Seven Nominees Announced for Prestigious Athena Awards

Seven outstanding women are nominees for this year’s Athena Award presentations of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce and Geraldine Cunningham Associates, the sponsors of the 11th Annual award.
The nominees will be honored at the Athena Award Dinner, set for the evening of October 24 at the Lake of Isles Golf Course. The event is open to the public and tickets are $45 on a first-come, first-serve basis by calling Lisa Konicki at 401.596.7761.
The 2013 Athena nominees, and some of their achievements, are:
AlexisAlexis Ann—Founder and Publisher of The Resident
For the past 23 years, Alexis Ann has directed attention to Good News in our community through her publication, The Resident, regularly spotlighting achievement and innovative programs led by women. Notably, The Resident’s “Women in Business” special issues honor hundreds of women luminaries and the aspirations of woman-owned enterprises.  Formerly a Special Education teacher and for 32 years the owner of a small business, Alexis earned her B.A. degree from Central Connecticut State University in 1973, and her M.A. degree from the University of Montana in 1977.  Her service in the U.S. Army National Guard, in which she received a direct commission to officer rank, included both the Army Commendation Medal and Meritorious Service Medal; she retired as Public Affairs Officer in the Rhode Island Army National Guard with the rank of Captain.

Margaret_Austin1.06Margaret Austin–Vice President of Clinical Services/Chief Nursing Officer at The Westerly Hospital (retired)
Margaret has 36 years of progressive leadership and administrative experience in the hospital setting.  She has a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Rochester and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UCONN. Despite the constant and rapid changes at Westerly Hospital in the last 18 months, and despite the scrutiny, the anxiety, shifts in authority, etc., Margaret’s focus remained on patient care and on the people who manage and provide that care.  Margaret led the efforts that resulted in Westerly Hospital’s achievement of ISO9001 certification this spring, making the hospital the first in New England to reach this certification.

Karin BarthKarin Barth–Leader of The Cartells, a local band for 27 years
Karin excels at Vocals, Percussion, and Alto Sax.  She was a featured vocalist with the renowned “8 to the Bar,” for four years.  She recorded 2 albums with the video “Swingin’ School” before leaving to form The Cartells.  She donates her band and time to many charities. Prior to her life as an entrepreneur and professional artist, Karin was as Connecticut State Trooper for two years; she works to dispel stereotypes, serve with courage and inspire other women to pursue a career in law enforcement.  Karin has testified in CT for legislation that supports the advancement of women, protection of animals and other topics.

Rita casadyRita Casady– Circulation Marketing Mgr, South County, Providence Journal, retired
She managed the largest internal non union department and had the highest diversity rate.  She sought fairness and equity for her staff, securing things like maternity leave for her part-time employees. While involved in Little League, she was one of two women who had their own teams.  Rita has 12 years of service to the Rotary Club of Chariho where served on numerous committees and chaired events.  She’s a past Board member of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce, and was a Democracy Compact Fellow 2000.  She was the YWCA Outstanding Woman 1986 and 2004.

RosemarieRosemarie S. Kingsbury, CAP-OM–Senior Administrative Professional, Hoyt, Filippeti & Malaghan, LLC
Rosemarie served in the United States Army from 1977 to 1980. She was one of the first women to train with the men at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. While in Advanced Individual Training she was retired from the Corps and enlisted into the Regular Army as one of the first women to be called Soldier. From 1986 to 2012, Rosemarie was employed by Sansiveri, Kimball & Co, LLP as an administrative professional. During this time she honed her skills and knowledge and became active in the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She obtained the IAAP Member of Excellence status for the years 2008-2013. Since 2005 she has been active in the advancement of women in 15 states through mentoring in this organization.

Diana SerraDiana L. Serra–Westerly Town Council President, former Owner/Director./Head Teacher of Westerly Preschool
Diana taught and nurtured Westerly children for over 30 years. She received the Napatree Business & Professional Women of Achievement Award in 1999. She’s served three consecutive terms on the Westerly Town Council, and was the second female in Westerly history to be voted as Council President.  She has encouraged other women to get involved in local politics by her friendly, no-nonsense, open-minded approach to government.  In her capacity as Town Council President, she has been at the helm to deal with a historic 500 year flood and Superstorm Sandy.  She has served on numerous boards and committees and as council liaison to a myriad of associations and agencies including the Westerly Senior Center, the Westerly Airport Corporation, Westerly Hospital Community Committee and Chamber of Commerce and the North End Crime Watch reading program.
Lydia TeixeiraLydia Teixeira–Vice President, Hi-Tech Profiles, Inc.
Lydia is the co-owner of the Hopkinton Industrial Park, a 250,000 square foot building that houses seven tenants, technology and science-based companies.  She is the co-owner of 3 other businesses that are housed in the Park, as well as The Pavilion restaurant in Hopkinton.  Together, these businesses employ 160 people.  Lydia has been a driving force for creating jobs and she helped mentor and coach the women of Hi-Tech Profiles.  Lydia’s community service includes volunteering as a presenter at Career Day at the Stonington High School, providing guidance and exploration in career development.  Lydia was the recipient of the 2010 Good Neighbor Award by the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.
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