The ATHENA Awards recognizes women who have achieved the pinnacle of success while investing in themselves, their profession, their community and other women. The 29th Annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon is on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. To register for the event, click here.

Age is but a number for ambitious ATHENA nominees Jessica Hipskind, Ashley Kasarjian and Lea Phillips. These ATHENAs, nominated in the Young Professional category, have immersed themselves in their communities through volunteer work, professional leadership and mentorship, but they won’t stop there. This is just the beginning of their careers and they’re tenacious, to say the least.


“Be happy with your decisions and what you’re doing. Being happy above all is the most important thing. When you’re happy and healthy you can dedicate your time to yourself, family and community.” – Ashley Kasarjian, counsel, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

Kasarjian is a mentor and change agent in her community and firm. Through pro bono legal work, she assists individuals in need and charitable nonprofits. Kasarjian is also actively involved with the Board of Directors of the Maricopa Community College foundations where she advocates for increased education opportunities.

“Enjoy everything. Have fun with the work that you do.” – Lea Phillips, associate, Ballard Spahr L.L.P.

Phillips is passionate about mentoring young women, helping victims of human rights violations and assisting families of adults with disabilities through pro bono legal work. Phillips developed a seminar for female law students centered on professionalism.

“Have as much passion as you possibly can. When you have that passion you are going to end up doing what you love to do.” – Jessica Hipskind, student care group manager, University of Phoenix.

Hipskind was managing a real estate branch before the age of 20. Now she assists students, employees, managers and directors in growing professionally and personally. She leads her team’s volunteer efforts assisting local food banks, donations centers and animal care centers.

Although these ATHENAs’ passion, intellect and ambition can’t be bottled and sold, their personal mottos can certainly serve to inspire.

-Written by Carolina Lopez, digital marketing administrator for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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