The 20th Annual ATHENA Awards luncheon was held on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at the Owensboro Convention Center.
There was a record number of notable nominations which included: Sherry Baber, Hager Preschool coordinator; Marian Bennett, coordinator of Ursuline Partnerships at Mount St. Joseph; Suzanne Craig, Green River District Health Department Community Access Project manager; Diane Earle, Kentucky Wesleyan College professor of music; Cindy Fiorella, Owensboro Community & Technical College vice president of WorkForce Solutions; Susanne Harris, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline chief financial officer; Joy Johnson, owner of Johnson’s Dance Studio; Kim Johnson, Owensboro Public Schools director of special education; Susan Montalvo-Gesser, managing attorney with Kentucky Legal Aid; Shelley Nichols, OASIS executive director; Crystal Patterson, general counsel for Gulfstream Commercial Services; Dana Peveler, Munday Activity Center executive director; Janice Scherm, community volunteer; Pam Smith-Wright, Owensboro City commissioner; Linda Wahl, Building Stronger Families program supervisor; and Angela Woosley, Green River District Health Department public health service supervisor.
Cindy Fiorella, vice president of WorkForce Solutions at Owensboro Community & Technical College, was selected for the honor. Fiorella was unable to attend the ceremony, and Helen Mountjoy, the 2013 Athena Award winner, accepted the award on her behalf.
Fiorella commented, “I’ve been privileged throughout my career to work on behalf of a college and community so many of us hold dear. Since I have the good fortune to work alongside an incredible college team and dedicated community partners, this honor is truly one to be shared. ”
Fiorella was selected for her overall accomplishments and for her efforts in securing women for better-paying jobs and leadership positions. She has built a notable career based on innovation and leadership in local and state workforce development initiatives.
“Cindy is a true entrepreneur and most deserving of the award. Her division is essential to workforce development in our region and is a vital part of the college. Being able to take an idea, develop it, find the funding for it, and grow it into a revenue stream is an important part of our future” added Scott Williams, OCTC President.
Fiorella has served on several national advisory panels and has been a speaker and panelist in numerous state and national conferences. Several projects she has spearheaded have garnered national attention.
Locally Fiorella has served on the boards of the Green River Area Development District, Career Center of Owensboro and Theatre Workshop of Owensboro. She has been at OCTC since 1992 as a full-time staff member.
The ATHENA Award, is given annually by Girls Inc. and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, celebrating the outstanding contributions of professional & business women. It recognizes an individual in the greater Owensboro community for excellence in their business or profession, who has served the community in a meaningful way and has assisted women in developing leadership potential.