ATHENA Speaks: On Leading in a Virtual Environment - Thursday, February 11, 2021
In 2018, Forbes published an article explaining the concept of "connectional intelligence", which refers to getting ahead and delivering results in one's career by harnessing the power of your relationships. A Harvard Business Review study that same year also revealed that the connections women make when gathering in person lead to greater career success. Both pieces stressed the importance of professionals, especially women, gathering in person to form relationships and develop the confidence to move forward in their careers. Fast forward to 2020 when in-person networking events are a fond memory and we've been challenged to form relationships from behind the safety of a computer screen. Many professionals have described feeling lost or disconnected during this time, but just because we can't physically gather together doesn't mean we can't still foster meaningful connections.
Keynote speaker, Beck Power, and panelists, Janae Butler, Amanda Kochirka, and Anne Lewis, led a presentation and discussion on how to make the most of building relationships, delivering results, and advancing in your career in a virtual environment. Attendees learned tips for forming true connections without meeting in person, understanding the importance of diversifying your connections, and how to emphasize your value as a leader, all from a virtual platform.
Keynote Speaker: Beck Power, Power Creative Media & Amp Content Academy
Beck Power is a content marketer, international speaker and the host of the Amplify Content podcast.
Beck helps small businesses to create more content and to make that content more effective, driving awareness, engagement, leads and sales. Beck is the founder of Power Creative Media, a done-for-you content agency, and Amp Content Academy, a free resource for DIY content hacks, concepts and frameworks.
Beck has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo, Entrepreneur, New York Mag and TheNextWeb.
Janae Butler, Erie's Public Schools Janae, an Erie resident and member of the marketing committee for ATHENA Erie, has served as Erie’s Public Schools Communications Specialist since 2015. Her daily job duties include social media and mobile app management, overseeing district and school website content, editorial oversight of district publications, assisting with press materials and more. In 2019, Janae was recognized as a member of the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” for her work at Erie’s Public Schools over the years. Janae serves as a current member of Gannon University’s National Alumni Board and is also is a member of Gannon’s “igKnight 90” student mentorship program. Janae graduated from Gannon University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism Communications and is a current Gannon student pursuing a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications.
Amanda Kochirka, Decision Associates Originally from Meadville, Amanda is an Associate Consultant in the Human Capital Practice at Decision Associates, delivering executive recruitment and culture development services to businesses throughout the region. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Public Administration, both from Gannon University. Community service is very important to Amanda and she gives back by participating on the boards for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Foundation for Erie’s Public Schools. She serves on the ATHENA Luncheon and ATHENA Speaks planning committees and is also a member of the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture Advisory Board, Erie Women’s Fund, and Erie Arts & Culture Leading Ladies. She was recognized as a member of the Erie Reader “40 Under 40” Class of 2016 and was a finalist for the Women’s Roundtable Diane DeLuca Thompson Woman of the Year award the same year.
Annē Lewis, Red Letter Hospitality Annē currently serves as Director of Marketing for Red Letter Hospitality and has played a role in many other essential functions of the business since 2014. She graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Entrepreneurship. In addition to her work with Red Letter, she's a member of the Athena Circle of Trust, Young Erie Professionals, Young Erie Philanthropists, a 2019 graduate of Jefferson Civic Leadership Academy, Junior Achievement Celebrating Success recipient, 40 under 40 recipient, and a constant cheerleader for the Erie Community. Annē has worked extremely hard on rooting herself in the Erie community to do her part in energizing and growing the city. She has created many partnerships with local organizations and loves developing new programs and events for her hometown.
ATHENA Speaks: On Telling Your Story - Wednesday, March 11, 2020
From left: Amanda Kochirka, Erie Regional Chamber; Marybeth Smialek, First Energy; Bofta Yimam, Keynote Speaker; Dave Zimmer, ERIEBANK; Tesha Nesbit, Erie Insurance; Linda Stevenson, ATHENA Erie
Photo Credit: RFrank Photography
Women are often faced with opportunities to tell their story for the purpose of taking on more responsibility at work, gaining a seat on a board, or asking for a promotion or raise. In order to be seriously considered for these opportunities, highlighting strengths, experience, and expertise is crucial. However, many women at one time or another have been told not to brag about themselves or talk too much about their accomplishments or risk being viewed as self-centered and intimidating. This phenomenon has made women apprehensive to share their own story in a meaningful and impactful way, which ultimately results in their elimination as a viable candidate for positions of leadership.
The major take away points for crafting your personal story provided by keynote speaker, Bofta Yimam, were:
Claim It!Always open your story with owning who you are with a confident "I am..." Go beyond just your job title. What do you do? What is your purpose?
Bridge It!Break down your transformation in a clear, distinct way that helps people understand where you were before, where you are now, and how you got there.
Future It!Talk about where you're going, what you need to grow, and what you want to do in the long run.
Panelists Included: Tesha Nesbit Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Community Outreach Erie Insurance
Marybeth Smialek Director of Regional External Affairs First Energy
Dave Zimmer President ERIEBANK
ATHENA Speaks: On the Gender Gap - Tuesday, December 3, 2019
A collection of photos from Sweetie Browne's visit to Erie where she served as keynote speaker for ATHENA Speaks and made visits to both Penn State Behrend and Edinboro University to meet with students.
Navigating a career as a young professional is challenging. Now add in the fact that gender gap is at an all-time high, further emphasizing the severe lack of women in STEM fields. We can change that. Keynote speaker Sweetie Browne, Program Manager, Strategy & Planning Connected Americas Sales at Cisco, covered ways to begin making that change and much more in her presentation for the third ATHENA Speaks event.
We need to challenge organizations to work collaboratively toward a single mission to emphasize inclusion. With this simple refocus, we can create opportunities for women in the workplace to fill gender gaps. By working together we can achieve ever greater professional success.
The next step is to build out a collaborative workforce, focusing on who is actually doing the work, how it is getting done, and where we need to insert inclusion. We want women to speak up and be heard, and men to help create opportunities for equality. Specifically with STEM, the roles are fast paced, tough and require high levels of intelligence – all things that women can excel in but need the opportunity. We need to work together to break through the barriers that we all/women today face. You, as a young professional, have so much to offer, we want to help you navigate and rise up together to solidify your place in this industry.
We strive for commonality among our diversity.
Inclusive with a focus on opportunity and an equal playing field.
The male dominated STEM industry is ready to be overturned.
We want to own our power and make room to give ladies the chance to succeed
Panelists Included: Dr. Andrea Jeffress, MD, FACOG OB/Gyn Associates of Erie 2019 ATHENA Award Recipient
Geri-Lyn Hoffman Quality Director, Dynamic Systems LORD Corporation
Cathy von Birgelen Executive Director eMarketing Learning Center
ATHENA Speaks: On Board Balance - Wednesday, July 10, 2019
From left: Tina Donikowski; Christy Uffelman, Align Leadership; Linda Stevenson, ATHENA Erie; Khadija Horton, Esq, Erie County Public Defender's Office; Tim NeCastro, Erie Insurance; Amanda Kochirka, Erie Regional Chamber
Research shows that it is hard to find qualified women for board membership, so how do you know when you are ready to serve? How is the path different for a seat on non-profit board vs. a for-profit, or even for a public board? What skills, experiences and network do you need to achieve a seat at the table? This program offered answers to these questions and more.
The keynote presentation was given by Christy Uffelman, board member of NACD NXT’s Future of Board Leadership initiative in Pittsburgh and President of Align Leadership. Read Christy's bio.
Panelists Included: Tina Donikowski Retired Vice President of Global Locomotive Operations GE Transportation
Khadija Horton, Esq. Assistant Public Defender
Timothy NeCastro President and CEO Erie Insurance
ATHENA Speaks: On Law - Thursday, February 14, 2019
From left: Meredith Bollheimer, JD, Mercyhurst University; Linda Stevenson, ATHENA Erie; District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter; Amanda Kochirka, Erie Regional Chamber; Colleen Stumpf, Esq., Quinn Law Firm; Andrea Amicangelo, Esq., Amicangelo & Theissen
In follow up to the very successful screening of On the Basis of Sex with fellow ATHENA supporters, attendees of the first event in the ATHENA Speaks series heard from District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter and a panel of local female attorneys. Judge Baxter discussed the second wave of feminism in the context of the law. Read Judge Baxter's bio here: https://www.pawd.uscourts.gov/content/susan-paradise-baxter-district-judge
Panelists Included: Andrea Amicangelo, Esq. Amicangelo & Theissen
Meredith Bollheimer, JD Mercyhurst University
Colleen Stumpf, Esq. Quinn Law Firm
ATHENA Erie | 3208 Georgian Ct. #106 | Erie, PA | 16506 | (814) 504-6362 | firstname.lastname@example.org