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Congrats Athena Award Winner

At today’s Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Lucinda Andreani was named as this year’s Athena winner.  The young professional winner is Rachel Edelstein Wheeler.  Today’s awards were announced at the High Country Conference Center.


Lucinda Andreani. After a career that included key management roles at large energy corporations and starting her own consulting firm, Lucinda Andreani joined Coconino County in 2005 as the special districts coordinator. Lucinda uses a Peter Drucker phrase, “Success to Significance,” to characterize this important life decision to join Coconino County. She moved to the county manager’s office as the director of special initiatives in 2007, and in 2011, became a deputy director in the Public Works Department.

During the Schultz Flood, Lucinda became a critical member of the County’s response team. She now leads the development and implementation of the mitigation plan for the area. In the past year, more than $9 million in funding has been secured and she has received praise from leaders of the flood-affected neighborhoods, who cited her concern and leadership in building a partnership with the residents and neighborhood association.

Outside of her professional role, Lucinda has benefitted the Flagstaff community with her volunteer leadership, particularly as co-chair of the Financial Stability Partnership for the United Way of Northern Arizona, where she has helped build the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. She is also a former board member of the Flagstaff Leadership Program and a current Executive Committee member for the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Throughout her career, Lucinda has made a special effort to reach out to women and young professionals to help them excel. “Seeing a young person with high expectations succeed is the greatest reward,” she says.


Rachel Edelstein Wheeler. When Rachel Edelstein Wheeler was in her last semester at Northern Arizona University, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. This sparked Rachel’s passion for cancer research and prevention over the past decade. She became involved in the American Cancer Society’s Flagstaff office through their Relay For Life of NAU, serving as a team captain for the Climb to Conquer Cancer and has chaired, co-chaired and been the sponsorship chair for the Denim and Diamonds Gala for the past four years.

She is now an employee of the American Cancer Society and is responsible for coordinating all free cancer patient services throughout Northern Arizona. She manages volunteers, implements American Cancer Society national programs and works directly with health professional leaders to promote services that help cancer patients improve their quality of life.

Through her participation in Soroptimist International of the Arizona Peaks, Rachel has helped raise funds for women and children in the community. She has served as a board member and treasurer of the organization as well as co-chair of Hope’s Closet, which provides free professional clothes to underprivileged women entering the workforce. Rachel has also volunteered as an English as a Second Language tutor, helping many people complete job applications to better their lives.

Rachel’s work with the American Cancer Society and Soroptimist has allowed her to influence a younger generation to support both of these organizations.


The guest speaker was Ken Colburn, CEO/founder of Data Doctors Computer Services and Data Forensic labs, established in 1988.  Colburn’s ability to explain technology to the average user has made him a popular speaker. A featured columnist in The Business Journal, eBay Magazine, and BizAZ magazine, he was voted the Best Computer Help Radio Host in the Country by Tech TV, a 24-hour national cable channel.

You’ll walk away with cutting edge strategies for your 2012 business plan from Colburn, who will discuss the mobile revolution, social media, cloud computing and the latest updates from Facebook and Google.

The Flagstaff Chamber Annual Meeting is a signature business event in our community. It will also feature the awarding of the ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional Honors. The Chairman’s gavel will be passed from Mike Loven (Loven Contracting) to Greg Sampson (Alliance Bank).

Corporate tables of eight are available at $360, and individual tickets are $50.

The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, McCoy Motors and supporting sponsor Nordstrom & Associates are proud to present the annual ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional Award nominees. For 23 years, we have honored women leaders who demonstrate the highest levels of professional excellence, commit their talent and time to the community, and actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential. The recipient of the awards will be announced at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting Luncheon on Friday, January 20 at the High Country Conference Center.




Jill Babb. Entrepreneur Jill Babb created her interior design business, Changes, more than 20 years ago. Her tasteful sensibilities can be seen in the recent remodel of the Forest Highlands Canyon Clubhouse and Wyndham Flagstaff. She also donated her talents to Hope Cottage, the women and children’s shelter, and Taylor House, Flagstaff Medical Center’s hospitality home. Jill is starting a new Christian clothing and accessories company called He’s the Way. Jill was active in setting up Hope’s Closet, the Soroptimist “store” that provides free professional clothing to women in need who are getting back into the workforce.

In 2005, Jill founded the Flagstaff Chapter of Childhelp, a national organization that aids abused and neglected children. She became a member of the National Board of Directors of Childhelp in 2008, and organizes numerous local fundraising events for the organization. Additionally, she has volunteered or served with many other community organizations, including Soroptimist International of the Arizona Peaks, the American Cancer Society, the Flagstaff Symphony and her church. She was named the Soroptimist of the Year in 2000-2001.
Through her work developing Flagstaff’s Childhelp chapter, Jill encouraged many women (and men as well) to become leaders and officers in the organization. Many of the women in the chapter had little, if any, volunteer experience, and she encouraged them to step into leadership roles so they would not only enrich their own lives but the lives of abused and neglected children.


Amanda Guay. In her role as director of community health programs and services, Amanda Guay works with multiple stakeholders from government agencies, local offices, community organizations, health departments, tribes and educational institutions, with the dual goals of reaching out to Northern Arizona communities as well as developing policies to achieve improved health outcomes for different populations.

Amanda was the lead author of a grant request for North County HealthCare that brought $7.4 million in stimulus funds to Northern Arizona. These monies allowed NCHC to expand its 4th Street location and build two new facilities in the area. In a recessionary time, jobs were created for contractors, medical providers and more, and health care access was improved in rural communities.

Amanda is currently on the Board of Directors of the Flagstaff Leadership Program and Bothands. She is a 2010 graduate of FLP. In addition, she has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and helped set up its ReStore, which sells reusable and surplus building materials to the public. She also worked on efforts to pass the statewide tobacco ban through the Coconino County Tobacco Use Prevention Project and worked with the Northern Arizona Interfaith Council to promote universal health care coverage.

As a supervisor to several community health program managers and coordinators at NCHC, Amanda is a champion of empowering women to improve their leadership skills. She encourages continuing education, whether it’s earning a higher-level degree or attending national and state conferences.


Dr. Deidre Hunter. Dr. Deidre Hunter is a tenured astronomer at Lowell Observatory and has been a member of its scientific staff for 25 years. She serves as its deputy director of science, leading the coordination of science activities at a time when the observatory is engaging in exciting partnerships with the Discovery Channel, Boston University and the University of Maryland.

Deidre’s research focuses on small galaxies, the building blocks from which larger galaxies such as our Milky Way are formed. For the past 15 years, she has also led Lowell’s nationally recognized Navajo-Hopi outreach program, which pairs Lowell astronomers with a reservation middle school class throughout the year for exploration of the world of science.

Deidre serves on national and international astronomy panels, but is also dedicated to working locally to improve the community. Over the years, she has been a volunteer for numerous organizations, including the Northland Family Children’s Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff, Haven Montessori School, Second Chance Center for Animals and St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Women account for only about 30 percent of new doctorates in astronomy and astrophysics. Deidre has mentored female graduate students working on their Ph.D. dissertations, undergraduates from colleges and universities throughout the United States who are participating in the Northern Arizona University “Experiences for Undergraduates” program, and newly minted doctorates who are trying to balance the demands of their careers with families. Deidre’s researchers have blossomed under her steady guidance.


Aude Stang. Aude Stang is the owner of the Architectural Design Studio, which specializes in the creation of unique custom homes with an emphasis on sustainability. The creation of green homes is particularly important to Aude, who earned the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris in France. “The green homes of today will become the standard homes of tomorrow,” she says on her business website. In addition, she also uses her fluency in French to assist local businesses and leaders in translation projects.

As a designer in Flagstaff, Aude has put her architectural expertise to use for both the city and county. She helped on the recent rewrite of the city’s Zoning Code and has been a member of the Coconino County Sustainable Building Program for the past six years. She is also part of its Advisory Committee and active in its events, including its Earth Day program, home show and tours, annual awards ceremony and representing the group at the County Fair.

Aude uses her ties in the business community, including her membership in the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, to promote supporting local businesses and also encourages rescue pet adoption among members of the business community. She encourages women she meets through her business and community efforts to further their education, practice entrepreneurship and network in Flagstaff.




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One Response to Congrats Athena Award Winner

  1. Business Development Program January 20, 2012 at 3:11 AM #

    it was nice post. thanks for sharing. the professional business women supports workforce development programs and workplace policies that recognize the diverse needs of working women, communities and businesses.

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