Athena Award
Athena Award
Athena Award
Athena Award

FREEHOLD, NJ –  Are you, or do you know, an individual who has achieved professional accomplishments, provides community service, and acts as a mentor and role model to encourage women to reach their leadership potential? Would you like to recognize those whose efforts give back to the community in meaningful ways and make it a better place to live, work, and lead?

The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC) is seeking nominees for the annual International ATHENA Awards, which are presented by the chamber each year to celebrate exemplary leadership. To date, more than 6,000 recipients have been honored worldwide since the renowned program was established in 1982. This is the 36th consecutive year that the MRCC will present the prestigious award to New Jersey nominees for the ATHENA Leadership Award and the seventh year it will present the ATHENA Young Professional Award, which recognizes emerging leaders in the community. Nominations are due June 30, 2021.

The Criteria

ATHENA Leadership Award nominees must meet each of the following three criteria:


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  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession
  • Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community
  • Actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential


  • ATHENA Leadership Award nominees may represent either the profit or not-for-profit sector.
  • Previous ATHENA Leadership Award recipients are not eligible for nomination; however, past nominees may be nominated again.
  • ATHENA Young Professional Award nominees must be 24 to 40 years of age; ATHENA Leadership Award nominees must be age 40 and above.

The Process

The ATHENA Program Committee will review your nomination form to ensure it meets the qualifications and eligibility based on the criteria outlined above. Submitting a form does not guarantee a nomination. You will be notified of your nomination status after the deadline submission date of June 30, 2021. The ATHENA Award Selection Committee, made up of a diverse group of community leaders, will then review final nominations and select the ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Award recipients. The recipients will be announced at the MRCC ATHENA Awards Luncheon on November 5, 2021. All nominees must be present at the luncheon in order to accept the award.

To access the ATHENA Award nomination forms, sponsorship opportunities, event registration, details about past nominees and award recipients, and a link to view the 2020 ATHENA Leadership Award event on the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce YouTube channel, go to

Virtual Success for 2020 ATHENA Awards

Last year, the MRCC hosted its first-ever virtual version of the awards luncheon and currently plans to do so again for 2021. This successful format, with a livestream on YouTube Live and Zoom, provided the chamber and the event sponsors the opportunity to reach an even wider audience than ever before. The 2020 honorees were Frances Keane of CentraState Healthcare System, who was named the 2020 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient, and Danielle Woolley of Danielle Woolley Consulting, LLC, who received the 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. During the live presentation, both women were surprised by unannounced visits at their respective locations, where someone was hiding just outside the door to present them with their ATHENA Award sculptures and bouquets of flowers.

The ATHENA celebration kicked off with an impressive jazz performance on the outside patio of the magnificent Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ, opening remarks by host Frankie Perez of One of a Kind Events, and an enthusiastic welcome by event chair Ivy Jacot, who shared her passion for the ATHENA program and how it works. MRCC President Tamer Gouda, MRCC Executive Director Terese Rölke, and ATHENA International Founder Martha Mayhood Mertz also spoke with pride about the importance of the program and thanked all those involved in organizing and supporting the event. Past ATHENA Award recipients appeared in video clips from throughout the country to lend advice and congratulations to this year’s nominees, who were then introduced with video montages illustrating their accomplishments, followed by comments by Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone. In addition, an online silent auction was held to benefit two local nonprofits, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and Preferred Behavioral Healthgroup.

About the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit volunteer organization that serves as a resource leader for businesses and the Monmouth County community. Visit the MRCC website at or contact the chamber at [email protected]. You may also follow the Monmouth Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at and subscribe to their YouTube channel at


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