Canandaigua ATHENA Leadership Awards, first hosted in 1985, has grown to be one of Ontario County's largest awards events.
Nominees for ATHENA exemplify the highest level of professional excellence and exceptional leadership. They contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively mentors others, particularly women, in realizing their full potential. Nominees are honored at the ATHENA Leadership Awards Program each November, and recipients of the ATHENA Leadership and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Awards (nominees 40 and younger) are announced for the first time that evening.
The event is a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and Professional Women of the Finger Lakes. A portion of the proceeds fund college scholarships for local women.
36th Annual ATHENA Leadership Awards
On Friday, November 19th at 7:00 pm, debuted the community’s first full-content virtual ATHENA Leadership Recognition Program on Spectrum TV and on the web. Presented by Founding Sponsor, Randall Farnsworth Auto Group and professionally produced by Finger Lakes Television, this 90-minute event marks 36 years of ATHENA programs in Canandaigua.
Each of this year’s nominees embody the eight tenets of the ATHENA Leadership model: Learning, Collaboration, Relationships, Fierce Advocacy, Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, and Celebration and Joy.
This year's program honored the following six ATHENA nominees and seven Young Professional Nominees.
ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees:
- Kari Buch, Associate Director of Community Impact, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes
- Donna Cotter, Associate Director, Literacy Volunteers Ontario-Yates, Inc.
- Hon. Kristina "Kitty" Karle, Ontario County Supreme & County Courts
- Nancy E. McCarthy, Freelance Writer, Retired Fitness Instructor, Community Volunteer
- Pam Metting, Doctor of Audiology, Retired
- Hazel Robertshaw, Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, UR Medicine Thompson Health
- Kristen Bloom, Director of Infection Prevention/Emergency Preparedness, UR Medicine Thompson Health
- Jacklyn "JJ" Cotter, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Wayne County, Inc.
- Mandy Friend Gigliotti, Team Leader, The Friend Team at Keller Williams Realty
- Amber Foster, Senior Director of Ambulatory Care and Clinical Space Planning, University of Rochester Medical Center
- Chelsey Pendock, Managing Partner, Innovision Advertising, LLC
- Diana N. Perry, Assistant Vice President, Community Office Manager, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
- Sonya Smith, Owner, Muddy Sneakers Physical Therapy PLLC
Out of an abundance of caution, Canandaigua ATHENA Committee elected to leverage the power of technology, the facilities at Finger Lakes Community College and the talents of Finger Lakes Television to replace a 400-guest sit-down dinner with a globally accessible online alternative. A series of thirteen ‘micro-events’ allowed each nominee to offer comments on stage, in front of a small studio audience of friends and family. After each of these sessions, nominees and guests enjoyed a brief champagne reception.
Later in November, the two nominee cohorts met with their nominators and the ATHENA committee at small nominee receptions at the Lake House on Canandaigua.
The debut of this year’s virtual event was enjoyed by nominees, their friends and family, sponsors and members of the community who gathered in small, COVID-smart viewing parties across the region and shared in the honor through vibrant online dialog on Facebook.
After hearing remarks from this year’s Young Professional nominees, ATHENA Steering Committee Chair Tracey Fuller introduced Mandy Friend Gigliotti, Team Leader of The Friend Team at Keller Williams Realty, as the 2021 recipient of the Canandaigua ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.
Following Mandy’s acceptance of the award, Ontario County Public Health Director Mary Beer delivered an inspiring keynote address.
After Beer’s address, Founding Sponsor Randy Farnsworth, introduced Hazel Robertshaw, Vice President of Patient Care Services at UR Medicine Thompson Health as the 2021 Leadership Award recipient.
Canandaigua ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients
2021: Hazel Robertshaw
Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer, UR Medicine Thompson Health
2019: Margaret E. Somerset, Esq.,
Partner, Underberg & Kessler LLP
2018: Marge Donhauser
Owner/LPN, Donhauser Nursing Service
2017: Terrie Meyn
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Happiness House
2016: Ann Scheetz
Executive Director, Ontario ARC
2015: Lauren Kolb
Senior Wealth Advisor, Tompkins Financial Advisors
2014: Deborah Wilbur
Retired Teacher, Canandaigua Schools
2013: Stephanie Kunes
President, National MS Society Upstate New York
2012: Sharon Gullo
Retired Psychiatric Nurse, Canandaigua Lake Counseling
2011: Barbara Risser
President Emeritus, Finger Lakes Community College
2010: Lynne Erdle
Retired Superintendent, Canandaigua City Schools District
2009: Margaret & Randy Farnsworth
Owners, Randall Farnsworth Auto Group
2009: Virginia "Ginny" Clark
Executive Director, Sands Family Foundation
2008: Deborah Denome
Director, Seeking Common Ground
2007: Barbara Fuge
Former CFO, Genesee Regional Bank & Community Volunteer
2006: Janet Tenreiro
Former Owner, The Medicine Shoppe
2005: Rhoda Childs
Former Managing Regional Director, United Way of Ontario County
2004: Marci Diehl
Owner, Double Vision Creative
2003: Karen Davison Blazey
Former Executive Officer, Quantum Performance Group, Inc.
2002: Deborah Weymouth
President & Chief Executive Officer, HealthAlliance Hospital
2001: Valerie Knoblauch
President, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
2000: Lauren Dixon
CEO & Owner, Dixon Schwabl Advertising, Inc.
1999: Gail O'Brien
Retired President, Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce
1998: Sharon Pepper
Retired, Senior Vice President of Senior Living Services, Thompson Health
1997: Teresa Hall
President, TCHMED Consulting, Inc
1996: Ellen Polimeni
Former Mayor of the City of Canandaigua and Retired Assistant Principal, Canandaigua Middle School
1995: Gail D. Love
Retired Owner, Human Resource Associates
1994: Judith M. Stewart
Retired Senior Vice President, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
1993: Linda Farchione Hawks
Retired President and CEO, Thompson Health
1992: Joyce Ezrow
Retired Associate Professor of Business, Anne Arundel Community College
1991: Linda Welch
Retired Owner, The Shopping News
1990: Kay James
Retired City Manager, City of Canandaigua
1989: Lois Kozlowski
Retired Owner, Wizard of Clay Pottery
1985: Diane Reed
Associate Professor and Co-Director, Graduate Educational Leadership Program, St. John Fisher College
1988: Gail Herman
Director, Sales and Marketing, Canandaigua The Medicine Shoppe
1987: Barbara Nelson
Former Executive Director, West Ontario County Red Cross, American Red Cross
1986: Tarry Shipley
Retired Business Manager, WCGR/WFLC
Canandaigua ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipients
2021: Mandy Friend Gigliotti
Team Leader, The Friend Team at Keller Williams Realty
2019: Allison Hildebrandt
Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County
2018: Jennie Erdle
Director of Student Life, Finger Lakes Community College
2017: Sayeh Rivazfar
Investigator, New York State Police
2016: Kimberly Sorel
Assistant Vice President, Community Office Manager, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
2015: Teresa Deacon
Family Assessment and Support Worker, Child & Family Resources
2014: Nadia Harvieux
Conservation Outreach Educator, Muller Field Station and Adjunct Faculty Member, Conservation Department, Finger Lakes Community College; Education Program Manager, Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
2013: Erica Bapst
Owner, Adorn Jewelry and Accessories
2012: Margaret "Maggie" Whelehan
Assistant Vice-President and Personal Banking and Insurance Services Manager, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
2011: Tracey Fuller
General Manager, Heiser Logistics and L&J Fire Equipment
2010: Teresa Pare
Owner, The Law Offices of Teresa M. Pare