A Message From The President

September 2023

Hope this newsletter finds you happy, healthy and safe and that everyone got through Hurricane Idalia with no (or minimal) aftereffects. As we move toward the end of the summer season and kick off another year of Athena membership, this month’s message will be styled a bit like the Retreat format: snippets of info with hopes that you leave with a bit more awareness, openness and hope for the future.

For those who didn’t attend, our Retreat programming addressed a variety of topics. The rationale was that there’s a lot to address ~ professionally, personally and in our communities. While we may not be able to fix it all, we can each latch on to an interest area, make an impact and share our learnings with one another. This holds true for our Athena Society position statements ~ inside and outside of our organization.

We each have to juggle work and life, while moving Athena Society forward alongside these realities. So here goes ~ a few excerpts:

1) Special thanks to Retreat Co-Chairs Stacy Yates and Molly James and their committee members: Jean Amuso, Maruchi Azorin, Trimeka Benjamin, Susan E. Dellinger, Anne Gormly, Eleanor Hubbard, Claire Lessinger, Mariah P. McCulloch and Renee W. Vaughn for their hard work on the Retreat. And extra thanks, of course, to crowd favorite Johanne Castagan for all of her ongoing service to Athena. They all helped set the tone for the year ahead by remaining involved and aware, ensuring Athena Society’s relevance and stability going forward. The future for us all looks bright!

2) The Future-Proof theme will be carried out through the year. In the spirit of the Retreat tagline: “Creativity Encouraged. Experimentation Required. All Voices Essential.”, I’m hoping all members will remain open-minded as we navigate our way through the future of Athena Society together and explore ways to effectively implement and support the focus and goals of the Long Range Plan.

3) As for the Long Range Plan, this year each committee is charged with actively thinking through how their committee work and efforts will remain connected to at least one of the four strategic pillars for Athena. Those four strategic pillars are:

A) Membership (which includes not only new members, but the overall membership experience)
B) Advocacy and Education: The Integration of Community Action and Programming,
C) Scholarship and Grant Programs, and
D) Organizational Operations and Governance

What can you expect this year? At the Retreat I shared that it could look like initiatives around women’s health, reproductive rights and voting, as well as attending a Barbie movie screening together. It’s really up to each of us as members of this organization.

From the energy and activities that are already in motion, I’d say we’re off to a great start. If you haven’t done so already, I hope that you’ll consider joining a committee so that you can contribute directly to this year’s Future-Proofing journey.

Nancy Vaughn