Click the photo to see more photos from the 2017 ATHENA Awards!

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) announced the 2017 ATHENA Public Sector, Private Sector and Young Professional Award recipients during its 30th Anniversary ATHENA Awards Luncheon Oct. 25 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

Mi-Ai Parrish, president of Republic Media, was awarded the 2017 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award in the private sector. Michelle Just, president & CEO of Beatitudes Campus, earned the 2017 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award in the public sector. Drena Kusari Berisha, General Manager, Southwest Region, of Lyft, took home the 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s ATHENA Awards with such a distinguished group of leaders as this year’s recipients,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “These women embody the spirit of ATHENA in all that they do, and their collective work in our community is continuing to make the Valley strong. Their passion for the causes they serve, their mentorship of others and their dedication to create a brighter tomorrow are an inspiration.  It is an honor to highlight their achievements and celebrate their leadership and vision.”

The ATHENA Awards, named after the Greek goddess of courage and wisdom, is a program of ATHENA International, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women.

Parrish, Just and Berisha were chosen from among 11 ATHENA finalists, who were selected from a large group of nominations received in August. The following is a complete list of the 2017 ATHENA finalists:

ATHENA Private Sector finalists:
Susan Anable, Cox Communications
Roopali Desai, Coppersmith Brockelman PLC
Judith Dworkin, Sacks Tierney P.A.
Mi-Ai Parrish, Republic Media

ATHENA Public Sector finalists:
Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Gammage
Michelle Just, Beatitudes Campus
Jodi Liggett, Planned Parenthood Arizona
Kate Wells, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

ATHENA Young Professional finalists:
Michelle Donati-Grayman, AAA Arizona
Drena Kusari Berisha, Lyft
Jenny Poon, CO+HOOTS

About the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, create a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.

About the ATHENA Award
The ATHENA Award, an honor awarded internationally, recognizes exemplary achievement and challenges its recipients with a continued sense of responsibility, support and leadership. The ATHENA Award honors women who have consistently invested in themselves, their profession, their community, and especially other women. They have achieved the pinnacle of success within their industry, have mentored women throughout their career, and have dedicated themselves to the community through various activities and charities.

About the ATHENA Young Professional Award
ATHENA International established an award to honor emerging young leaders in our community. The ATHENA Young Professional Award officially launched at the 2007 International ATHENA Leadership Conference and Phoenix was proud to be one of the first cities to present it within their community. These are the “women to watch.”

Posted by Danny Imes