(Flint, Michigan, December 2, 2010) During a ceremony at the Riverfront Banquet Center on Thursday, December 2, 2010, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce presented Dr. Laura Ann Carravallah with the prestigious 2010 ATHENA Award, and Katrina Khouri with the new 2010 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. These two outstanding women in our community were chosen from a pool of 18 inspiring nominees—13 for the ATHENA Award and five for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

Dr. Laura Carravallah

The ATHENA Awards recognize women who personify professional excellence, have devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assist other women in realizing their leadership potential. Dr. Laura Ann Carravallah is the Program Director of the Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center. She has served in this role since 1995, having worked her way up through the Hurley residency program. Dr. Carravallah is a role model for women in all disciplines, noted a co-worker in the nomination form. “She sets a positive example for women working full time, raising a family and demonstrating dynamic leadership. Her excellence is a testament to how much women can achieve.”

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honors emerging leaders in our community who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession, and serve as a role model for young women both personally and professionally. Katrina Khouri is a Business Development Representative for Financial Plus Federal Credit Union. At work Katrina’s leadership, mentoring and enthusiasm has revitalized a critical program creating a win-win situation for the organization and their members. Out of office Katrina is heavily involved in community service. As co-chairperson for the Genesee Regional Young Professionals (GRYP), Katrina is an example to young women who aspire to be leaders. Her hard work and passion shows that women of all ages can create opportunities and establish a voice to be heard.

Katrina Khouri

A selection committee consisting of a diverse group of leaders from outside Genesee County reviewed the nomination forms and selected the ATHENA Award recipients.

The ATHENA Award program was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and AT&T and included an internationally-themed strolling dinner and music. Tiffany Flynn, the 2008 ATHENA recipient and the District Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

In addition to the applause and recognition, Dr. Carravallah and Ms. Khouri each received an ATHENA sculpture, and Dr. Carravallah was honored with a diamond and gold ATHENA pin presented by HealthPlus of Michigan.

Sixteen other exceptional women were nominated. Each nominee received a Pandora bracelet with a glass charm matching the ATHENA International colors, complements of Gaines Jewelry.

The 2010 ATHENA nominees:

  • Stacy Betts, SPACE, Inc.
  • Judy Custer, The Home Depot
  • Amy Farmer, GM Flint Assembly and Flint Metal Center
  • Shirley Kautman-Jones, Country Home Creations, Inc.
  • Gwen Kelly, Citizens Bank  
  • Amy M. McMillan, Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission
  • Niki Perkins, Baker College Online & Center for Graduate Studies
  • Dawn Ramirez, Little Lamb’s Closet
  • Kathy Rometty, Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan
  • Kathryn Seay, Seay & Seay Enterprises
  • Verona Terry, Flint Genesee Job Corps Center
  • Jacque Valley, Vertigo Theatrics

The 2010 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership nominees:

  • Amanda Banks, Baker College Online & Center for Graduate Studies
  • Dr. Khadra Kahin, Renaissance ProAdjuster Wellness Center
  • Harmony Langford, YWCA of Greater Flint
  • Rachel Pruitt, ELGA Credit Union

“The ATHENA Awards honor women who lead, inspire and forge new paths for other women to follow,” noted Tim Herman, Regional Chamber CEO. “Genesee County is a terrific place for women to live, work and excel, and the ATHENA Awards are a perfect opportunity to applaud and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of these deserving nominees.”

Also recognized during the ceremony were the Katharine Roat Stevens Scholarship Fund 2009 and 2010 recipients – Alita Marie Prince and Ting Ting Ni, respectively.

The Katharine Roat Stevens Scholarship Fund is an annual scholarship awarded to female high school seniors graduating from Genesee County schools and who meet a specific criteria. Alita Marie Prince is a sophomore at University of Michigan-Flint. Ting Ting Ni is a freshman at Michigan State University. Ms. Stevens was a local entrepreneur and 1988 ATHENA Award recipient. The funds were created in her memory at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint by the Flint Chamber Foundation (now the Genesee Chamber Foundation) in 1993. The funds are managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Jazelle Bradley was also honored as the Regional Chamber’s 2010 Ambassador of the Year. Jazelle works at McLaren Health Plan and has been an Ambassador for the Regional Chamber since 2007.

Close to 300 people were in attendance to celebrate these women making a difference.