Along with fly-fishing and daffodils, spring in Manistee County delivers nominations for the annual ATHENA Award. The ATHENA Award is presented to exceptional individuals who have achieved excellence in their business and professional lives, have served the community in a meaningful way, and have assisted women in reaching their full leadership potential. Four honorees will be recognized for distinctive service to women in Manistee County.
Cyndy Fuller is the president of Harbor Village. She was elected to Manistee City Council in 2005 and as mayor of Manistee in 2007and 2008. Under her leadership, the City of Manistee has adopted a three-year strategic plan, built community assets, and created a new vision to become a “destination of choice” for businesses and families. Cyndy has served as a member of the Manistee Planning Commission and has been an active member of the Uniqueness Committee, Alternatives for Area Youth, West Shore Community College Foundation, Manistee Recreation Association, and Downtown Development Authority. Cyndy also dedicates her time to youth and has coached JV girls’ basketball and volleyball in Manistee County schools.
Joni Purgiel is Vice President, Branch Sales Manager of National City Bank. She has worked at National City for over 30 years. Joni has been active with many local organizations including: United Way of Manistee County, West Shore Healthcare Foundation, Women’s Economic Resource Center, STRIVE Mentor Program, Women’s Economic Development Outreach, ATHENA Award Program, Sunrise Rotary of Manistee, Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Manistee County Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society. She has received numerous awards including: U.S. SBA Michigan Women in Business Champion, National City Bank Outstanding Women’s Business Advocate and National City Bank Market Dominator Award.
Cynthia Swan-Eagan is the instrumental music director at Manistee High School. As a music educator, Cindy has mentored hundreds of young musicians and has guided several generations of female students who have followed in her footsteps as music educators. Professionally, she has received numerous awards including the Chamber Music America Certificate for Outstanding Chamber Music Teaching in America, the Manistee County Community Foundation Influential Person Award, the Manistee Board of Education Award, the Michigan Band Teacher of the Year Award, and election into the American School Band Directors Association. Cindy is also on the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp summer conducting staff and has served as adjunct professor of music at Ferris State University.
Dr. Amy Wojciechowski is professor of business studies at West Shore Community College (WSCC). Amy has been instrumental in making quality education accessible to women in our community. She introduced the first online business course and facilitated Ferris State University’s bachelor’s degree program at WSCC. She is involved with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Manistee Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Manistee County, College of Teaching and Learning Team, Michigan Business Education Association, Michigan Education Association, National Career Pathways Network, TRENDS Planning Committee, Love INC, and H.E.L.P. Ministries. Amy has received numerous awards, including being named the Post Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Business Education Association.
The recipient of the 2009 ATHENA Award will be announced at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 6, 11:30 a.m., at Manistee Golf & Country Club. Everyone is invited to attend by making reservations at 723-2575 or contact @manisteechamber.com. Cost of the event is $15.
The Manistee County ATHENA Award is a program of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce. The Manistee ATHENA Award is underwritten locally by National City Bank. Local sponsors include Blarney Castle Oil Company, Goody’s Juice & Java, Macbeth & Co., Manistee ATHENA Award Recipients (Nancy Lyon, Betty Noteware, Beth McCarthy and Carol Atkins), Super 8 of Manistee and Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers. More information about the ATHENA Program is available by calling the Chamber at 723-2575.