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Each year during Women’s History Month in March, Nashville joins more than 500 communities throughout the United States, Canada, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Greece, India, and the United Kingdom in honoring exceptional women leaders who inspire others to achieve excellence in their own professional and personal lives.
From its beginning, the Nashville ATHENA Award Program has been and continues to be a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors, unlike other cities which rely upon their local Chamber of Commerce.
LoLita Toney, Managing Director of Ivy Business Solutions, is this year’s Nashville ATHENA Award Chair. LoLita has been a member of CABLE since 2004 and is a past CABLE President. Co-Chairing the event is Laura Tidwell, General Counsel and Vice President – Corporate Affairs with Nashville Electric Service.
Originally organized under the auspices of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a consortium of fourteen women’s organizations brought the ATHENA Award Program to Nashville in 1990. In 1995, through a recommendation approved by both Boards, annual organizing responsibility for the event transferred from Nashville NAWBO to CABLE, where it continues today under the CABLE Foundation’s 501(C)(3) and pursuant to a license from ATHENA International.
From its inception in 1990 to 2008, the Nashville ATHENA Award Program had its presentation at the foot of Athena Parthenos and on the grounds of Centennial Park in front of the Parthenon. We are elated to return to the foot of Athena Parthenon for the celebration of the 25th Anniversary in 2015. Our ties to the Parthenon Conservancy and Athena Parthenos have remained strong. Athena Parthenos, a monumental statue sculpted over a 10-year period by Nashville artist Alan LeQuire, depicts Athena, the Greek goddess. The first child of Zeus, the goddess was equipped with spear and shield to fight for the enlightenment of ordinary souls and endowed with courage, valor, strength, and reason. A patron of the arts, she was charged to bring wisdom, harmony, and beauty to the world.
As the Nashville ATHENA Award Program celebrates its 25th Anniversary, Athena’s spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for others. Women from across Nashville and Middle Tennessee will be nominated this year for special recognition as the embodiment of Athena’s spirit. While each will exemplify leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues, only one will join past recipients as Nashville’s 2015 ATHENA Award recipient.
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