On Thursday, September 29, 2016, 132 women and a few supportive men, joined together to have a dialogue about leadership attributes at Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, NC.
The concept is not new. ATHENA International has been conducting these events across the globe with other chapters for decades. But for ATHENA of the Triangle, this was the start of something.
ATHENA of the Triangle: A new tradition for the Triangle is born.
As a relatively new chapter of ATHENA INTERNATIONAL, the local team could draw upon and learn from ATHENA Women's leadership luncheon events that have gone before us. The event is one that ATHENA chapters and affiliates across the country and even the globe hold each year during September.
However, we made sure that we brought the uniqueness of The Triangle Region to our event.
The Triangle gathering included representatives from across our rich and diverse region. Women from corporations, women entrepreneurs, women civic leaders, women non-profit leaders, and women from academia.
Tiamesha Walker-Smith, Ed.D, the Executive Director of ATHENA of the Triangle kicked off the event.
Because we believe that leadership is not about job titles, but is a way of engaging, supporting and being. Leadership empowers others, grows through constant learning, shows it's best self when it shows up as authentic, is courageous and innovative and bold. These are the things we focused on as we shared experiences and learned from each other.
Martha Mertz, the founder of ATHENA International, provided special insight into why she started the organization in 1982.
1982 was the year that Martha spearheaded a new program which endures to this day: The ATHENA Leadership Award®. This award goes to individuals who excel in their professions, give back to their communities and help raise up other leaders, especially women.
After the kickoff, we moved to discussion. Our focus: The ATHENA Leadership Model® attributes.
The ATHENA Leadership Model: Eight Leadership Attributes identified through a study done by the Kellogg Foundation on behalf of ATHENA International.
Experienced leaders gave back and shared their time as facilitators for the event.
Linda Craft, ATHENA of the Triangle board member, successful business woman, and generous philanthropist guided the discussions at one table.
Another facilitator was Andrea Connor, President of ATHENA International and a fierce advocate of women and women's issues around the globe.
Chief C.J.Davis, Durham Police
Chief C.J. Davis of the Durham Police Department facilitated a lively discussion about the role courageous acts play in leading a team and organization.
Enthusiastic and lively conversations could be heard around the room.
Dialogue about how the working environment has changed and how we can work to keep making it better.
The energy that came from the willingness of individuals to share both their successes and be transparent about their challenges as they sought insight from others was undeniable.
after the table discussions, there was sharing of highlights at each table among the entire group.
Elizabeth shared, "I appreciated the candor with which our wonderful facilitator, Doris Heubner, shared experiences when being true to what you held to be 'right' was key to leading."
A gracious thank you was given to the sponsors for the day.
Carrie Peele, Chair Person of ATHENA of the Triangle, closed out the day.
And in closing, Carrie Peele, ATHENA of the Triangle Chair Person closed the session. Carrie shared some of the successes to date with the ATHENA POwerlink program in the region. She thanked all of those who made the day possible and encouraged attendees to stay in touch and get involved!
Stay in touch. Get involved. we hope to see you at the event next year! Stay tuned for save the date reminder.