The prior Athena Award recipients met to select the 2012 recipient of the annual Athena Award. The Athena Award will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.

The Athena Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan and has grown to include presentations to more than 5,000 individuals in hundreds of cities in the United States as well as in Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.

Orange believes in the values underlying Athena’s philosophy of incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, our communities and our government. The spirit of the Athena Award Program is captured in a quotation from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” By honoring exceptional leaders, others will be encouraged to excel.

Local sponsorship of the Athena Award is provided by Orange Savings Bank.

Pictured are the prior Athena recipients when they met to select the 2012 Athena recipient. Seated: Gisela Houseman (1994), Alexine Adams (1998), Jane Whitfield (1999), Betty Harmon (2006); standing: Beth Rach (2007),Nancy Vincent (2011), Pam Crew (1993), Debbie Hughes (2005), Cecily Varner (2000), Mary McKenna (2002), Pauline Hargrove (2004). Not Pictured: Anna Jean Caffey (1995-dec’d), Marcelle Adams (1996), Eula Hoffpauer (2001-dec’d), Vivian Kelly (2003), Katherine Frey (2008), Ruby Wimberly (January 2009), Theresa Beauchamps (December2009) and Cecil Broom (2010).