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Martha Mayhood Mertz

Founder of ATHENA International


Martha Mayhood Mertz founded ATHENA International in 1982, an organization devoted to amplifying, supporting and honoring women as leaders. In addition to creating the ATHENA Award she was the leading force for creation of the ATHENA Leadership Model, a research based set of eight principles intrinsic in high level leadership. She is also a successful entrepreneur, owner of Mayhood Mertz Investments, having developed and retained a portfolio of multiple, commercial, and residential properties in Michigan.

Ms. Mertz is the author of Becoming ATHENA: Eight Principles for Enlightened Leadership (2009) and Living ATHENA, published in 2023.

She has received many honors including the 2015 Distinguished Michigan State University Alumna Award, is a Recipient of the Global ATHENA Award, and the 2018 Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Service Pioneer Award. She was honored for lifetime achievements by the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame.