• ATHENA Leadership Awards

    The ATHENA®​  Leadership Awards Program recognizes and honors the achievements of outstanding professional and business women. It celebrates individuals who strive toward the highest level of accomplishment; women who excel in their chosen field but who also open paths so that others may follow.

    The ATHENA Awards Program is an international program. Since its beginning in Michigan in 1982, more than 7,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities in 8 countries. The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce is pleased to bring this important recognition program to women working in or contributing to Palo Alto.

    In keeping with the spirit of the ATHENA Awards reflecting the strength, wisdom and power of the mythical goddess, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce is, for the first time in 2019, awarding the Silicon Valley Woman of Wisdom®​ Award to a professional woman living or working in Silicon Valley who embodies the principles of ethical leadership, demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit, has achieved exceptional success in her career, and is an inspiration to all women.

    Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the

    33rd Annual ATHENA® Awards

    and the inaugural

    Silicon Valley Woman of Wisdom ® Award

    Thursday, November 7th ~ Luncheon generously hosted by  the Garden Court Hotel, 520 Cowper Street

    11:00 a.m. Reception/Networking   12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon


    Recognizing the outstanding professional achievements of the 2019 honorees

    Carol S. Larson

    President and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

    ATHENA Leadership Award


    Lucy Wicks

    Director, Stanford University Office of Government and Community Relations

    ATHENA Emerging Professional Leadership Award


    Celeste Volz Ford

    Founder/Chair of the Board, Former CEO, Stellar Solutions

    Inaugural Silicon Valley Woman of Wisdom®​ Award

    The luncheon usually sells out - seating is limited - reserve your place today!

    For Individual Tickets and Preferred Table Reservations CLICK HERE

    Event Sponsorships Available ~ Contact the Chamber at 650-324-3121 or info@paloaltochamber.com

  • Supporting, developing and honoring women leaders.  Inspiring women to achieve their full potential.  Creating balance in worldwide leadership.

  • Past ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients

    Cecilia Burciaga (1987) • Loretta Green (1988) • Gail Stypula (1989) • Rose Kleiner (1990)

    Paula Sandas (1991) • Betsy Bechtel (1992) • Carroll Harrington (1993) • Kathleen Gwynn (1994)

    Jeanne D. Kennedy (1995) • Beverly Nadine (1996) • Karen Csejtey (1997) • Susan Black (1998)

    Marlene Prendergast (1999) • Lynne Johnson (2000) • Sharon Williams (2001) • Lisa Hendrickson (2002)

    Pam Brandin (2003) • Jean McCown (2004) • Barbara Gross (2005) • Karen Nierenberg (2006)

    Georgie Gleim (2007) • Marilyn Winkleby (2008) • Deborah Pappas (2009) • Audrey Rust (2010)

    Tara VanDerveer (2011) • Rebecca Nelson (2012) • Anne Warner Cribbs (2013)

    Jane Williams (2014) • Eileen Richardson (2015) • Karen Kienzle (2016) • Jenny Dearborn (2017) 

    Sherri Sager (2018)


  • Past ATHENA Emerging Professional Leadership Award Recipients

    Jacquetta Lannan (2014) • Stephanie Martinson (2015) • Candice Gonzalez (2016) 

    Anissa Leong (2017) •  Elaine Uang (2018)

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  • New Law for Employers New Law for Employers


    The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.

    The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.

    The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

    If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.

    Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.

    Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.

    1. Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
    2. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
    3. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
    4. Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
    5. Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster

    courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

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