A Message From The President

September 2022

As our new year gets under way, I want to thank Marian McCulloch, the Retreat Committee members and Johanne Castagan for a perfectly balanced – fun and informative – retreat! Based on feedback, the discussions, social interactions, me-time, and beach locale were just what everyone needed. The retreat provided an opportunity for us to get Back to Basics by focusing on our position statements, creatively sharing Athena Society history, and discussing key issues and priorities for this year and beyond.

We will continue getting Back to Basics by focusing on our programs, advocacy, and long range planning, among other matters. COVID-19 and societal changes – social media, technology, multi-generational workforce, public policy, etc. – over the last 5 years have not only increased the importance of staying relevant, but have also changed the fundamentals of what being relevant is. So, our long range planning process is timely and remains integral to our sustainability. The Long Range Planning Committee, chaired by Mary Gamble, is comprised of diverse member representation. The Committee will draft refinements to our current Envision Statements based on members’ input via survey, focus groups, discussion groups, and topic-specific zoom sessions. Everyone’s input is needed and encouraged; so, please actively participate in the process.

Carlye Morgan, Genet Stewart, and their respective committee members are working to ensure our programs and community action activities focus on and align with our purpose, current Long Range Plan and position statements. Our programs will build on our understanding of issues, so we can make informed decisions, and take action by engaging in our community action activities. We will engage with an understanding that advocacy isn’t all or nothing, one size fits all and that participation remains voluntary. While direct actions are powerful, there is a wide range of ways to advocate. We all have various passions, skills, resources, alliances, and ways of providing support. So, any manner you decide to participate and collaborate is welcomed.

Additionally, we will continue our transparency efforts and protecting our brand. Our newly hired bookkeeping company will be reviewing our monthly transactions and providing financial reports. We will continue posting all Board minutes, and financial summaries and reports on the website for all members to access and review. Following up on the copyright approval for our Athena ‘face’ artwork led by Lorna Taylor in 2020, we have submitted an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a collective membership mark to further protect our brand. Although approval is not certain, we have a reasonable chance of success per legal counsel.

Thanks to Mary Scriven and her committee members for planning our first program of the year, recognizing the Career Assistance Grants recipients. Each year, it is an inspiring and rewarding program. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on September 1.