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Athena Award honors best in leadership, giving

Rochester Business Journal
January 8, 2010

This program is a celebration of excellence and recognition of the leadership roles of women in the workplace and in the community. As such, the Athena program has no winners or losers. Every woman offers unique value to the business world, to her community and to other women. 

Here are this year's finalists:  

Finance director and vice president, Corporate Finance Group, Eastman Kodak Co.
Education: B.A., Rhode Island College; MBA, Pennsylvania State University
Family: Husband, Donald Bigelow
Professional and community leadership: Board member, Women's Forum of Kodak Employees; board member/adviser, Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement; secretary and board member, Women's Foundation of Genesee Valley; mentor, Women Helping Girls; committee chairwoman, Latina Woman Scholarship
My guiding vision: I always enjoyed being exposed to new challenges and working with cross-functional groups to solve problems or improve processes. Personal traits such as focus, perseverance and commitment also served me well in prioritizing and accomplishing my personal and professional goals.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: We are fortunate to have a rich academic and cultural environment as well as large and small businesses. We must continue to bring small to midsize industries to our community that pay a living wage and provide employment opportunities for the many women, heads of household, who currently are not economically self-sufficient.
Surprising fact: I have spent my career in the business world, but I enjoy art and music and someday hope to dedicate more time to it. Additionally, I like trying new experiences ... I recently completed my first marathon and have tried hang gliding and zorbing.

Executive director, Seneca Park Zoo Society
Education: B.A., Ithaca College
Family: Daughter, 20; son, 16
Professional and community leadership: Member, marketing committee, Association of Zoos & Aquariums; president/owner, Marketing Solutions Inc.; member, advisory committee for the master's degree in public administration, SUNY College at Brockport
My guiding vision: Each person's greatest room for growth lies within their greatest strengths. Aligning the maturation of natural strengths in performance management criteria creates a culture of success and passion for one's work.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: I believe our culture of philanthropic giving sets us apart from other communities. Today, we have emerging business leaders who have the potential of Eastman, Bausch and Wilson. And the very best asset, people who don't give up on Upstate New York!
Surprising fact: I participated in a social experiment during grammar school called Reverse Open Enrollment. Rather than walk to my neighborhood grammar school around Cobbs Hill, I took the bus to Clara Barton School No. 2 on Reynolds Street. Sitting in a formally integrated classroom alongside children from a different background challenged my norm. Lessons learned: Adversity makes you stronger, everyone can give a gift from the heart, and the world keeps turning even if you are never chosen for the team.

Professor of medicine, director, Center for Community Health; associate vice president, University of Rochester Medical Center
Education: B.A., Sarah Lawrence College; M.D., New York University School of Medicine; M.S., Columbia University School of Public Health
Family: Husband, Robert Calihan; three daughters, 21, 19 and 16
Professional and community leadership: Deputy director, Monroe County Department of Health; chairwoman, Monroe County Physical Activity and Nutrition Task Force; secretary/treasurer, Association for Prevention Teaching and Research; board member, American Heart Association, Rochester Division; member, Rochester Area Physicians Council and Public Health Committee of the Monroe County Medical Society
My guiding vision: I have always tried to improve health in my community by developing programs and research to reduce inequalities. Academic medical centers have a special role in improving health through research and education in partnership with our community. We developed the Center for Community Health to bring this vision to life.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester's citizens have a great entrepreneurial spirit, a capacity for collaboration and a high level of compassion and caring for all members of our community. Another great asset is the quality and variety of our educational institutions.
Key moment in my career: When I was training at Bellevue Hospital, a patient of mine with tuberculosis was discharged to a homeless shelter, despite my protests. I understood that medical care was limited by the weak social support system and resolved to try to improve public health.

Manager, public affairs, Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.
Education: B.A., Brown University; M.A., Rhode Island College
Family: Husband, Gregory Rice; two daughters, 29 and 27
Professional and community leadership: Secretary of the board of directors and member of the Phoenix Project site selection committee, Rochester Broadway Theatre League; member, Workforce Investment Board; chairwoman, African-American Home Care Initiative, Home Care Rochester; executive committee member, Rochester Community Baseball Inc.; founder, Genesee Waterways Center minority rowing program; former commissioner, Rochester City School District Board of Education
My guiding vision: This anonymous quote reflects my personal and professional vision: "A master in the art of living knows no distinction between his work and play, his labor and his leisure, his education and his recreation, his mind and his body. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether it is work or play. To himself, he always seems to be doing both."
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: The access to and proliferation of arts and cultural options for community consumption; entrepreneurship and innovation. These best assets form the basis for Rochester's opportunities for economic growth.
Most difficult decision: When to enter political life and when to leave it.

Co-owner, vice president and chief financial officer, Fleet Feet Sports Inc. and YellowJacket Racing LLC
Education: B.A., SUNY College at Plattsburgh; MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, David Boutillier
Professional and community leadership: Volunteer coordinator, Chase Corporate Challenge; race director, Flower City Challenge, Webster Turkey Trot, FireCracker 5 Mile, Brighton 5K and more; coach, No Boundaries Learn to Run Program, Triathlon Community College and Distance Training
My guiding vision: It's been my passion for fitness and what I can do to get others to appreciate it as well. I have always been motivated to be active and to help others achieve a stronger fitness level. My role in this life is to help people get fit, to live healthier.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester's assets are its strong academic, research and technology centers, along with its rich history and cultural areas/events. Showcasing these and creating activities/opportunities to bring in people or keep people working, living and playing here will enhance the quality of our communities and the riches of Rochester.
Key moment in my career: In 2002, I became violently ill from Crohn's disease, and then my mother passed. My focus on life/career changed to what is more important: health and family. Simply participating in activities overcame focusing on how well you did that activity, creating a desire to have fun in sport, life and work.

CEO, Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care Inc.
Education: AAS, Finger Lakes Community College
Family: Husband, Albert; daughter, 24; son, 19
Professional and community leadership: Past board member and continuing adviser, community horticulture and 4-H programs, Monroe County Cornell Co-operative Extension; member, Rochester City School District's Pencil program and numerous programs for all Monroe County schools to connect youths with the environment; member, New York State Integrated Pest Management, Center for Environmental Information, Professional Land Care Network, Genesee Land Trust; leader, environmental landscape projects for the community of Rochester
My guiding vision: What impact can one individual make in our community? How do we engage and lead others to multiply the impact of positive change? My specific focus is on connecting people to the environment for physical and mental health.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester's culture is conservative, with a "Prove it to me" attitude. The report from the Greater Rochester Enterprise of our high "intellectual density quotient" describes the fact that our economy is stable and leads in technology, health and environmental initiatives that have a long-term positive investment instead of fleeting, trendy, short-term returns.
Surprising fact: At age 50, I am becoming more content with the successes achieved, yet my confidence should not be taken for granted. My personal experiences, struggles and challenges are something that I want to share with other women, as we all need camaraderie to keep us going. I am thankful to the many community role models who have shared their experiences with me.

Partner, real estate and finance department, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP
Education: B.A., St. Lawrence University; J.D., Albany Law School
Family: Husband, Christopher; two daughters, 11 and 8
Professional and community leadership: Equity partner, Woods Oviatt Gilman; member of the personnel committee, chairwoman of the associates committee, former member of the recruiting committee, president of the board of directors, NeighborWorks Rochester; vice chairwoman, DePaul and Adult Care Communities Inc.; chairwoman, Monroe County Legal Assistance Center; former trustee, Monroe County Bar Association
My guiding vision: A woman in business must be as self-sufficient as possible, possessing a firm grasp of her own assets and limitations, so she can build alliances, find mentors and create an effective network where she continues to learn, grow and improve. I try to be a valuable mentor to others.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Our entrepreneurial spirit and our internationally renowned companies. When the economy is tough, Rochester is able to weather the storm through the innovations of new startup businesses, as well as the prestige and influence of our existing corporations.
Surprising fact: I possess a wealth of knowledge when it comes to rock and roll music trivia. This skill is not terribly useful in my everyday life (except for the occasional party game), but it is a fact nonetheless!

Manager, global applications operations, Worldwide Information Systems, Eastman Kodak Co.
Education: Bachelor of technology, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Single
Professional and community leadership: Chairwoman of the board of directors, Nazareth Academy; past chairwoman, Alumnae Association, Nazareth Schools; trustee and chairwoman of the stewardship committee, Sacred Heart Cathedral; served in Finance Council, Pastoral Council and pastoral planning for the Cathedral Community Parishes
My guiding vision: My parents, who immigrated to the United States to create opportunity for their children, taught us to work hard and to live with self-respect and integrity. Every decision I make is made with that in mind.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester is a city rich with international businesses, prestigious colleges and universities, renowned medical centers, cultural centers and recreational opportunities. All of these are assets that provide a diverse opportunity for economic and personal growth.
Key moment in my career: A key moment in my career, which profoundly influenced me, was when I began to work with individuals beyond the United States. I experienced many cultures, the diversity of thought and the importance of effective communication and listening. These experiences strengthened my respect for the uniqueness of individuals and celebration of diversity.

Director, Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization, department of psychiatry, University of Rochester
Education: B.A., St. Mary's College; J.D., SUNY Buffalo; Ph.D., Rockefeller College of Criminal Justice
Family: Husband, Christopher Thomas; two sons, 12 and 10
Professional and community leadership: Member, board of directors, Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester Inc.; member, advisory board, Mt. Hope Family Center; board member, Zonta Foundation; fundraising chairwoman, Brighton Junior Barons
My guiding vision: To effect positive change in our community. As a prosecutor in the early 1990s, I learned that to help families embroiled in violence, change was needed at individual, organizational and community levels. I decided to study the root causes of family violence and scientifically determine how to break its cycle. I have been fortunate to work at the University of Rochester, where we are studying the root causes of family violence and, based upon that research, developing methods for prevention.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: The best assets include the quality and availability of institutions of higher education. Our growth opportunities exist in spinoffs from the research being done at those institutions.
Most difficult decision: It was a difficult decision to leave the Office of the District Attorney to pursue a graduate degree. I enjoyed being a prosecutor, helping families one at a time. However, in retrospect, it ended up being a good decision.

Acting vice president of marketing, Eastern Sales Ops, Xerox Corp.
Education: B.S. and MBA, E. Philip Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, Lee Dame
Professional and community leadership: Coordinator, operations and procurement, Operation Food Basket; mentor of instructors and sponsor of scholarship fund for snowboard instructors, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort; mentor, Xerox professionals
My guiding vision: "It is better to aim high and miss than aim low and succeed." This is my personal mantra. I love a challenge, trying new things and striving to do the best I can-always working toward a goal, whether personal or professional.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester is a small city with a big-city heart. There is one of everything with lots to offer-beautiful waterfronts, arts and sports.
Surprising fact: One thumb is bruised and the other is green. The bruised thumb is the result of home improvement projects from total demolition to hanging drywall. The green thumb--well, that's all the beautiful gardens I love to tend.

President and executive director, Rochester Area Community Foundation 
Education: B.A., Wellesley College; M.A., Occidental College
Family: Husband, David Cay Johnston; two daughters, 24 and 19, and six adult stepchildren
Professional and community leadership: Trustee, Center for Governmental Research Inc.; member, Rochester Education and Literacy Commission; treasurer (the first female), Genesee Valley Club; past chairwoman, Community Foundations Leadership Team/Council on Foundations; past co-chairwoman, Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth, now CFLeads
My guiding vision: "Always do your best." Both people and organizations do better with the right encouragement, education, incentives and evaluation-in a team atmosphere that respects individual contributions and sets high expectations, with the plans and tools to reach them.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: We have a well-educated, family-friendly community with a tradition of innovation and excellence. We have world-class cultural, water and recreational assets. We have remarkable higher education institutions on which to stake our future. Most of all, we have a tradition of Rochesterians helping each other to succeed.
Key moment in my career: As a young professional, I joined an Outward Bound expedition for corporate and foundation donors. I rappelled down a 65-foot cliff and captained a raft through perilous rapids, accomplishments made even sweeter because I was the only woman. I learned I could overcome fear and lead as well as anyone.

CEO, Midnight Janitorial Inc.
Education: Associate's degree, Monroe Community College
Family: Husband, Harry
Professional and community leadership: Vice chairwoman, Job Service Employer Committee; co-founder, Free Net, a networking group; volunteer, Junior Achievement; co-chairwoman, free networking committee, Rochester Women's Network; member, Rochester Business Ethics Judging Committee
My guiding vision: "To treat my employees the way I would want to be treated." Weekends used to be considered family time. Now nothing is closed; stores are open almost 365 days a year. I decided to take a stand and turn down any account that would force us to work on weekends.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Even in these difficult fiscal times, Rochester has a tremendous opportunity for economic growth because of its greatest asset, which is its people. The community of business owners in Rochester truly cares about each other by encouraging, supporting and celebrating each success.
Key moment in my career: Winning the national 2009 American Ethics Award has been our greatest achievement. To be recognized at the highest level by the ethics community and to represent Rochester was an extremely humbling experience. It is an accomplishment that not only our employees can be proud of but the entire janitorial field.

Associate dean, Genesee Community College
Education: B.A., St. Bonaventure University; M.S., Roberts Wesleyan College
Family: Husband, Thomas; son, 25
Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, Borinquen Dance Theater; secretary, St. Bonaventure University national alumni association board; past president, Rochester Business Alliance Inc. Women's Council; past president, Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education Consortium; member, Rochester Rotary
My guiding vision: I focus sharply upon economic development as an important factor in elevating every aspect of society. Therefore, I concentrate my professional and volunteer efforts in areas that connect people with the resources they need to lead healthy and productive lives.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester's best asset and opportunity for growth lies in the commitment of our citizens to community involvement. Rochester's extraordinary entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit sustains us.
Most difficult decision: For me, the "first step"-going off to college-was the hardest. The academic environment exposed me to opportunities that I had not previously imagined. Since then, I have evolved into a lifelong learner and welcome the chance to try new things.

President and CEO, Volunteers of America, Western New York
Education: B.A., University of Rochester
Family: Husband, Jerry; son, 30; daughter, 24
Professional and community leadership: Member, leadership development advisory committee and public policy committee, National VOA; member of the executive committee, and chairwoman of the synergy committee, Council of Agency Executives; worldwide photochemical manufacturing manager, Eastman Kodak Co.; agency board chairwoman and foundation board chairwoman, Heritage Christian Services; director, CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope), United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.
My guiding vision: I have been richly blessed, so I look for opportunities to give back and collaborate with others to build a more supportive and just community. Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: There are a great many early retirees who are wise and energetic and searching for something special in which to invest their time.
Surprising fact: It is my developmentally disabled son who has taught me to be undaunted in breaking barriers that shouldn't be.

President and CEO, Family First Federal Credit Union
Education: B.S., E. Philip Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology
Family: Husband, Tim; two stepdaughters, 20 and 19
Professional and community leadership: Finance committee chairwoman, Eastside YMCA board of managers; audit committee chairwoman and board trustee, New York Credit Union Foundation; board member, UsNet Universal Shared Networking Inc.; member, Penfield Rotary Club
My guiding vision: I have always believed in treating people fairly. Rather than using a position of power to command respect, one will earn respect by treating people fairly and honestly. These principles guide my approach to my 40 staff members and 11,000 credit union members.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester is rich in natural resources, the most significant of which is our abundance of fresh water. We also enjoy many intellectual resources, including superior higher education institutions and top-notch health care providers. The addition of affordable housing and short commutes makes this a very attractive area to live.
Key moment in my career: After spending the first five years of my career at the Summit Federal Credit Union, I was encouraged by my manager to take advantage of a recruiting opportunity to obtain my CPA license. His mentoring and support helped me choose the path that has shaped my career to this point.

Worldwide director, Prepress Solutions, Eastman Kodak Co.
Education: B.S., Roberts Wesleyan College; master's in quality management, Loyola University, New Orleans
Family: Husband, William; daughter, 33; son, 30
Professional and community leadership: Chairwoman of the board, Lakeside Health System, Brockport; board member, Greater Rochester Quality Council; co-chairwoman, Women's Forum of Kodak Employees
My guiding vision: I learned early on in my career that to succeed is to understand the dynamics of a given situation and to develop pertinent solutions along with the people who will make use of them. To implement change successfully there are methods that are proven to work in order to reach agreement. Implementing an approach is often harder than creating it.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: It's our people, people who are actively engaged in giving back in many different ways. Specific to my line of work, I know that there are hundreds of certified black belts and green belts in our community-many who give back to the Greater Rochester community by volunteering their knowledge and time to help not-for-profit and other organizations make improvements.
Key moment in my career: I was offered an opportunity early in my career to learn about the early thinking on continuous improvement techniques. I decided to make this a career and have never looked back. When I decided to volunteer and to give back to my community, I realized that the best practices I had learned and facilitated at Kodak around the world would also benefit my community.

Vice president, student services, Monroe Community College
Education: B.A., Siena College; M.Ed., Pennsylvania State University; Ed.D., University of Michigan
Family: Husband, Charles Koffenberger; son, 19; daughter, 17
Professional and community leadership: President, board of directors, Ronald McDonald House Charities; member, National Advisory Group, National Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology; vice president and president-elect for the American College Personnel Association; Monroe Community College's representative to the League for Innovation in the Community College; senior Student Affairs Office representative on the Community Colleges Division Advisory Board, National Association for Student Personnel Administration
My guiding vision: "All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents." --John F. Kennedy. I have been grateful to work for the past 21 years at Monroe Community College, assisting others to develop their talents and fulfill their academic goals.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester is home to 19 colleges and universities educating thousands of undergraduate and graduate students each year. These students are a powerful resource for the economic development and infrastructure of Rochester.
Surprising fact: I am a certified spinning (cycling) instructor. I have been teaching a couple of classes a week for more than eight years. I love motivating others to enjoy exercising as well as to believe in their potential as athletes. As a teacher I have developed lifelong friends.

Pastor, Asbury First United Methodist Church
Education: B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, master's of divinity, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Family: Husband, John; daughter, 41; two sons, 39 and 37
Professional and community leadership: Adjunct professor, Roberts Wesleyan College; adjunct professor, Northeastern Seminary; mentor, St. John Fisher College doctoral program; member, Board of Ordained Ministry of Western New York Conference; member, Bishop's Council for Annual Conference, Western New York Conference; member, Mayor Duffy's Leadership Committee for Faith-Based Initiatives; pastoral leadership, outreach ministries of Asbury First United Methodist Church; pastor liaison, Asbury/UR Well Medical Clinic
My guiding vision: All of life is a sacred journey and all of us are better when we are loved. It is a sacred privilege to bring love and hope to bear upon any whose paths intersect mine; I believe it is an essential ingredient for transforming lives and our community.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Rochester is an incredible community of dedicated, visionary people and leaders, a city of profound historical significance on the road toward inclusive freedom, and a community where exciting faith initiatives are being introduced cooperatively with government to improve education and the safekeeping of our children.
Key moment in my career: My appointment as the first ordained woman pastor at Asbury First affords me the privilege to journey with parishioners in the sacredness of their lives, serve the Rochester community in opening doors to those in need, and have the privilege of mentoring women in their dreams for life expression.

President, Teamworks
Education: B.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.S. Ed., Indiana University, Bloomington
Family: Mother, Marcia; brother, Erik; sister-in-law, Glenda; two nephews
Professional and community leadership: Literacy partner, Kiwanis International "Love to Read" program, Henry Hudson School 28; leadership presenter, Rochester-area middle and high school students; founder, "Plant a Seed - Make a Difference"; Teamworks fundraiser for American Indian College Fund; mentor, Three of Hearts, educational games by and for kids; lead facilitator, Kiwanis International Key Leader program for high school youths
My guiding vision: Add value to the learning and leading potential of the people around me to ensure a positive impact beyond my involvement. Collaboration is key and increases that value tenfold. Overall, my daily (hourly!) faith that everything is happening exactly the way it is supposed to keeps me grounded and grateful.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Education! Our universities, schools and youth have potential to make Rochester smarter, stronger and safer. Early engagement of young people in the leadership of educational institutions, communities, neighborhoods and families is a source of positive change.
Key moment in my career: "Leap and the net will appear." Letting go of a secure yet limiting employment allowed me to jump to Teamworks full time. This moment of truth was a priceless lesson in complete commitment and a transition to the entrepreneur continuum that swings from joy to panic on a regular basis!

Partner, chairwoman of the employment law group, Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson LLP
Education: B.A., SUNY Albany; J.D., Albany Law School
Family: Daughter, 21
Professional and community leadership: Chairwoman, corporate governance committee, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.; co-chairwoman, international employment law group, International Society of Primerus Law Firms; secretary, executive committee, New York State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section; board member, National Women's Hall of Fame; board member, Flower City Habitat for Humanity
My guiding vision: The guiding vision in my career has always been to do the best I can and never look back. Even during the hardest trials and longest days, I have always loved my profession, since I decided to be a lawyer at age 8.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: As George Eastman envisioned long ago, Rochester's most significant assets are its culture and its "best and brightest" residents. As former board president of the Little Theatre, I know what a difference film and culture have made. We must continue this tradition to keep our talent here.
Surprising fact: People would be surprised to learn that I was a sickly child and could not even take gym. As an adult, I've completed five marathons and am constantly on the go. My childhood gave me a love for reading and taught me that every day is a treasure.

Executive director, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency
Education: B.A., University of Rochester
Family: Husband, Thomas Toole; three daughters, 49, 46 and 45; son, 48
Professional and community leadership: Executive board member, Mt. Hope Family Center; advisory board member, Center for Community Health; advisory board member, Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses, University of Rochester Medical Center; member, Step by Step fundraising committee; member, Bivona Child Advocacy Center development committee; board member, United Way of New York State; member, United Way advocacy advisory committee
My guiding vision: Since growing up in the post-Watergate era, I have been guided by the desire to make a real difference and by the belief that change is possible-even against the toughest odds. I have chosen a career path that has allowed me to put my guiding vision into practice. I was the first woman in New York State to chair a county Democratic political organization; set up federal feeding programs in 10 rural communities; and helped establish Eldersource and the first New York State summit to combat elder abuse.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: The Rochester community has a can-do attitude and a culture that welcomes new ideas. Rochester is blessed with world-class academic institutions and a leading academic medical center.
Surprising fact: I have built relationships with individuals from every walk of life and from every part of the community, including grassroots activists, corporate CEOs, Republicans and conservatives. My goal is to turn ideas into action, whether it is changing the face of aging in our community or making the health care system more accessible and more affordable.

Senior vice president, human resources, Paetec Holding Corp.
Education: B.S., Bentley College; M.S., Purdue University
Family: Husband, James; daughter, 11; son, 8
Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, member of the board development committee and past chairwoman of the finance committee and member of the investment committee, YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County; Sunday School teacher, lector and greeter, St. Paul's Lutheran Church; assistant coach, Little League softball; parent volunteer, Girl Scouts; member, human resource advisory committee, Nazareth College of Rochester
My guiding vision: My father taught me to work hard and do my best, be honest and do what is right, and make family a top priority. Integrity and work ethic are principles that have stayed with me throughout my career. I make career and community service choices keeping family my first priority.
Rochester's best assets and opportunities for economic growth: Our greatest assets are our people. Rochester has some of the finest schools in the nation. The innovative spirit that drove George Eastman, J.J. Bausch and Henry Lomb is alive today at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. Partnerships involving business, education and government enable us to continue our legacy for worldwide leadership in innovation.
Surprising fact: Most people are surprised to learn that I started my career in computer information systems because it is so different from human resources. The business, analytical and logical thinking skills that I developed during my "first career" have been valuable assets in my journey to become a human resource executive.

Introduced to Rochester in 1987 by the Women's Council, an affiliate organization of the Rochester Business Alliance, the Athena Award recognizes women who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen fields, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow. The award fosters awareness of the valuable contributions made by business and professional women to the quality of life in our community. When women of achievement are recognized, doors remain open for all women and opportunities for them continue to grow.1/8/10 (c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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