Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and its Women’s Council affiliate recently presented Sharon Napier, CEO of Partners + Napier, with the 32nd annual Athena Award.
Kim Allen, managing partner of communications at Dixon Schwabl, received the fourth annual Athena Young Professional Award. Dixon Schwabl, a marketing and advertising agency, took home the Athena Organizational Award.
The Athena Award annually honors a professional female leader who demonstrates significant achievements in business, community service and the professional advancement of women.
“For more than 36 years, Sharon Napier has broken glass ceilings, defied stereotypes, raised standards and mentored, serving as a role model for hundreds of young women making their way in the ad industry,” said Rebecca Bellush, head of public relations and social. “In the process, as founder and CEO of Partners + Napier, she’s shown that it’s possible to build a small regional advertising agency in a mid-size market like Rochester into a serious national player.”
The Athena Young Professional Award recognizes emerging leaders ages 30-45 who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession. Recipients provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life of others in the community, while serving as a role model for young women personally and professionally.
“A strong, compassionate leader, Kim Allen exemplifies attributes the best leaders should possess,” said Melisza Campos, winner of the 2017 Athena Young Professional Award. “She’s in the trenches with her team, steps aside to allow them to lead, gives them the tools to be successful and always provides the right level of support for them to grow and shine. Kim is the consummate professional who knows the importance of building a team, builds up individuals to be their best professional self and is a woman who, once she gets to the table, makes room for other women to join her.”
The Athena Organizational Award goes to a woman-owned and/or -led business or organization that creates a culture of encouraging women employees to achieve their full leadership potential, and supports leadership development opportunities for women and girls in the community.
“Dixon Schwabl has always enjoyed strong women leaders, and worked hard to grow and develop them to their full potential,” said Britton Lui, vice president of people and development. “Aside from our CEO and president, Lauren Dixon and Mike Schwabl, four of our six-person leadership team are female. Our culture has a strong focus on training and developing our future female leaders. Informal mentoring is happening on a daily basis within our four walls. Any woman can book time on Lauren’s calendar, or the calendar of any other person they would like to have a conversation with. It can be about finding work/life balance, about their career path, advice about a situation they’re struggling with or just to be inspired.”