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ATHENA Luncheon

The ATHENA Award honors women who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, and devote time and energy to their community. Since the program's inception in 1982, more than 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the hope is to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

The ATHENA Luncheon is hosted annually by the Athens Area Chamber and the past ATHENA recipients. It recognizes the current ATHENA Nominees, and celebrates the accomplishments of female leaders in the Athens area.

ATHENA Nominees must meet each of the following criteria:

  • Women who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession
  • Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community
  • Assist women in reaching their full potential



ATHENA Honorees

Julita Sanders
Julita Sanders, Juvenile Offender Advocate, 2021 ATHENA Honoree

Julita Sanders, a native of Athens-Clarke County, currently works full-time as Neighborhood Service Officer for ACCPD. She is also Adjunct at Athens Technical College and serves as Founder/Executive Director of Juvenile Offender Advocate INC. Julita is a servant leader who is dedicated to her community.   

Julita’s diverse educational background focuses on community service. She holds an Associate’s in Paralegal Studies, Bachelors in Criminal Justice, Masters in Forensic Psychology and Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy. Julita is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and has served on various boards and organizations including: Envision Athens, LEAD Athens, United Way of Northeast Georgia Impact Review Panel, CASA, Friends for Life Mentor, Student Paralegal Association, Solicitor General Campaign Committee, NALA, Citizen Advocacy Board, Foothill School Mentor, ABH, Evelyn C. Neely Leadership Class, Toastmasters, & NAACP. 

2020 Laura Whitaker
2019  Dr. Andrea Daniel
2018  Regina Quick
2017  Kathy Hoard
2016  Christy Terrell
2015  Rubielen Norris
2014  Andree Terry
2013  Joan Prittie
2012  Patricia Barron
2011  Marilyn Farmer
2010  Margaret Wagner-Dahl
2009  Flora Tydings
2008  Cheryl Legette
2007  Elaine Cook
2006  Sue Lawrence
2005  Nancy Denson
2004  Tammy Gilland
2003  Kathryn Fowler
2002  Vivian Fisher
2001  Janey Cooley
2000  Katy O'Neal Arrowood
1999  Maxine Pinson Easom
1998  Nancy Staton
1997  Christine Bates
1996  Mickey Yongue
1995  Elizabeth Dalton
1994  Barbara Smalley
1993  Martha Henderson
1992  Helen Mills
1991  Sharon Baker-Boykin
1990  Maxine Burton
1989  Carol Williams
1988  Lousie McBee
1987  Mary Betts
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