Conference Honors Women in the Workplace and Celebrates Extraordinary Leaders in Our Community

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (November 17, 2015) – The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center hosted its 39th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at the Little America Hotel & Tower. The conference featured speakers and informative breakout sessions designed to provide help to women in the workplace and celebrate extraordinary leaders who foster an environment where women in our community can thrive.

“Women are critical to the success of our economy.We’re here today to honor excellence in the workplace and the unique contributions made by women business leaders,”said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Karen Gunn, Associate Provost of Economic Development and Business Partnerships, Salt Lake Community College; Executive Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program was honored as the as the 2015 ATHENA Award recipient. The ATHENA 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. They must also provide 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.

In addition to the ATHENA Award, five women received 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 five Pathfinder for this year’s event were:

Rebecca Dutson, Executive Vice President and COO, United Way of Salt Lake

Jodi Holmgren, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Durham Jones & Pinegar

Cathy Keen, Vice President and Senior Private Banker, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Fraser Nelson, Director of Data and Innovation, Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office

Kathy Ricci, CEO and Executive Director, Microenterprise Loan Fund

Event sponsors for the event included: American Express, Wells Fargo, CBRE, Chase, City Creek Center, Questar, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, RC Willey, KNRS, Avalanche Studios, Enterprise Newspaper Group, Intermountain Healthcare, Larry H. Miller Group Companies, Progrexion, Rio Tinto Kennecott and Utah Media Group.

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 8,000 businesses and approximately 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 Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, 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.

About the Pathfinder Awards

The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually during the American Express Women & Business Conference during the Wells Fargo Athena Award Luncheon to a select number of worthy community leaders who have a history of support for women and women’s issues and who have worked to further the development and recognition of women. This award has been a traditional part of the conference for many years.