General Questions

Your nomination helps recognize an outstanding leader in the Rutherford County community and demonstrates that your organization values women’s contributions. Your organization also benefits from the media coverage surrounding the ATHENA Award.

The Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging leader under age 40 who demonstrates the ATHENA values and serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally.

Nominees for the Rutherford ATHENA and Young Professional Awards must live or work in Rutherford County or its immediate surrounding counties. If the nominee lives in Davidson County, she must work in Rutherford County or a surrounding County; if the nominee works in Davidson County, she must live in Rutherford County or a surrounding County.

Yes, you may submit both an ATHENA nominee and a Young Professional nominee.

The application fee covers the ATHENA or Young Professional nominee’s ticket to the Patrons Party, ticket to the ATHENA Award Ceremony, and partially covers the numerous gifts each nominee receives.

The deadline for submitting nominations for both the ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Awards is December 1, 2021.

This investment provides funding for the ATHENA Non-Traditional Scholarship, as well as your admission to the April 29 ATHENA Award Ceremony and the April 7 invite-only Patrons Reception.

Patrons do not need to buy a ticket to the ATHENA Award Ceremony. Your Patrons Society investment includes your admission to the ATHENA Award Ceremony.


ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professional nominees are expected to attend four ATHENA events: the January 17 Nominee Welcome luncheon, The February 8 RUTHERFORD Cable breakfast, the April 7 ATHENA Patrons Party supporting the ATHENA Scholarship, and the April 29 ATHENA Award Ceremony.  In addition, each nominee will be scheduled for a brief videotaping session to record a pre-selected interview question.  The video sessions are expected to take place in late February/early March.

The ATHENA Award Ceremony is cocktail attire – a nice suit or cocktail dress.

The Patrons Party is business attire – a suit or dress.  It is important for all nominees to attend this event, as there will be a brief presentation to the nominees at approximately 6 p.m.


Because of the large number of nominees, we request our nominating organizations assist with the judging process by supplying a judge.  The participation of one judge from each nominating organization helps ensure the fairness of the judging process.  Judges results are then audited by Deloitte

You need to supply two judges if you are submitting nominees for both the ATHENA and Young Professional Awards. If you are submitting only one nominee, you need to submit only one judge.

No.  The ATHENA or YP Judge can be an adult of any age.

Judges are expected to attend the February 12 RUTHERFORD Cable breakfast followed by the Judges Training session. All judges are invited to the April 12 ATHENA Award Program (their ticket is already paid for through the application fee). Judges who choose to become an ATHENA Patron may choose to attend the April 4 Patron Party. The amount of time required to actually judge the nominee applications is dependent on the total number of nominees.

If you have additional questions, please contact Julie Lewis, 2021 ATHENA Chair at and your question will be added to the FAQs.


2022 ATHENA Sponsors

For more information about the Rutherford ATHENA Award® Program, please contact Lori Cutler, 2022 ATHENA Chair, at
For more information on the ATHENA International Leadership Award, please visit