The 2019 ATHENA Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 26 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Bayfront Convention Center. Click the blue button below to register!
The ATHENA Awards Luncheon is held every other year opposite the ATHENA Women's Leadership Luncheon. During the event, three awards are presented to honor women leaders and those who support them. The awards are: - The ATHENA Leadership Award - presented to an established leader for their efforts in supporting and encouraging women leaders - ATHENA Young Professional - presented to a local female college student who demonstrates excellence and a commitment to the community while being a role model to her peers - Rebecca Cornish Scholarship - a scholarship presented to a local female high school student that supports the cost of a two-week sail aboard the Flagship Niagara to develop her leadership skills
Since the program’s inception in 1982, nearly 6,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives. To view a complete list of past ATHENA Leadership Award winners and the selection criteria, visit our awards page.
In addition to the leadership award, each of the four local universities is approached to nominate a female student for the ATHENA Young Professional Award. One nominee is selected from each university: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, and Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Each of the finalists is recognized at the luncheon event and one winner is announced. To view a complete list of past ATHENA Young Professional Award winners and the selection criteria, visit our awards page.
Hannah Kirby is a native of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, who holds a master’s of business administration and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Gannon University. In 2017, Kirby opened Ember+Forge, a coffeeshop located in downtown Erie. Built from her passion for creating community, Ember+Forge was founded with the purpose of creating a space to connect, collaborate, and share ideas over locally-roasted, high-quality coffee.
Her community involvement includes serving as president of the Gannon University National Alumni Board; Secretary and Skater for the Eerie Roller Girls; and Treasurer of the Whole Foods Cooperative board of directors. She is also the Founder of Pack of Erie Dogs, a dog-walking group that promotes responsible dog ownership.
Hannah has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2009 ATHENA Young Professional Award; 2010 Gannon University Alumni Association Inspiration for the Next Generation Award; 2014 Erie Reader “40 Under 40” list; 2014 Pennsylvania Commission for Women’s Hannah Penn Rising Star Leadership Award; 2018 Commitment to Erie Awards New Business of the Year; 2018 Erie Reader Best of Erie Awards for Best Local Coffee Shop; and 2019 Erie Downtown Partnership CARE Award in Commitment. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys renovating her historic West Bayfront home, riding her motorcycle, and spending time with her partner, Samuel Caraballo, and their two rescue pitbulls, Edison and Sandy.
2017 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient: Sister Joan Chittister
2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient: Katlyn Walters, Gannon University