DALLAS (Oct. 3, 2014) – The Dallas Regional Chamber is excited to announce this year’s ATHENA® Award and Young Professional Leadership ATHENA® Award recipients: Kathleen LaValle and Suzanne Smith. The awards were presented today during the 19th Annual Women’s Business Conference held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.
“Both Kathleen LaValle and Suzanne Smith exemplify exceptional leadership in their professional and personal lives, making them ideal recipients of the ATHENA® Award. We are pleased to honor them for their continued commitment to excellence in their careers and ongoing community support and involvement,” said Pat Priest, COO & CFO for the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Each year, the award is presented to individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishment, excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge new paths encouraging others to follow.
For over 30 years, Kathleen LaValle has been engaged in a state and federal commercial litigation practice at the trial and appellate level. In her regulatory practice, she had a lead role in telecommunications regulatory proceedings impacting the opening of local service markets to competition following passage of the 1996 amendments to the Federal Telecommunications act. Ms. LaValle recently transitioned from Partner to Of Counsel at Jackson Walker in order to become the full-time Executive Director and President of Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Adocates). She previously served on the Dallas CASA Board of Directors for more than a decade, including a term as Board Chair.
“Wells Fargo is committed to women through education, women-owned business lending, and contributions of time and money to organizations supporting women and girls. We are proud to sponsor the Athena® Award because it honors the high caliber women in our region. Kathleen LaValle is an inspirational example of a woman who forged an extraordinary career in business, and through her leadership, has paved the way for other women in the business world,” said Laura MacNeil, regional executive for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking.
Suzanne Smith is a serial social entrepreneur and bridges many disciplines as a coach and consultant to social sector organizations as Founder and Managing Director of Social Impact Architects and Co-Founder of Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub. She also educates future social entrepreneurs as a fregquent guest lecturer at campuses across the country and as Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas and Research Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University. Previously, she worked with Community Wealth Ventures, Phoenix House, and the American Heart Association.
In 2011, Jasmin Brand of Brandpointe was the inaugural recipient of the ATHENA® Young Professional Leadership Award. Amanda L. Bush at Jackson Walker L.L.P. was honored in 2012, and Sara Duran at Sidley Austin LLP was honored in 2013. Previous recipients of the ATHENA® award include:
The ATHENA® Awards have been presented during the Women’s Business Conference since 1995.
The 2014 ATHENA® Award is presented by Wells Fargo and the 2014 Young Professional Leadership Award is presented by KPMG.
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