A Glimpse at an ATHENA Nomination

It’s one of our favorite times of the Women’s Network program year… ATHENA Nomination season! For many members, or non-members, it is a time where individuals mentally thumb through their mentors, leaders, or friends in search of an individual to nominate. However, sometimes its difficult to know where to begin. We get it, and we want to help! The best way we can think of to help nominators in their nominating journey is to share a few words from our recipients nominations last year. If these excerpts don’t inspire you to nominate an ATHENA yourself, we don’t know what will!

Dr. Bea Smith, University of Missouri
2018 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient

Nomination submitted by Michele Batye, Dave Griggs Flooring America

There are certain people you meet through your lives that you know from first glance you will aspire to be like them: Dr. Bea Smith is one of those people on my list. I first met Dr. Smith as Dean when I attended the University of Missouri. As a young, naive college student I look back on my own self confidence as teetering between ruling the world or returning to the safety of my parents; Dr. Smith was inspiring, graceful and authentic and made me want to aspire for the first. She was friendly and approachable and I’m not sure how she did it, but tried to make time to authentically get to know all of her students.

After Graduation I was lucky enough to continue seeing Dr. Smith as a client. It did not take me long to realize that the inspiration that Dr. Smith showered reached far beyond the walls of Stanley Hall at the Mizzou Campus. She was a pillar in this community and others and continued to carry that sincere interest in what you were doing and how you were growing, giving ever so gentle guidance and nudges in the right direction.

“She impacts lives directly and is never afraid to speak out for the underdog or unrecognized. “

Michele Batye, Dave Griggs Flooring America

I think that Dr. Smith is an example of an Athena in the most outstanding way. Through her work as Dean she lifted up many students and, in a male dominated world of higher education, she took the College of Human Environmental Sciences through a paradigm shift from basic degrees associated with women to the science of addressing human needs and enhancing individual and family life in a diverse and global society by  advancing research and  preparing professionals for providing outreach. She impacts lives directly and is never afraid to speak out for the underdog or unrecognized. She changes mindsets with her confidence and intelligence and lifts up even the timid to recognize their courage and potential.

Sarah Dubbert, Commerce Bank

2018 ATHENA Young Professional Recipient
Nomination submitted by Michele Curry, Commerce Bank

I have been working under Sarah for almost 5 years, and I have never met a stronger leader in any of the groups or organizations of which I have participated.

Sarah has a gift for higher‐level thinking with a specialty in evaluating situations from all angles. Because of this talent, she has recently been promoted to Commercial Division Manager at Commerce Bank for the Central Missouri region. Beyond understanding how to motivate sales, Sarah understands people. She recognizes strengths in the people around her and expertly crafts a team to work at its highest level of efficiency and cooperation to turn out unbelievable results (seriously, our corporate partners turn to Sarah for advice on how she does what she does.)

“She recognizes strengths in the people around her and expertly crafts a team to work at its highest level of efficiency “

Michele Curry, Commerce Bank

Never one to sugar coat anything, Sarah tells it like it is, even if the truth isn’t pretty. How else are we to attain progress if a team is not honest with itself? She is a gentle guide to bring out the best in her people. I personally recognize the benefits of having Sarah as a strong female leader, as do all of my fellow female team members. She encourages us to speak our minds, to ask questions, and above all else, to believe in ourselves.

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