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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, 2022 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. 

2021 Laura Whitaker
2020  Dr. Andrea Daniel
2019  Regina Quick
2018  Kathy Hoard
2017  Christy Terrell
2016  Rubielen Norris
2015  Andree Terry
2014  Joan Prittie
2013  Patricia Barron
2012  Marilyn Farmer
2011  Margaret Wagner-Dahl
2010  Flora Tydings
2009  Cheryl Legette
2008  Elaine Cook
2007  Sue Lawrence
2006  Nancy Denson
2005  Tammy Gilland
2004  Kathryn Fowler
2003  Vivian Fisher
2002  Janey Cooley
2001  Katy O'Neal Arrowood
2000  Maxine Pinson Easom
1999  Nancy Staton
1998  Christine Bates
1997  Mickey Yongue
1996  Elizabeth Dalton
1995  Barbara Smalley
1994  Martha Henderson
1993  Helen Mills
1992  Sharon Baker-Boykin
1991  Maxine Burton
1990  Carol Williams
1989  Lousie McBee
1988  Mary Betts
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