WAUSAU – The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award® and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award®. The recipients were named during a program held on Wednesday, November 3 at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Rothschild.

The ATHENA Leadership Award® and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® are presented annually to women or men in recognition of their professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Robin Hegg, the Manager and Strategic Business Leader of Human Resources Shared Services at the Greenheck Group, was named the recipient of the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award.

“I am very humbled and honored to be the recipient of this very prestigious award.” said Hegg. “I accept it on behalf of all of the nominees as everyone nominated is deserving of it. I don’t do what I do for the recognition but because it is the right thing to do. I am very thankful for my support system; family, friends, colleagues, business partners. Without them I could not do half of what I do. I am extremely grateful to live and work in a community that allows me the opportunity to serve.”

The finalists for the 36th annual ATHENA Leadership Award® were:

  • Carla R. Baker
  • Mauri Brueggeman
  • JoAnn Draeger
  • Aleese Fielder
  • Jacquelyn Forbes Kearns
  • Gretchen Kray
  • Mandy Landwehr
  • Heather Martell
  • Linda Ramthun
  • Vicki Resech

Katie Felch, Associate Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations and Legislative Advocacy at Northcentral Technical College, was named the recipient of the 2021 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award®.

“There is no greater gift than the ability to make a difference in the lives of others and the support and mentorship that I have personally received enables and inspires me to lead and advocate for other women.” said Felch. “Whether it’s inside our workplaces, within the walls of our homes or within the greater community, I am so grateful to surround myself with amazing women, and friends, who make a difference every single day. I am truly humbled to be the recipient of this award because there are so many women who could also be recognized. Our community is richer and stronger because of each and every one of them.”

The finalists for the 14th annual ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® were:

  • Keri Anne Connaughty
  • Katy Lang
  • Neena Pacholke
  • Traci Wisz
  • Mang Xiong
  • Lada Xiong-Vang

All of this year's finalists were profiled in live interviews streamed through the Chamber’s Facebook page and are archived on the Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Dr. Kristine Gilmore, Superintendent at DC Everest Area School District and the recipient of the 2020 ATHENA Leadership Award®, and Mindy Hoppe, owner and interior designer at Design Theory 19 and the recipient of the 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award®, presented the awards to this year’s recipients. Kathryn Halvorsen and Brad Hanson of News 9 WAOW served as the emcees for this year’s event.

The ATHENA Leadership Award® Program’s presenting sponsor was O’Malley Cadillac Honda, the gold sponsor was Ameriprise Financial – Wausau - Cornerstone Advisors, the silver sponsor was UMR and the bronze sponsors were BMO Harris Bank and TDS Telecom. The media sponsor was WAOW/WYOW Television Inc and the live production sponsor was JEM Productions.

For more information, visit WausauChamber.com.