The ATHENA Leadership Model®, developed through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership:

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From left: Judith Lancaster and Billie Jean King

Women’s Impact Inc, in collaboration with ATHENA International™, presented Billie Jean King the 2013 Global ATHENA Leadership Award at Kent State University at Stark’s Featured Speaker Series held at the University Center last evening. King was honored for her significant contributions and many years of trailblazing on behalf of women world-wide.

The award was bestowed to King at a private reception hosted by Women's Impact Inc prior to her speech Tuesday night. Judith Lancaster, board member of Women's Impact Inc and ATHENA International, presented the award, noting Billie Jean King is an outstanding leader for women. 

"ATHENA International is extremely pleased that Billie Jean King has accepted this honor," said Dianne Dinkel, President and CEO of ATHENA International. "The Global Leadership Award is the highest honor bestowed by ATHENA International."

This year King is celebrating three significant moments in her career and events which empowered women.  Forty years ago, in 1973, she founded the Women’s Tennis Association, fought for and secured equal prize money for both genders at the US Open of tennis and defeated Bobby Riggs in the historic “Battle of the Sexes” match. 

Today, King remains active in a number of causes committed to the advancement of equal rights and opportunities both genders, including serving on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation and she is a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Founded in 1982, ATHENA International’s mission is honoring, developing and supporting women leaders, inspiring women to reach their full leadership potential to create a balance of power worldwide. The Global ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have achieved a high degree of professional excellence, have assisted women to develop their full potential by opening up leadership opportunities, and whose body of work has made a national or international impact.

 Past recipients include Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State; Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks and the first woman network president in television history; Pat Schroeder, former 12-term U.S. Congresswoman; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Micki King, Olympic Gold Medalist.

Women’s Impact Inc extended a special thanks to Judith E. Barnes Lancaster, Esquire, ATHENA International Board member and underwriter of the award and to Kent State Stark for graciously allowing Women’s Impact Inc to be a part of their event. Without their support this would not have been possible.

From left: Norma Rist, ATHENA International board member and Women’s Impact Inc board member, Judith Lancaster, ATHENA International board member and Women’s Impact Inc board member, Billie Jean King, Dianne Dinkel, President and CEO of ATHENA International, Kay Feagles, President of Women’s Impact Inc, Renee Powell, 2012 ATHENA Leadership award recipient from Canton, Ohio

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