WESTERLY — “Five incredible women” have been nominated for this year’s Athena Award, according to Lisa Konicki, president of the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce.
They are Tricia Cunningham of North Stonington, Regina Foster-Bartlett of Charlestown, Alicia Storey of Carolina, and Leanne Theodore and Debra Turrisi, both of Pawcatuck.
Cunningham is the director of development for the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. Foster-Bartlett is the membership engagement and youth development coordinator at the Arcadia branch of the Ocean Community YMCA. Storey is the assistant superintendant of Westerly Public Schools. Leanne Theodore is the director of human services for the Town of Stonington; and Turrisi is the community outreach and development director for Stand Up For Animals.
“The committee was truly impressed with the caliber of the nominees,” said Gerry Cunningham of Geraldine Cunningham Associates, a co-sponsor, with the chamber, of the annual event.
“All five nominees are quite exceptional, and deserve to be recognized for their incredible contributions,” said Cunningham. “We salute the accomplishments of these extraordinary women.”
Seven scholarships will also be awarded during the awards ceremony. They are the 15th annual Athena scholarship for a local graduating high school senior; the sixth annual Falguni B. Hauser Memorial Scholarship; the Konicki Family Scholarship; the Mary Lou Serra Memorial Scholarship; and three new scholarships — the Sandy Bliven Scholarship, the Joyce Olsen Resnikoff Scholarship, and the Maddie Potts Scholarship.
Applications and more information about the scholarships are available at the Ocean Community Chamber of Chamber office, in the guidance departments of local schools, and online at oceanchamber.org. The deadline to apply is noon Sept. 21.
Athena Leadership Awards have been presented in more than 500 communities and eight countires since 1982, when the program was created in 1982 by Martha Mertz, the only female on the board of directors of the Lansing, Mich., Regional Chamber of Commerce. She created the award to recognize outstanding local business and professional women.
Locally, the program began in 2003 when Misquamicut businesswoman Barbara Stillman became the first recipient.
This year's Athena Awards banquet will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lake of Isles club in North Stonington. Tickets are available by visiting oceanchamber.org/events.