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Athena Committee

The ATHENA Award is presented to one exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in reaching their full leadership potential.

The ATHENA Award, started in Lansing, Michigan in 1982, is presented in hundreds of cities in the United States and Canada. The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage, and wisdom of the recipient. Slidell believes in the values underlying the ATHENA Foundation's philosophy of incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, our communities, and our government. The Spirit of the ATHENA Award program is captured in a quotation from Plato. "What is honored in a country will be cultivated there." By honoring exceptional leaders, others will be encouraged to excel.

In 2011, the East St. Tammany Chamber also added the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. This award honors emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession, provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in her community and clearly serves as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.



2017 Athena Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
Robin J Marquez
Robin J Marquez, began her career as a Project Coordinator with E.C.O. Builders, Inc. at an early age. As Project Coordinator, she oversees all residential and commercial construction projects. She works alongside architects, engineers, developers, contractors, inspectors, and many city officials. Aside from her 17 years with E.C.O. Builders, Robin's list of credentials and professional accomplishments is long and impressive. Even more impressive is her warm, caring heart. A tireless organizer, Robin also shows her outstanding leadership through her professional career. Robin serves as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer where she was recognized as a Resourceful Rosie during the ESTHFH Rosie Campaign. She is a graduate of the Leadership Northshore program Class of 2015 where she served as part of their leadership team. She currently serves on the Leadership Slidell Northshore Alumni Association Board of Directors. Robin sits on the leadership team of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce ChamberONE, is an active Board of Director for the Slidell Youth Football Association, and is also one of the founding members of the Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival. Robin is a founding member and Board member for the Notes for Education Northshore program which supports music education for our youth. Robin is a cancer survivor and in past years served as a Team Captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life leading one of the highest fundraising teams to victory. She also leads the SYFA’s “Pink Out the Park” which is held every October raising thousands of dollars for the Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation Cancer Fund. In 2013, Robin was voted the first female Board of Director in the 50 year history of the Slidell Youth Football Association opening doors to many females that soon followed behind her and has also served as Head Cheer Coordinator for 12 years where she works tirelessly with many at-risk community youth. While many people shied away from the challenges of the dealing with children below poverty, she embraced the challenge! On top of all of this, Robin stepped in to the single mother role in 2008 with a smile on her face and love in her heart for her two boys, Douglas and Antonio. In May of 2017, Robin was nominated and selected as “Motivational Mom of the Year” by Sally-Ann Roberts with WWL Morning Edition due to interest in her community by participation in programs and services that enrich mothers, children and/or families at home, work and in the real world. In her spare time, Robin enjoys watching her sons play football, hanging with family and friends, making others smile and just enjoying life.


2017 Athena Leadership Award Recipient
Kim Bergeron
Kim Bergeron, director of the St. Tammany Art Association, is a champion of the partnership between the arts and local economic development. Former Director of Cultural and Public Affairs for the City of Slidell, Kim raised over $650,000 for arts programming in Slidell and led the economic development initiative that brought Slidell the National League of Cities Gold Award for Municipal Excellence. Kim also received numerous awards from the City County Communications Marketing Association, the Press Club of New Orleans, and the Public Relations Associations of Louisiana and was recognized by Lt. Governors Mitch Landrieu and Jay Dardenne. In partnership with Donna O'Daniels, Kim created the Train of Hope for Sandy Relief that delivered over $450,000 in relief supplies to Sandy victims from south Louisiana donors via Amtrak. Kim is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Northshore, and the recipient of the LNS Pearl Award for Community Stewardship. In 2013, she was honored with the Rotary Club of Slidell’s Bill Lowry Service Above Self Award and Paul Harris Fellow. She is a lifelong resident of Slidell and feels blessed that her children and grandchildren also call Slidell "home."



Past Athena Leadership Award Recipients
1989 Carol Wolfram 2006 Irma Cry
1990 Gilda Perkins 2007 Dr. Jeanne Reeves
1991 Patricia Hedges 2008 Brenda Case
1992 Judy Wood 2009 Mary DuBuisson
1993 Marilyn Faust 2010 Sylvia Stanton Black
1995 Stephanie Schedler 2011 Sharon Newton
1996 Dr. Joan Archer 2012 Tara Ingram Hunter
1997 Suzanne Parsons Stymiest 2013 Kim Harbison
2004 Lydia Alford 2014 Kathy Lowrey
2005 Pearl Williams 2015 Laurie Jugan
    2016 Kelly Rodriguez
    2017 Kim Bergeron


Past ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipients

2011 Linda  K. Larkin                                                    
2012 Dionne Graham
2013 S. Michele Blanchard
2014 Amanda Hover
2015 Kristen Stanley-Wallace
2016 Shasta Leininger
2017 Robin J Marquez

Nominations are accepted at the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. For more information on nomination forms and criteria, click the appropriate links below or email info@estchamber.com.

> 2018 ATHENA Leadership Nomination Form (Click Here)

> 2018 ATHENA Young Leadership Nomination Form (Click Here)
East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce
1808 Front St, Slidell, LA 70458 | (985) 643-5678

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