A Message From The President

February 2012

The Athena luncheons that feature personal presentations by our members are my favorites.
I always learn so much more about the women who share their stories than I was able to glean
from a review of their biographies or even multiple conversations at other Athena luncheons
and events. Although each brief presentation affords a mere glimpse of the member, her
background and upbringing, education, professional career, community and philanthropic
endeavors, the richness of her life experience is always evident. And I leave the meeting
feeling as though I’d just arrived, wondering where the time went and wishing there had
been more.

Thank you to Adelaide Few, Marsha Lewis Brown, and Lisa Robbins for sharing your
stories with us at the January luncheon. Your presentations were fascinating, funny,
touching, and motivational. You illuminated some more challenging times for women, when
options were fewer and discrimination more pervasive, especially for women of color.
You inspired us with your triumphs. And you reminded us of the importance of making
ourselves a priority, pursuing our passions and doing what makes us healthy and happy.
Equally compelling is the example set by beloved Athena member Deanne Roberts,
not only in her incredibly full life, her professional accomplishments, her community service,
her sense of purpose, her sense of humor, but also in her final days. I know I speak for all
of us when I express my heartfelt gratitude to Diane Egner for her generous contribution to
this newsletter, a fitting tribute to a remarkable woman and a dear friend to so many within
our organization. Her account of Deanne’s parting thoughts is a precious gift indeed.
In reflecting on these incredible women and their experiences, I find myself moved to
refocus on my personal priorities, clear away the clutter and savor every day. You know,
just as I do, that this focus should be a constant, but in the crazy, busy, upside-down
business of daily life, it can begin to blur. It also occurs to me that I am not the least bit
surprised it is Athena women who prompted me to sharpen my focus.