Empowering, Inspiring, and Celebrating Women Leaders
Promote women’s business initiatives and leadership skills development that benefit the local community and fund scholarships for graduate students at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership, Inc.
Founded in 2012, ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) that offers three core programs in Central Florida, including the ATHENA NextGen Thought Leadership Series, the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Luncheon, and the ATHENA Leadership Award. These initiatives are designed to provide dynamic programing around the ATHENA Leadership Model® and ATHENA’s Eight Leadership Principles developed by Martha Mayhood Mertz, a successful entrepreneur and business leader who authored the empowering novel Becoming ATHENA: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership.
ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership, Inc. was founded by Orlando businesswomen Karen Keene, Jennifer Johnson and Traci Smith, who shared the vision of creating a program that would facilitate connections and conversations between women business owners and executives who are on the path to leadership roles with those who already reached the top of their careers.
The ATHENA NextGen program consists of eight sessions, each focusing on one of ATHENA’s Eight Leadership Principles. Beginning in May and running through December, the sessions are held once a month in the morning. Each session is facilitated by established women leaders in the Orlando community who exemplify leadership excellence. Emerging women leaders or veteran professionals who have recently re-entered the workforce or embarked on a new career path are encouraged to apply.
ATHENA NextGen is the only professional development program of its kind in Central Florida with the backing of women leaders who have paved the way and are deeply committed to inspiring and empowering the next generation of women leaders. In fact, NextGen was born in Orlando and its great success has led to the creation of similar programs in other cities across the country. To date, more than 375 Central Florida professional women have participated in the NextGen program. The participants represent various sectors, including corporate, government, non-profit, education, and entrepreneurship.
The NextGen program offers participants the opportunity to take a deeper dive into ATHENA’s Leadership model and learn from women who have made significant contributions to their professions and the business community. Participants will receive pearls of wisdom from dynamic Central Florida business leaders such as Sandy Hostetter, Diana Bolivar, Shelley Lauten, and Annetta Wilson, in an interactive “Masters Class” setting.
For questions about ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership, Inc. or the ATHENA NextGen program, please contact ATHENANextGenOrlando@gmail.com. You may also read more about the founding of ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership, Inc. and the ATHENA NextGen program in this article from the Orlando Business Journal.
ATHENA International is a catalyst for developing diverse, transformative leaders who create a balance in leadership voices worldwide. We ignite, amplify, and celebrate girls, women and allies through experiential programs that empower them to discover and activate the authentic leader within. The established ATHENA Leadership Model is at the heart of everything we do and is driven by the Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership: Live Authentically, Learn Constantly, Build Relationships, Foster Collaboration, Act Courageously, Advocate Fiercely, Give Back and Celebrate. Our gold-standard ATHENA Leadership Programs give individuals and organizations the tools and knowledge needed to sustain and grow a global community of allied leaders. We support women entrepreneurs in reaching new levels of success through ATHENAPowerLink®, an innovative mentorship program that connects selected women entrepreneurs with an advisory board tailored to fit their needs and grow their businesses. For more than 40 years, we have recognized outstanding women and pioneering leaders with global, national and community ATHENA Leadership Awards. With nearly 8,000 recipients we celebrate the changemakers and trailblazers who open doors of leadership and opportunity for women in communities across the globe.
Board of Directors
Founder and Chief Strategic Advisor
Treasurer -- Senior Tax Manager, RSM US LLP
Founder and Strategic Advisor -- Virtual Learning Manager, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Vice President of Programming --
Director of Events, Hyatt Regency Orlando Int’l Airport
Founder and Strategic Advisor -- Director of Treasury Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Cogent Bank
Vice President of Communications Strategy & Social Media --
Vice President, BoardroomPR
President — SVP Commercial Banking Manager, Seacoast Bank
Director of Recruiting --
Vice President of Philanthropy, Quest, Inc.
General Counsel and Vice President — Shareholder, Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman
Director of Alumnae Relations and Engagement -- Community Curations, LLC
Secretary -- Partner, McKinney Brands
Director of Data Management -- Co-Owner, Grounded With Data