qualities? Please visit the CWCC website at to download the nomination form. Nominations close on Thursday, March 10, 2016.


  • 2015 – Pat Cortez, Senior Vice President, Community and Government Affairs, Wells Fargo
  • 2014 – Sheila Gutterman, President and Co-founder, Gutterman Griffiths PC
  • 2013 – Elbra Wedgeworth, Chief Government and Community Affairs Officer, Denver Health
  • 2012 – Carita Watson, Global Transformation Executive, IBM Global Services
  • 2011 – Mimi Robertson, President and CEO, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center
  • 2010 – Paula Herzmark, Executive Director, Denver Health Foundation
  • 2009 – Caz Matthews, President, Wellpoint/Anthem
  • 2008 – Sister Alicia Cuaron, Founder, Bienestar Family Services of Centro San Juan Diego
  • 2007 – Patricia Barela-Rivera, President & Owner, PBR Solutions
  • 2006 – Olga Garcia, Community Outreach Manager, Denver Health
  • 2005/2004 – Taryn Edwards, Senior Vice President, Saunders Construction
  • 2003 – Patty Fontneau, President, Private Exchange Business, Cigna
  • 2002 – Kim Coupounas, CEO, GoLite; Director, B Lab Colorado
  • 2001 – Judy Taylor, Owner, Zenith Media Group
  • 2000 – Joy Burns, Owner, D.C. Burns Realty & Trust
  • 1999 – Gwinavere Johnston, Founder, JohnstonWells
  • 1998 – Kathryn Paul, President & CEO, Delta Dental


Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The program inspires women to reach their full potential and strives to create balance in leadership worldwide. Mertz developed her vision for ATHENA International while serving on the Board of Directors of the Lansing Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce. As the only woman on the Board, she quickly recognized that the Chamber’s boardroom did not reflect the reality of the business community.

The more Mertz observed, the more she became convinced: If women’s strengths and contributions as leaders were publicly acknowledged, they could no longer be dismissed. In 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, Mertz spearheaded a new leadership award program: The ATHENA Award®, named for the strong, enlightened goddess. The award would go to individuals who excelled in their professions, gave back to their communities and helped raise up other leaders, especially women. What Mertz conceived more than a quarter-century ago is now a global movement. Since the program’s inception, more than 7,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities in eight countries.



  • $100 – ATHENA Conference Ticket
  • $150 – ATHENA Award Dinner Ticket
  • $210 – ATHENA Conference & Award Dinner


  • $120 – ATHENA Conference Ticket
  • $170 – ATHENA Award Dinner Ticket
  • $240 – ATHENA Conference & Award Dinner



ATHENA Conference & Award Dinner is presented by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
1350 17th Street, Suite 100| Denver, CO 80202 | 303.458.0220 |
Sponsorships: Nancy Walsh, Director of Member Services,
Event: Hilary Engelhart, Events Manager,
Media: Lynn Haner, Marketing Manager,

Presented by: Xcel Energy
Media Sponsors: CBS 4 Colorado Biz Magazine