Local CEOs awarded for gender empowerment efforts in the workplace and beyond

Local News

Two local CEOs were recognized for their business and philanthropic efforts involving gender empowerment during Women Lead Change‘s 2020 Athena Awards Luncheon at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf Wednesday afternoon.

Heidi Huiskamp Collins — Founder and CEO of Huiskamp Collins Investments, LLC — received the Athena Leadership Award to honor her excellence, creativity and initiative throughout her career, her valuable dedication to contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and for actively assisting women in realizing their full leadership potential.

Huiskamp Collins is also President of the Bettendorf Business Network and serves on the boards of the Amy Helpenstell Foundation, UnityPoint Trinity Health Foundation, Lead(h)er, Martin Luther King Center and the Rock Island/Milan First Day Fund.

Outside of the workplace, Huiskamp Collins has been mentoring girls through Big Brothers Big Sisters for the last 20 years. She is on the leadership team to establish the first chapter of NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners, in the Quad Cities and is serving as the Vice President of Advocacy.

James Von Maur — President and CEO of Von Maur, Inc. and Dry Goods, LLC — received the Male Champion of Change Award to honor his work toward building a gender-equal community and for his willingness to step up, work together, listen, learn and lead with action.

Von Maur has consistently demonstrated his commitment to develop women leaders by supporting the Von Maur Executive Training program, which prepares individuals for future leadership roles within the company. In the past decade, over 90% of individuals placed in this program were women, many of which are now in leadership roles. Over 60% of senior managers and 84% of executives employed by Von Maur are women. Von Maur also supports organizations such as Dress for Success through donations.

Athena International‘s mission is to support, develop and honor women leaders, to inspire women to achieve their full potential and to create a balance in leadership worldwide.

A full list of the 2020 Athena Awards nominees is available here.

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