Honoring the 2017 ATHENA and Pathfinder Award Winners

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (November 15, 2017) – Today the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-standing statewide business association, honored Dr. Deneece Huftalin as the 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient at this year’s Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon at the Little America Hotel.

The ATHENA Leadership Award is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business. Each recipient must also provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.

“Deneece is a collaborator, a leader, and she inspires everyone around her. She is one of those rare individuals who go beyond the call of duty,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “She is bright, articulate, caring, and helps not only her students, but her community at every opportunity. What she has done with Salt Lake Community College has been phenomenal. She’s not only helping create the workforce of today, but she’s helping shape the workforce of tomorrow.”

Dr. Deneece Huftalin was named the eighth president of Salt Lake Community College in September 2014. Prior to her current role, Huftalin served as Salt Lake Community College’s Interim President, Vice President of Student Services, Dean of Students, and Director of Academic and Career Advising. In her tenure as president, Huftalin has launched a College-wide strategic planning cycle that has produced a new vision, mission, values, and strategic goals for the College. She is also leading efforts to strengthen completion rates, transfer pathways, workforce responsiveness, and equity in student access and completion.

Huftalin also has taught in the Education, Leadership, and Policy program at the University of Utah and serves on a number of community boards and committees including the Salt Lake Chamber, Governor’s Education Excellence Commission, EDCUtah, Envision Utah, and Utah Campus Compact. Nationally, Dr. Huftalin serves as a Commissioner and Executive Committee member for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a trustee for LeaderShape, and a member CEO for RC-2020, Inc.

“What an honor it is to be recognized by the Salt Lake Chamber as an ATHENA Leadership Award recipient,” said Huftalin. “I’m proud to be associated with such a remarkable group of women who have been honored before me!”

In addition to the ATHENA Leadership Award, six women were honored as Pathfinder Awards at the conference. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths promoting the development and recognition of women in business.

The six Pathfinder recipients this year include the following:

  • Amanda Covington, SVP Communications & Government Relations, Vista Outdoor
  • Mary Crafts-Homer, President & CEO, Culinary Crafts
  • Lavanya Mahate, Owner, Saffron Valley East India Café
  • Heidi Prokop, SVP & Communications Manager, Zions Bank
  • Maureen Riley, retired Executive Director, Salt Lake City International Airport
  • Vicki Varela, Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding

For more information: http://slchamber.com/ATHENA/

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ABOUT THE CHAMBER

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest business association and Utah’s business leader. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents more than 8,000 businesses and 500,000 Utah jobs—nearly half the workforce of our state. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.

ABOUT THE ATHENA

The ATHENA Leadership Award is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business, provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Established in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, the ATHENA Award ®Program is now administered from its Chicago, Illinois headquarters and boasts over 300 active communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. More than 5,000 individuals representing a wide variety of professions and businesses have received the ATHENA Award. Presented by local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors the award practically demonstrates the quote from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.