Nashville ATHENA names 2016 ATHENA Award recipients

Amanda Blanck

Amanda Blanck,
2016 YP Leadership Award recipient

Phyllis Qualls-Brooks

Phyllis Qualls-Brooks,
2016 ATHENA Award recipient

Nashville ATHENA has announced the 2016 recipients of the ATHENA Award and Young Professional Leadership Award. Nashville’s first female mayor, Megan Barry, presented the ATHENA Award to Phyllis Qualls-Brooks and the Young Professional Leadership Award to Amanda Blanck at a ceremony at the Parthenon. ATHENA honored 40 Middle Tennessee women at the foot of Athena, despite the weather, in celebration of Women’s History Month.

“Tonight, we salute a group of extraordinary women as nominees of this year’s ATHENA program. All are visionary leaders, strident volunteers, courageous supporters and dedicated philanthropists,” said Laura Tidwell, chairwoman of the ATHENA Awards Program. “Each help make Middle Tennessee better through their talents and devotion. We congratulate our 2016 ATHENA Award recipient Phyllis Qualls-Brooks and our 2016 YP Leadership Award recipient Amanda Blanck for their dedication to service, their professional leadership and their commitment to empowering women and girls.”

Nashville Cable nominated Phyllis Qualls-Brooks as its 2016 ATHENA nominee. Qualls-Brooks is the executive director of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women and works to address the economic needs of Tennessee women, children and families. She recently was awarded the Woman of Legend and Merit Award by TSU. The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Nashville Chapter, nominated Amanda Blanck, managing partner of Deviate, a performance consulting firm. She is a member of the Junior League of Nashville and serves as a board member for NAWBO and the International Coaching Federation, TN Chapter.

This year, 40 women were nominated for special recognition as the embodiment of Athena’s spirit. Each exemplifies leadership, superior performance and commitment to community, as well as unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues.

ATHENA Award nominees include: Mary Baker, Katina Beard, Bonnie Dow, Lisa Dreher, Penny Grogan, Melissa Holden, Fannie Holmes, Shanna Jackson, Michele Johnson, Susan Lewis, Merrilyn Manning, Janet Miller, Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, Laura Reinbold, Sharon Roberson, Laura Roberts, Debbie Sain, Kristy Sinkfield, Sally Smallwood, Darkenya Waller, Beverly Watts and Mayra Zimmer.

YP Leadership Award nominees include: Kim Adkins, Laura Baker, Keisha Bowens Bean, Amanda Blanck, April Britt, Donna Cheek, Ashley Dickens, Jerice Glanton, Bridget Gorta, Jenny Chandler Graham, Dr. Tachaka Hollins, Claudia Huskey, Kaitlyn Jones, Keri Floyd Kelly, Amelia Kennedy, Hayley Mason, Teri Powell and Raelonda Wynn.

This year, ATHENA awarded seven traditional and non-traditional female students as recipients of ATHENA Scholarships in order to help continue the education of young women and established women. These recipients include: Rebecca Hood, ATHENA Alumnae Scholarship sponsored by the Patrons Society; Caroline Malakelis, traditional scholarship sponsored by First Tennessee Bank; Elizabeth Flatt traditional scholarship sponsored by UPS; Jordan Knight, traditional scholarship sponsored by StateFarm Insurance; Kayla-Sarai Jones, non-traditional scholarship sponsored by UPS; Lisa Brooks, non-traditional scholarship sponsored Saint Thomas Health and Caregivers by Wholecare Connections; and Naomi Florentino Bustamante, non-traditional scholarship sponsored by WiTT.

Money raised from this program helps fund scholarships for the 2017 program year. Next year’s program will take place on Thursday, March 30, 2017. For more information, visit