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Lindsay Hansen
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[email protected]


August 23, 2020

(PHOENIX) – The Greater Phoenix Chamber announced the 11 women chosen as finalists for its prestigious ATHENA Awards, continuing its strong tradition of recognizing outstanding Valley businesswomen.

The ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award recognizes a woman in the public and private sectors, in addition to highlighting an upcoming leader in the Valley as an ATHENA Young Professional.  ATHENA finalists are chosen for their excellence in business and leadership, dedication to the community, and support and mentorship of other women.

The 11 finalists are:

Private Sector finalists:

  • Catharine Ellingsen, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Republic Services
  • Christine Gannon, Founder & CEO, Brightworks Consulting
  • Molly Stockley, Regional Vice President of Marketing, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
  • Kathleen Winston, PhD, RN, Dean, College of Nursing, University of Phoenix

Public Sector finalists:

  • Jeanine Bashir, Regional Director, First Things First
  • Debbie Esparza, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix
  • Lauren Henschen, Chief Executive Officer, Phoenix Center for the Arts
  • Mona Mehta Stone, SVP, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary, Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona

Young Professional finalists:

  • Christina Ngo, Director of Social Embeddedness, Arizona State University
  • Stella O’Rourke, Corporate Development & Events Manager, UMOM New Day Centers
  • Kimberly Roland, Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneur Programs, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest

“Each year, the ATHENA Awards reminds us why the Greater Phoenix region is the best place to live, work and do business—it is driven by these incredible leaders and the Chamber is honored to spotlight their achievements,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “These women are making unbelievable contributions to enact positive change and ensure the Greater Phoenix region remains strong. They represent the best of the best our community has to offer, and I look forward to seeing how they will lead us into the future.”

The ATHENA Awards highlight women who have achieved the pinnacle of success within their industry, have mentored women throughout their career, dedicated their time to their community and are making a difference in the lives of others.

Join the Greater Phoenix Chamber to celebrate outstanding businesswomen in our community and to support all nominees, finalists, and recipients past and present.

WHO:              Three ATHENA Award recipients will be announced during the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s ATHENA Awards luncheon.
WHEN:            Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (tentative)
WHERE:         JW Marriott Desert Ridge; virtual option available as well
REGISTER:    Register here | Registration closes on Monday, Nov. 15th at 5 p.m.
QUESTIONS: Email [email protected] with any questions.

The Chamber congratulates all of the 2021 ATHENA Nominees:

Private Sector Nominees

Juliet Burgess | Founding Partner, The Burgess Law Group
Katy Campanini | Director, Software Engineering Product Manager, Nationwide Insurance
Gaby Cardenas | CEO, The Colibri Collective
Grenee Celuch | CEO, Concord General Contracting
Taylor Chopko | Director of Marketing and Communications, Team Select Home Care
Helen Davis | President/Managing Partner, The Cavanagh Law Firm PA
Catharine Ellingsen | Chief Legal Officer, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Republic Services
Christine Gannon | Founder and CEO, Brightworks Consulting
Alexis Glascock | Attorney, OF Counsel, Fennemore
Kelly Hermann | Vice President, Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion, University of Phoenix
Julie Johnson | Executive Vice President, Colliers
Sun Jones | Systematic Plan of Evaluator and Curriculum Evaluator, University of Phoenix
Nancy Keane | Public Affairs and Charitable Giving, Albertsons Safeway
Crystal Lehman | CTO and Deputy CEO, BrightFi
Amy Lindsey | Publisher, AZ Big Media
Jessica Lopez | Chief of Staff, U-Haul International
Andrea Lovell | Shareholder Attorney, Littler
Jodi Low | Founder/CEO, U & Improved
Andrea Marconi | Attorney; Director and Vice-Chair Litigation, Fennemore
Richelle Miller | Phoenix General Manager, Cruise Automation
Christina Neider | Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Phoenix
Treena Parvello | Director of Public Relations & Government, Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise
Amilyn Pierce | VP, Government Affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks
Niki Reppy | Supervisor, Talent Acquisition and Development, Centuri Group Inc.
Katie Riesenbach | Development Product Owner, Senior, USAA
LaShandra Sartor | Vice President, Client Experience Ops, Rocket Mortgage
Peggie Simmons | Broker/Owner, Realty Marketing Group
Tina Slankas | Senior Manager, Accenture
Julia Staten | Project Manager, Hensel Phelps
Molly Stockley | Regional Vice President of Marketing, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Billie Tarascio | Attorney and Owner, Modern Law & Modern Law Practice
Catharine Teeter | Managing Director, CBRE
Mistie Weishaar | Marketing Manager, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Dr. Kathleen Winston, PhD, RN | Dean, College of Nursing, University of Phoenix
Kari Zangerle | Attorney, Senior Director, Campbell, Yost, Clare & Norell, P.C.

Public Sector Nominees

Jeanine Bashir | Regional Director, First Things First
Amber Cordoba | Director of Business Education, CPLC Prestamos CDFI
Libby Corral | COO, Valley of the Sun YMCA
Debbie Esparza | CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix
Kathy Gamboa | Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Revenue
Lauren Henschen | CEO, Phoenix Center for the Arts
Susana Lopez | Family & Community Partnership Coordinator, Isaac Elementary School District #5
Myriah Mhoon | Chief Executive Officer, New Life Center
Elizabeth Paulus | Executive Director, College Bound AZ
Shelby Pedersen | CEO, ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth
Katie Prado | Director of Admissions, Arizona State University
Debra Preach | Chief Development Officer, Catholic Education Arizona
Mona Mehta Stone | SVP, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Corp. Secretary, Goodwill
Francine Sumner | CEO & Founder, Kid in the Corner
Shantoya Thomas | Founder/ Executive Director, Brighter View Foundation
Brenda Thomson | Executive Director, Arizona Humanities

Young Professional Nominees

Ashlee Atkins | President, Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals
Bethany Bennick | Sr. Manager, Domestic & International Engagement, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Ashley Bunch | Public Affairs Manager, APS
Melissa Diaz | Partner and Co-Founder, Rebel Rock PC
Lora Hobaica | Assistant Corporate Secretary, Salt River Project (SRP)
Lindsay Moellenberndt | Chief Business Development & Marketing Officer, Fennemore
Bethany Mok | Marketing & Development Manager, Foothills Caring Corps
Christina Ngo | Director of Social Embeddedness, Arizona State University
Stella O’Rourke | Corporate Development & Events Manager, UMOM New Day Centers
Haylye Plaster | Operations Manager, OH Predictive Insights
Kimberly Roland | Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneur Programs, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest
Kiri Semerdjian | Attorney, Rutila, Seibt & Nash, PLLC
Susana Trasente | Project Manager, City of Peoria


About the Greater Phoenix Chamber

Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber 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 Awards, an internationally prized honor, recognizes the achievement of businesswomen across the Greater Phoenix region. ATHENAs are challenged across industries to continue their dedication to leading, serving and mentoring. The award highlights three women every year who are at the top of their field and who invest in their career, their community and especially other women. ATHENAs demonstrate inspiring leadership within their industry, mentor women throughout their career and dedicate themselves to the community.

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.”

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