Red Cross chairwoman wins this year’s ATHENA Award

By Candice Beasley

The 2010 ATHENA Award went to Sharon Rhoades Thursday night.

Rhoades is chairwoman of the DeKalb County Red Cross and a mother of two daughters.

The 21st annual ATHENA Award Ceremony was held to honor local women who were nominated for their inspiration, excellence and commitment. The event took place at Best Western DeKalb Inn and Suites, 1212 W. Lincoln Highway.

ATHENA is a national leadership organization recognizing women and men on their accomplishments and leadership amongst the DeKalb community.

“ATHENA is a way of recognizing people’s devotion to the community and the betterment of the DeKalb Community,” said Jim Allen, executive director of DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is one of ATHENA’s major sponsors.

Eleven women were nominated for the ATHENA recipient award. The award recognizes them for exemplifying great character and leadership by mentoring other women and being of great service to the community.

Linda Heinisch was given the 2010 Wo/Men of Accomplishment award. In order to be honored, you must be retired. The ATHENA program definition of an award recipient is one who demonstrates, embodies, actively assists and provides. Rhoades accepted her award and recognized the other women who were nominated. Michelle “Micki” Emmett, 2003 recipient, nominated Rhoades for being such a woman of greatness and character.

“You all belong up here with me,” Rhoades said. “I’m overwhelmed and honored to have been chosen.”