Each year during Women’s History Month in March, Nashville joins more than 500 communities throughout the United States, Canada, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Greece, India, and the United Kingdom in honoring exceptional women leaders who inspire others to achieve excellence in their own professional and personal lives.

From its beginning, the Nashville ATHENA Award Program has been and continues to be a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors, unlike other cities which rely upon their local Chamber of Commerce.

ATHENA 2016 Chairs

Laura Tidwell, General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Nashville Electric Services, is this year’s Nashville ATHENA Award Program Chair. Co-Chairing the event is Mendy Mazzo, Vice President – Business Development for Skanska USA, Inc.


Originally organized under the auspices of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a consortium of fourteen women’s organizations brought the ATHENA Award Program to Nashville in 1990. In 1995, through a recommendation approved by both Boards, annual organizing responsibility for the event transferred from Nashville NAWBO to Cable, where it continues today under the Cable Foundation’s 501(C)(3) and pursuant to a license from ATHENA International.

Athena Parthenos

From its inception in 1990 to 2008, the Nashville ATHENA Award Program had its presentation at the foot of Athena Parthenos on the grounds of Centennial Park. We are elated to return to the foot of Athena Parthenos for its 26th year in 2016. Our ties to the Parthenon Conservancy and Athena Parthenos have remained strong. Athena Parthenos, a monumental statue sculpted over a 10-year period by Nashville artist Alan LeQuire, depicts Athena, the Greek goddess. The first child of Zeus, the goddess was equipped with spear and shield to fight for the enlightenment of ordinary souls and endowed with courage, valor, strength, and reason. A patron of the arts, she was charged to bring wisdom, harmony, and beauty to the world.


As the Nashville ATHENA Award Program celebrates its 26th year, Athena’s spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for others. Women from across Nashville and Middle Tennessee are nominated every year for special recognition as the embodiment of Athena’s spirit. While each exemplify leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues, only one from each category will join past recipients as Nashville’s 2016 ATHENA Award recipient.


  • Mary Baker
  • Katina Beard
  • Bonnie Dow
  • Lisa Dreher
  • Penny Grogan
  • Melissa Holden
  • Fannie Holmes
  • Shanna Jackson
  • Michele Johnson
  • Susan Lewis
  • Jerrilyn Manning
  • Janet Miller
  • Phyllis Qualls-Brooks
  • Laura Reinbold
  • Sharon Roberson
  • Laura Roberts
  • Debbie Sain
  • Kristy Janene Sinkfield
  • Sally Smallwood
  • Darkenya Waller
  • Beverly Watts
  • Mayra Zimmer



  • Kim Adkins
  • Laura Baker
  • Keisha Bowens Bean
  • Amanda Blanck
  • April Britt
  • Donna Cheek
  • Ashley Dickens
  • Jerice Glanton
  • Bridget Gorta
  • Jenny Chandler Graham
  • Tachaka Hollins
  • Claudia Huskey
  • Kaitlyn Jones
  • Keri Floyd Kelly
  • Amelia Kennedy
  • Hayley Mason
  • Teri Powell
  • Raelonda Wynn


Patrons Society

Every year the Patrons Society raises funds to support the annual ATHENA Awards and Scholarship Program. With a gift of $250 to the ATHENA Awards Program, you can become a member of this special giving society, which helps fund the ATHENA Alumae Scholarship awarded to a special young woman to help continue her education on the collegiate level. For more information on how to join, please visit


Thank you to our 2016 ATHENA sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

Champion Sponsors

0050-CBL_deloitte                     NES Logo-CMYK

Partner Sponsors

advance   Delta Dental Logo 361C     tenn  REG_H_4C      Hylant_logo_FINAL_cmyk Vanderbilt  Neal Harwell         HCA

Supporting Sponsors

Kroger         SKANSKA   Piedmont


Scholarship Sponsors

ATHENA Patrons Society

First Tennessee

Saint Thomas Health Systems

State Farm


Caregivers by Wholecare Connections


In-Kind Sponsors

Amaranth Designs

Brantley Sound


duGard Communications

Ed Rode Photography



Metro Parks and Recreation

Nashville Post

The Tennessean