Linda Arnett, Allison Ott and RE/MAX Main Street Realty to be honored on May 10
ATHENA Lenawee annually recognizes those in our community who are dedicated to cultivating and developing women in leadership. The 2018 award recipients are Linda Arnett, Allison Ott and RE/MAX Main Street Realty.
Linda Arnett is the 2018 ATHENA Award recipient. The award is given annually to a woman who assist women in reaching their full professional leadership potential, while demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative. “Linda is the consummate team player and wants everyone to be involved,” said Ben Neal, President CEO of Lenco Credit Union. “She encourages and counsels fellow employees and is respected by everyone with whom she works.”
Allison Ott is the 2018 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient. The Young Professional Award, like the ATHENA Award, recognizes a woman who assists women in reaching their full leadership potential and serves as a role model for young women both personally and professionally. “Her passion for our community is evident through her dedication to serving others,” said Rick Gurdjian, Gurdjian Insurance Group, Inc.
RE/MAX Main Street Realty will be honored as the 2018 Parthenon Award recipient. The Parthenon Award was first presented by ATHENA Lenawee in 2006 and celebrates businesses dedicated to raising the potential of all women as valued members of their business, profession and the community. “RE/MAX Main Street Realty and Jeff Rising encourage our participation in volunteering. In this area, Jeff definitely leads by example,” said Kasey White of RE/MAX Main Street Realty. “We are given time needed during the day to attend meetings and/or volunteer.” The ATHENAAward Event will be held May 10, 5:30-7:30 PM at Siena Heights University's Dominican Hall. Tickets are $40 per person, and are available for purchase online: https://tinyurl.com/athenalenawee2018 or you may pay via check, PO Box 423, Adrian, MI 49221.
ATHENA Lenawee is seeking nominations for the ATHENA Leadership Award, Parthenon Award for businesses, and the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. These awards are given annually to those in Lenawee who promote women’s leadership. The nomination forms, criteria for all three awards, as well as a list of previous recipients, are available online.Nominations are due by Friday, March 2 and can be submitted online, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or downloaded from the website and mailed in to the included address.
The ATHENA Leadership Award recognizes individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishments, who excel in their chosen field, have devoted time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and who also open paths so that others may follow.
The ATHENA Lenawee Parthenon Award celebrates businesses dedicated to raising the potential of all women as valued members of their business, profession and the community. The award honors those businesses that strive toward the highest levels of this achievement.
The ATHENA Lenawee Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes a woman 40 years old or younger who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession and serves as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.
A selection committee, made up of a diverse group of community leaders, will review all nominations and select the 2018 recipients. A ceremony to celebrate the recipients will be held in May.
ATHENA Lenawee is starting a series of interviews highlighting local women. Our first interview is with Beth Jessee.
As a child, Beth Jessee was a triathlete with the vision of becoming a gym teacher. It seemed like the perfect fit with her love of sports. Following her graduation from Adrian High School she went off to college and attended Ferris State University (FSU). In her first year, her ability to cut hair quickly became a deterrent from attending class. News of her skillset had become popular overnight and friends, as well as other college students, would call and ask for a haircut at all hours. When the first call came for a haircut during her 10am English class, she remembers trying to reschedule but the ten dollars was too hard to resist. Soon she became the college student with unlimited funds and she realized her grades were not her first priority.
During a college break, after discussing her future with her parents, Beth came to the realization that she had a passion for hair. Returning to college to pursue education as a gym teacher was simply her need to fit what she imagined society expected of her. She made the decision to apply for cosmetology school and to withdraw from FSU. During that college break, while visiting with her closest friend, the friend’s mother asked her when she was returning back to FSU. A question that led to a pivotal moment in Beth’s life. As Beth explained that she would not be returning to college, but would be pursing cosmetology, she faced what she had feared, judgement. Her friend’s mother, without hesitation, stated that “losers go to cosmetology school” and that she was “ruining her future.” Those words struck deep. They were words that she would never forget. Today she uses that heartbreaking moment to remind her to keep going, to do knew things and to never stop pursing what she finds fulfilling.
By the age of 24, after having worked for other companies, Beth’s parents encouraged her to purchase a home where she could also have a studio attached. Beth stated it was one of the best pieces of advice she was ever given. It also came at a time where the studio she was working was going to be closing down and her colleagues were looking for a new place to work. Beth made the decision to follow her parents’ advice and it was the start of what we know today as Jessee Salon Group.
Over the years, Beth has explored new opportunities for business growth and learned to leverage risk as she has taken on new opportunities. She keeps up with the latest in cosmetology and continues to support other women who are following in her footsteps to make a career for themselves.
For Beth, owning two salons and a photography company was not enough. She continued to have a vision that included becoming internationally known. She works toward that by pursuing opportunities to get published in magazines from her field, she also has a highly creative and active Instagram (@bethjessee_synergyinmotion) and worked with Nickelodeon. The experience with Nickelodeon was one she credits to another woman in her field. It was out of the norm for someone outside of Los Angeles to get the opportunity, so for Beth, they were experiences she will never forget. An experience where a woman helped another woman get ahead and get a job that a business owner in Michigan would normally never have the opportunity. She credits the experience as the development of taking her photography business to the next level and creating her brand.
Business opportunities and new experiences will continue to be Beth’s pursuit. She has found the greatest sense of achievement by taking what she is good at and connecting it with those things that ignite her passion. Her advice to others is dream bigger. She believes that women can do incredible things when they take their skillset and merge it with those things that make you wake up excited each morning. It wouldn’t be Beth’s story if it didn’t end with her own words…
“Don’t be afraid to go for your dreams. When you hold yourself back, you are never going to see your full potential. Sometimes you have to just go for it, even if you fall flat on your face.”
Join us at Cotton Brewing Company and learn more about Athena Lenawee. Your $10 donation supports Athena's mini-grants and scholarships. Please consider bringing a door prize and needed items for Neighbors of Hope. RSVP Now
More than 70 women attended last night's ATHENA Aid event, generously sponsored by Kapnick Insurance Group, raising money for the organization's grant and scholarship fund.
Kathy Williams presented about Neighbors of Hope and their campaign for a new homeless shelter to help women and children in our community. Learn more about the organization and their plans: http://neighborsofhope.com Holly Griewahn, Simplified Living Concierge, was our spotlight. She explained how her business has grown and the types of services she offers to clients - errand service, personal assistant, party planning and organizational services - decluttering, downsizing and moving.
Save the date for the next ATHENA Aid Event: Thursday, December 7 at 5:30 PM Cotton Brewing Company 626 Oak St., Adrian
Honorees to be recognized May 11 at Siena Heights University
ATHENA Lenawee annually recognizes those in our community who are dedicated to cultivating and developing women in leadership. The 2017 award recipients are Deborah Keller, Ashley Gonzalez, and Gleaner Life Insurance Society.
"ATHENA Lenawee is pleased to recognize the very special group of honorees in 2017,” said Julie Koehn, ATHENA Lenawee Council Chair. “We celebrate the accomplishments of each, and thank them for their service to women and the greater Lenawee community."
Deborah Keller, Siena Heights University, is the 2017 ATHENA Award recipient. The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1991. The award is given annually to a woman who assist women in reaching their full professional leadership potential, while demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative.
Ashley Gonzalez, WLEN Radio, is the 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient. The Young Professional Award is new for 2017, and like the ATHENA Award, recognizes a woman who assists women in reaching their full leadership potential and serves as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.
Gleaner Life Insurance Society will be honored as the 2017 Parthenon Award. The Parthenon Award was first presented by ATHENA Lenawee in 2006 and celebrates businesses dedicated to raising the potential of all women as valued members of their business, profession and the community.
The ATHENA Award Event will be held May 11 at 5:30 PM in Dominican Hall on the campus of Siena Heights University, 1247 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Space is limited, and reservations are required by April 29th. To RSVP or for more information about the event please contact Sue Hammersmith at 517.423.1729.