Athena Leadership Awards announced, to be celebrated Oct. 13

Local News

Women Lead Change will present its annual leadership awards on Oct. 13 in Bettendorf.

Women Lead Change on Monday announced the honorees for the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Awards, including two new categories — Women of Influence and Emerging Leaders. 

All honorees will be celebrated at an Awards Luncheon at noon on Oct. 13, at the QC Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf, in conjunction with the WLC Quad Cities Conference. Tickets to the awards luncheon and conference are on sale now at

The 2021 award winners are:

ATHENA Leadership Award Honoree, sponsored by Bank of America

** Elaine Kresse, Retired Educator (31 years teaching for the Davenport Community School District) and Community Activist

Elaine Kresse of Davenport

Women of Influence Award Honorees, sponsored by Lexus

** Katie Castillo-Wilson, Founder & CEO, TapOnIt

** Juliet Christenson, Director, Product Strategy and Development, Royal Neighbors of America

** Katie Marchik, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, UnityPoint Health-Trinity

** Jazmin Newton-Butt, Attorney at Law, Newton Law PLC

** Monica Smith, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Augustana College

** Sarah Stevens, Community Impact Officer, The Beautifull Project

Emerging Leader Award Honorees, sponsored by Quad City Bank & Trust

** Haley DeGreve, Communication Specialist, John Deere

** Alanna Rumler, Certified Financial Planner, Northwestern Mutual

Alanna Rumler, left, and Haley DeGreve are the two winners of a new Emerging Leaders Award, honoring local women age 18-29 who are role models for others and have a reputation for high integrity and ethical standards.

Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of the ATHENA Awards Luncheon. Women Lead Change is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement, development and promotion of women, their organizations and to impacting the economy and future workforce. The group has given out the ATHENA awards in the Quad Cities since 2006.

Last year’s ATHENA winner was Heidi Huiskamp Collins, founder and CEO of Huiskamp Collins Investments, LLC. Women Lead Change decided to open new categories for awards this year to honor more women, said Amy Eaton, director of marketing and strategic development.

“We took a look at the amount of applications in the Quad Cities and there were a lot of women doing great things in the region. We wanted to create a network of up-and-coming Athenas, honoring some great women,” she said Monday.

The ATHENA Leadership Award is intended to honor women ages 60 and up, according to:

• Notable successes in her chosen field
• Has made a lasting impact on her community through civic, nonprofit, philanthropic and/or volunteer engagement
• Has a personal and professional reputation showing high integrity and ethical standards
• Is a role model for other women
• Actively assists women in achieving their full leadership potential

The Women of Influence Award goes to female leaders ages 30-59 who:

• Demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in her business or profession
• Has made a lasting impact on the community through civic, nonprofit, philanthropic and/or volunteer engagement
• Is a role model for other women
• Assists other women on their leadership path

The Emerging Leaders Award (for women ages 18-29) criteria are:

• Involvement with civic and nonprofit organizations
• Has a personal and/or professional reputation showing high integrity and ethical standards
• Is a role model for other women through achievements and ethical standards
• Continues to advance in her chosen field and/or is moving into further leadership positions in the community

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