The ATHENA® Leadership Program Award, presented by Wells Fargo, and Young Professional Leadership (YPL) ATHENA® Award, presented by Thomson Reuters, recognize exceptional women who excel in their careers, contribute to their communities, and develop future leaders. These annual awards are presented by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations, and universities worldwide. Almost 8,000 leaders — including a Supreme Court Justice, Olympic medalist, Secretary of State, NASA astronaut, social justice advocate, and CEOs of major corporations — have been recognized with the ATHENA® Leadership award in more than 500 regions representing 48 states and 11 countries.

ATHENA® and YPL ATHENA® Award recipients demonstrate eight remarkable characteristics: living authentically; learning constantly; advocating fiercely; acting courageously; fostering collaboration; building relationships; giving back; and celebrating.

We are pleased to share our 2023 ATHENA® award recipients:


Founder & Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Action Research Center

Research Professor
Southern Methodist University


Vice President
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control


Dr. Candice Lucas-Bledsoe, Founder and Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Action Research Center and Research Professor at Southern Methodist University, will receive the ATHENA® award, sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Ashlee V. Davidson, Vice President of Communications at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, will receive the YPL ATHENA® award, sponsored by Thomson Reuters.

These two exceptional women have not only excelled in their careers, they also contribute to their community and work to develop other women leaders. These are key traits celebrated by the ATHENA® International program.

Past recipients of the Dallas awards include:

      • 2022 Alfreda B. Norman, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (ATHENA®); Alexis A. Clark, Anchor Business Unit Manager, Hilti (YPL ATHENA®)
      • 2020 – Debbie Dennis, Chief Customer Officer and SVP Human Resources & Corporate Affairs, Oncor (ATHENA®); Ana I. Rodriguez, Managing Director of the Latino Leadership Initiative, SMU Cox School of Business (YPL ATHENA®) 
      • 2018 – Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO, Texas Women’s Foundation (ATHENA®); Amber Venz-Box, President and Co-Founder, rewardStyle (YPL ATHENA®) 
      • 2017 – Cynthia Marshall, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T Inc. (ATHENA®); Lacy Durham, Tax Manager, Deloitte Tax, LLP (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2015 – Maribess Miller, Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (ATHENA®); Lauren Mutti, Jackson Walker LLP (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2014 – Kathleen LaValle, Dallas CASA (ATHENA®); Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects and Flywheel (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2013 – Hattie Hill, Women’s Foodservice Forum   (ATHENA®); Sara Duran, Sidley Austin LLP (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2012 – Judge Barbara Lynn, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas (ATHENA®); Amanda L. Bush, Jackson Walker LLP (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2011 – Anne Motsenbocker, Chase (ATHENA®); Jasmin Brand, Brandpointe (ATHENA® YPL) 
      • 2010 – Carol Roehrigbkm Total Office of Texas 
      • 2009 – Catherine Rodewald, Prudential Asset Resources and Prudential Mortgage Capital Company 
      • 2008 – Suzanne CharriereCorgan Associates   
      • 2007 – Wanda Brice, The Women’s Museum   
      • 2006 – Wendy Lopez, LOPEZGARCIA GROUP   
      • 2005 – Becky Sykes, Dallas Women’s Foundation   
      • 2004 – Camille Keith, Southwest Airlines   
      • 2003 – Retta Miller, Jackson Walker LLP 
      • 2002 – Valerie Freeman, Imprimis Group 
      • 2001 – Liz MinyardMinyard Food Stores   
      • 2000 – Grace McDermott, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce 
      • 1999 – Brenda Jackson, TXU Electric Delivery   
      • 1998 – Gale Duff-Bloom, JCPenney Company, Inc.   
      • 1997 – Norma Lea Beasley, SAFECO Texas 
      • 1996 – Jinger Heath, BeautiControl Cosmetics   
      • 1995 – Tegwin Pulley, Texas Instruments   


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