ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon

About the Program

Each Year the Business Development Connection honors area individuals during the ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon. One individual is selected from among the honorees to receive this prestigious award. The award recognizes an individual who has attained and personifies the highest level of excellence and creativity in their business or profession, while continuing to devote time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and has actively assisted women in achieving their full leadership potential through service and mentorship.

The ATHENA Leadership Award was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment – qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Award is unique in both scope—local, national and international—and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based.

The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman —or man— who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

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, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

Eligibility:   Honorees from the previous year are ineligible.  Individuals are not eligible if they have been an honoree twice within a 5-year period.

Candidates:   May not be currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Shreveport Chamber, Business Development Connection, employed by area Chambers of Commerce or serve as a public elected official.  Additionally, individuals are only eligible to be honored for one award recognition from the Greater Shreveport Chamber per year.


– ​2023 –
Dr. Suzanna Linn Tinsley

– ​2022 –
Dr. Joslin Mar-Dai Pickens
– ​2021 –
Dr. Shelly Nicole Armstrong
– ​2020 –
Renee’ Ellis
– ​2019 –
Linnea Allen Fayard
– ​2018 –
Dr. Rosaline Caldwell
– ​2017 –
Dr. Melva Williams
– ​2016 –
Denee Locke
– 2015 –
Dr. Johnette Magner
Sandra Haynes
– 2014 –
Lea M. Desmarteau
Jan Elkins
– 2013 –
Pamela L. Pero
Pat Wyatt
– 2012 –
Kacee Kirschvink
Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan
– 2011 –
Barbara G. Deane
Dr. Deirdre Barfield
– 2010 –
Ginger Clarke
Hedy Hebert
– 2009 –
Helen Godfrey Smith
Eydie Comeaux
– 2008 –
Debra Lindsey
Ashley Wade
– 2007 –
Ollie Tyler
Pam Glorioso

– 2006 –
Lori Cheramie
Stacy Brown
– 2005 –
Linda Biernacki
Bernadette Bitting
– 2004 –
Angie Teagle
Joyce Jeffrey
– 2003 –
Simone Hennessee
Sandra Braddock
– 2002 –
Bonnie Dubin
– 2001 –
Dr. Bettina Hilman
Markey Pierre’
– 2000 –
Judy O. Williams
Rosemary Patterson
– 1999 –
Annette Hall
Wanda Bennett
– 1998 –
Dr. Essie Holt
Kathy McCallister
– 1997 –
Linda Johnson
Chief Master Sergeant Cheryl Denson (deceased)
– 1996 –
Dr. Ann McLaurin
Connie Brown
– 1995 –
Arlena Acree
Helen Black
– 1994 –
Diana DeCharles
Coy Cooper
– 1993 –
Sandy Cimino
Terri Mathews
– 1992 –
Francene Miller
– 1991 –
Dr. Patricia Thompson

Our Distinguished Partners