A Message From The President

October 2012

The Gift of Membership

I first learned about the Athena Society when Adelaide Few invited me to a luncheon. It was the energy that first caught my attention: the buzz as the room filled quickly, greetings, introductions, focused conversations, and then – gone – back to work. Wow! You do this every month?

Caught up in the frenetic work, travel, parent, care-for, organize, find and fix days, Athena provided an oasis, a place where similarly over-scheduled women would come together – even if just an hour for lunch – to recharge and refocus. The programs provide concentrated information in the style of the coffee mug slogan, “be brief, be bright, be gone.” Perfect!

I still enjoy the energy that ushers in our monthly meetings with such purposeful companionship, but Athena has given me much more than a brief respite in an otherwise taxing month.

Because of Athena, I have a much greater appreciation and investment in Tampa history, culture and politics. Great cities don’t just happen, and Athena has given me the opportunity to meet many of the people responsible for the aspects of Tampa I most appreciate. I also have a greater appreciation for the inequities that women still face in business and government and a forum through which to make a difference. Katherine Young underscored this point in her presentation on the status of women in corporate leadership. Her statistics regarding the profitability edge of diverse corporations are outcome measurements worth celebrating and repeating.

The friends who sponsored and supported my membership gave me a gift that has grown over time but they also made sure that I understood that joining Athena was a privilege and a responsibility. We are at the beginning of the member nomination season. What a wonderful opportunity to enhance our organization and share the gift of membership with someone else.