There are lots of award ceremonies in Pittsburgh–with lots of deserving people to be awarded–but there’s nothing quite like the ATHENA Awards of Greater Pittsburgh. Nominated by others in the community with finalists selected by a committee, the Athena Awards are bestowed every fall at a luncheon attended by a gazillion women–ok, make that 800-plus–in a ceremony that is always inspiring. And that’s the point: To encourage more women to excel in their profession, contribute to their community and to help other women through mentorship.

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2015 ATHENA Pittsburgh 2015 nominees. Photo by Brian Cohen.

NEXTpittsburgh is happy to be part of the ATHENA Awards and to present these wonderful group photos of nominees and finalists. Getting all these busy, successful women in one room at one time wasn’t easy. Every time our (very patient) photographer clicked his shutter, it seemed to be a cue for another nominee to walk in the room, apologizing for being late.

Hey, we’re just grateful they showed up.

See the ATHENA Award finalists in the top photo,including Doris Carson Williams, African American Chamber of Commerce of Western PA, Lynn M. Banaszak, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University,  Rhonda Moore Johnson, Highmark Inc., Lisa Lenihan, United States District Court for the Western District of PA, and Lucille Prater-Holliday, Black Women’s Empowerment Institute.

See below all the ATHENA Award nominees, including the Young Professional ATHENAs.

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2015 ATHENA Award and ATHENA Young Professional Award nominees. Photo by Brian Cohen

And finally, below the 2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists: Aurora Sharrard of the Green Building Alliance, Josie Badger, PEAL Center and Meredith Grelli of Wigle Whiskey.

2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) Finalists (L to R): Aurora Sharrard, Josie Badger and Meredith Meyer Grelli

2015 ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) Finalists (L to R): Aurora Sharrard, Josie Badger and Meredith Meyer Grelli

Here’s the full list of 2015 ATHENA Award nominees. See you on October 9th! Get your tickets here before it sells out.

2015 Nominees

Shirley Anderson
Beauty Mark, Inc.

Barbara Baker
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Dotti Bechtol
Fragasso Financial Advisors

Marsha Blanco
ACHIEVA

Lori Brinker
Merrill Lynch

Tracy Certo
NEXTpittsburgh

Rosemary Crawford
Crawford McDonald, LLC

Tracy DeCock
PNC Bank

Deborah Degner
Noble Energy

Kim Dellostretto
Allegheny Health Network

Ilana Diamond
Innovation Works

Susan Dietrich
Sterling Office Professionals

Lisa DiGorio Miller
Lisa DiGorio School of Dance

Pat Downey
Chatham University

Karen Wolk Feinstein
Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Melissa Ferraro
Sisters Place, Inc.

Jennifer Fox Rabold
FedEx Ground Package System, Inc.

Mamar Gelaye
Omnyx

Tisha Germany
KBK Enterprises

Abby Goldstein
91.3 WYEP

Denise Graves
Covenant Church of Pittsburgh / Oakland Service Ministries

Karen Hochberg
Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee

Susan Jordan
Fox Rothschild LLP

Eva Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika and eDRY

Debra Killmeyer
Community College of Allegheny County

Darcel R. Madkins
PNC Financial Services

Wendy Maletta
NFM Group

Jill McKibbin
McKibbin Consulting

Melissa McNeil
University of Pittsburgh & UPMC

Natalie Mihalek
Natalie Mihalek Attorney At Law

Arlinda M. Moriarty
Moriarty Consultants

Chris Phillips
PNC Bank

Mary Jo Podgurski
Academy for Adolescent Health/Teen Outreach

Betty Rich
ConnectedHealth

Aisha Robinson
Pittsburgh Public Schools

Elisabet Rodriguez
Elisabet Rodriguez & Associates

Casey Ryan
Reed Smith LLP

Fern Schwartz
Merrill Lynch/The Schwartz Group

Dana Ann Slizik
Caye for Judge Committee

Tracy Vitale
Seneca Valley School district

Michelle Welch
PPG Industries

Olga Welch
School of Education, Duquesne University

Dr. Claudia Wendel
eyegotcha

Jillian Zacks
Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC

And finally, the full list of Young Professional ATHENA nominees:

Young Professional Award Finalists

Started in 2011, the ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging leader age 35 or younger.

Josie Badger
PEAL Center

Meredith Meyer Grelli
Wigle Whiskey

Aurora Sharrard
Green Building Alliance

 2015 Nominees

Erin Baker
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Stacie Bara
Club Cycle

Nina Barbuto
Assemble Pittsburgh

Diana Bellini
BNY Mellon

Wendy Berrill, P.E.
Michael Baker International

Lisa Boyette
SAVE JON Inc.

Jackie Celender
K&L Gates LLC

Kelly Collier
ActivAided Orthotics

Julie Cramer
NanoVision Diagnostics

Krystle Grandy
Freelance Production

Stephanie Hannan
PNC

Laura Harshberger
PPG Industries

Blayre Holmes
The Women and Girls Foundation

BreAnna Kirkland
Clarion Center for the Arts

Suzie Lachut
Eat’n Park Hospitality Group

Emily Markham
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Alichia Parker
A Par Educational, LLC

Danielle Parson
ACHIEVA

Lee Anne Pontis
Woodlands Foundation