PAST ATHENA YOUNG PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS
Sunita G. Lavin
2015 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
Sunita G. Lavin earned a B.S. in computer engineering while in the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management honors program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Neb., in 2006. She went on to complete an M.S. in electrical engineering and an M.B.A. in 2008. Since then, she has worked in the aviation business segment at Garmin Intl., Olathe, Kan. She began her career at Garmin as a design certification engineer in aviation hardware. Currently, she works as a project manager for aviation software, responsible for planning and managing software schedules to meet customer needs.
While at Garmin, Sunita has served for five years on the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) committee, for four years on the executive council for the Society for Women Engineers Kansas City chapter (SWE-KC) and three years on the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics regional planning committee. She is active in local science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach programs and leads STEM outreach initiatives at Garmin.
Sunita lives in Overland Park, Kan., with her husband, Peter. She enjoys running, traveling, playing the violin and working on crafts.
2014 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
As vice president for Children’s Mercy South Hospital and Regional Medical Practices, she is responsible for overseeing facility operations, guiding and directing planning activities, and coordinating resource utilization and management. She began her career at Health Midwest, and has grown in her profession over the past decade with The Children’s Mercy Hospitals. In her free time, Butler volunteers with non-profit groups, assisting with strategic planning. Her involvement includes Mattie Rhodes, Swope Ridge Geriatric Center, and Johnson County Community College Foundation, among others. She is an influential member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her honors and awards include Who’s Who in Black Kansas City, The KC Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program, and KU Health Care Executive of the Future Award.
Susan Leonard, Ph.D.
2013 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
The Pembroke Hill School middle school principal has proven success at educating students, elevating teachers, and collaborating with parents. After four years at The Pembroke Hill School and previously more than a decade spent with North Kansas City Schools, Leonard has established herself as an advocate for education and children’s causes. Leonard is a graduate of the KC Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program, a donor and educator for lung cancer and juvenile diabetes research, a steering committee member for the Kansas City Area education Research Consortium, and a coach of several youth sports teams.
Katie Dunn Fitzgerald
2012 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
Katie Dunn Fitzgerald is a senior wealth consultant at Mariner Wealth Advisors who focuses on new business development. She works primarily with business owners and senior-level executives, helping them formulate and implement financial plans. She also works with non-profits, foundations and institutions. Prior to joining Mariner, Katie was an account vice president at UBS, where she earned the Pacesetter level of recognition, which is reserved for the top 5% of financial advisors based on level of service.
Katie has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas Christian University. She is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has passed the Series 7 and 66 exams and holds a Health and Life Insurance license.
Katie was most recently recognized as a 2012 Rising Star of Philanthropy by Nonprofit Connect and was honored in the 2011 class of Ingram’s “40 Under Forty.” Katie serves on the steering committee of the United Way and leads the Young Leaders of Tocqueville initiative. She serves as a board member of St. Luke’s Crittenton Children’s Center, Starlight Theater and the Greater Kansas Community Foundation of Johnson County. Katie is the president of the Mariner Foundation Board and a member of BOTAR. Her past involvement includes volunteering with the American Heart Association, Children’s Mercy Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. In 2011, she chaired Union Station’s “Diana: A Celebration” Grand Opening Reception.
Mary Bosco Heinrich
2011 ATHENA™ Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
A leader. An innovator. A true champion of women, Mary Bosco Heinrich
takes every opportunity to improve the quality of life in her beloved Kansas City. In her professional aspirations, she shines as senior vice president at the public relations and integrated marketing arm, Fleishman-Hillard. For the past two years, Mary has served as the account director for the United Health Foundation’s initiatives. In this role, Mary manages multiple offices for Fleishman-Hillard and organizational partners to launch America’s Health Rankings. Recently Mary is the senior strategic counselor for the Talking Sex Together (TxT) campaign for the Iowa Department of Human Services and EyesOpenIowa. This cutting edge campaign was designed to encourage teens to talk with other teens about avoiding teen pregnancy through text messaging and social networks. Under her strategic leadership, the campaign successfully reached teens through mediums that they felt comfortable engaging in and impacted attitudes about making healthier lifestyle decisions. Her passion for helping others doesn’t end there. Mary walks the walk. She has served on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Kansas City, and Coro Kansas City. She is a 2009 graduate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurions leadership program and is active in the Rosedale Neighborhood Development Association.
Last year, Mary worked with the young women in her neighborhood as the coach of a 12 and under RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) girl’s fast-pitch softball team. She has seen the once-desolate urban neighborhood where she, her husband Jonas, and son Henry chose to build their home transform into a flourishing community of promise and change. With humility and passion, Mary works a mentor, counselor, and is an inspiration to those around her. She encourages young girls to dream big and achieve beyond society’s limitations and inspires others to do the same.
2010 ATHENA™ Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient
has established herself as one of our community’s leading life sciences communicators, engaged citizens, and role models for young women. Farrell is a recent graduate of The Chamber’s Centurions leadership program, where she was among the top in her class for community service hours. Farrell has helped lead Coro Kansas City, an organization that exposes future community leaders to civic matters through public affairs internships. She exhibits her leadership qualities in her workplace at Global Prairie, where she is involved in the firm’s structured mentorship program and serves as a mentor to several young women interns and junior staff members.