Two Fort Wayne women were honored Thursday at the Ninth Annual Athena Awards Luncheon, hosted by the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. The two – Debra F. Williams, senior vice president/chief human resources officer at Parkview Healthcare, and Angela G. Garcia, an attorney with Carson Boxberger, were selected from 12 nominees for the awards, based on their community leadership and service of women in northeast Indiana, according to a news release.
Williams received the Athena Leadership Award. Her biography describes "her passion for creating human resources strategies that attract, engage, develop and retain a high performing workforce." according to the release. Williams serves on the boards of the United Way of Allen County, Early Childhood Alliance, SCAN, Turnstone, Visit Fort Wayne, Leadership Fort Wayne and the American Society of Employers and the advisory board of the Inforum Center for Leadership. She is also past president of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Greater Detroit Chapter.
The Athena Young Professional Leadership Development Award was presented to Garcia. She serves on the YWCA Northeast Indiana board of directors and is an active member of the Junior League of Fort Wayne. She is serving as the 2012-13 president of WOWnet, and serves on the Man and Woman of the Year Nominating Committee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Northeast Indiana. Garcia is a member of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana and was responsible for the "Get on Board Bootcamp" sponsored by YLNI and the Allen County Public Library's Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center.
Also awarded Thursday were the 2013 Athena Scholarships, which honor young women who have excelled in their academic career while demonstrating leadership potential and a commitment to their community.
This year's scholarship recipients are Romika D. Gunn of Homestead High School and Katana I. Heredia of Northrop High School.
Gunn served as vice president of the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council for Mayor Tom Henry. She will start at Indiana University this fall as a premed student studying neuroscience and plans to use her education to help others in America and third world countries with neurological impairments, according to the release.
Heredia helped with the long-term care of her terminally ill father until his death while keeping her grades up and participating in choir, dance, church and community service. She will start IPFW this fall as a prelaw student and plans to become a criminal defense attorney to protect the constitutional rights of the accused, according to the release..
Each student received a $1,000 scholarship.