Athena Leadership Award
Athena Leadership Award
Athena Leadership Award


FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC), a non-profit volunteer organization that serves as a resource leader for businesses and the Monmouth County, NJ community, will honor outstanding local women at the 2020 ATHENA® International Leadership Awards event on Friday, November 6 starting at 12 pm. This year, the illustrious annual celebration will be held virtually on YouTube Live, with complimentary access for guests who will have the opportunity to view from throughout the state, the country, and the globe. Attendees will be able to interact with one another via a chat room and with award nominees who will simultaneously be appearing live on Zoom.

The esteemed ATHENA International Leadership Award Program celebrates women as valued members and leaders of the community who serve as role models and encourage all women to achieve their full potential. Each year, the ATHENA Awards honor individuals who are nominated in recognition of their business or professional accomplishments, community service, and mentoring of others. Their achievements give back to the community in profoundly meaningful ways and make it a better place to live, work, and lead. 

This will be the 35th consecutive year that the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award will be presented by the MRCC, which is the only organization in New Jersey that is licensed to do so. It will also be the sixth year that the MRCC will present the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, which recognizes emerging leaders in the community. Serving as event chair once again is Ivy Jacot of Veitengruber Law in Wall, NJ.

To be considered for an ATHENA Leadership Award, nominees may represent either the profit or not-for-profit sector and must demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential.

The 2020 ATHENA Award nominees include Judy Cruz of LADACIN Network, Maureen Fasano of Farmers Insurance, Frances Keane of CentraState Healthcare System, and Dr. Denise Wunderler of Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness, Inc.

The 2020 ATHENA Young Professional nominees include Sarah Neibert of Mendham Township, Vanessa Oriolo of Lombardi Plastic Surgery, and Danielle Woolley of Danielle Woolley Consulting, LLC.

The MRCC’s nimble ability to pivot the 2020 event from the traditional luncheon to a virtual presentation has provided the advantage of being able to reach an even wider audience than ever before. Attendance is complimentary, but registration is required and optional donations are welcome. This year, the MRCC has partnered with two important area nonprofits, Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and Preferred Behavioral Health Group, and a virtual gift auction will be held to benefit both organizations. A door prize will also be raffled off to one lucky preregistered attendee. The gift auction will be open online at beginning 12 pm on Monday, November 2 and continuing through 12 pm on Monday, November 9.

Sponsorships for the 2020 ATHENA Awards are available until Friday, October 30 and are a valuable way of investing in the community and its growth, honoring community leaders, and cultivating important professional and personal relationships. This year’s virtual format also offers an unprecedented opportunity for extensive, far-reaching exposure for participating businesses and organizations.

For event registration and sponsorships, visit

For information about the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce, visit

For details about ATHENA International, go to

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...