KC CHAMBER NAMES 2022 ATHENA AWARD AND ATHENA YOUNG PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS
Sep 06, 2022
The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honorees.
Dr. Marjorie Williams, Founder of The Marste Group, and former Superintendent of Hickman Mills School District, is the ATHENA recipient and Pooja Shah, Senior Consultant within DNV’s Energy Storage and Emerging Technologies Advisory, is the ATHENA Young Professional.
Both will receive the awards at the ATHENA Awards Reception, Thursday, October 6, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at The Little Theatre, 301 W. 13th, Kansas City, MO.
Dr. Marjorie Williams
Dr. Williams has spent her professional and personal life serving in education. She spent nearly 40 years in education, serving as Superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District, and previously working in Kansas City Public Schools and the Columbia and Ferguson Florissant School Districts. She has also served in Higher Education as an Adjunct Professor with UMKC, Baker University, Ottawa University, and Kansas State University. Dr. Williams currently serves as a National Professional Development trainer for Black History 365 and as a Community Advocate for CommunityAmerica Credit Union’s Peace of Mind Center. In 2012, Dr. Williams founded The Marste Group, a consulting firm that serves school districts and businesses nationwide. She also serves on numerous community and civic boards. She recently co-moderated a series of community listening sessions as Kansas Citians gave their thoughts and ideas on the next KCMO Chief of Police. Dr. Williams was also recognized by the Jackson County Monument of Freedom at the Leon Jordan Memorial Park for her work in the community and by her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated with the Frankie Muse Freeman award for Civil Rights Activism and Making a Difference. Dr. Williams is a Kauffman Fellow and can be heard weekly on the “PTK Report with Dr. Marj (Parents, Teachers, Kids Report)” on the Carter Broadcast Group stations KPRT 1590 AM/106.1FM.
Shah is a Senior Consultant within DNV’s Energy Storage and Emerging Technologies Advisory. Passionate about advancing equity while addressing climate change, she has worked on the engineering and design teams of some of the largest renewable energy projects in North America. Shah is actively involved in the KC community, serving on the Boys & Girls Club of Kansas City’s Emerging Leaders Council, UnitedWE Kansas Public Policy Coalition and Climate Action KC’s Equity and Policy Advisory committees. She also volunteers with Global Women's Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) and Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE). Shah was a Fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) in 2021 and is currently part of the fellowship leadership team.
The ATHENA Leadership Award is one of the most prestigious honors for women’s leadership in our community. It is presented to a woman (or man) who stands out in professional excellence, community service, and actively assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Additionally, the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes emerging female leaders. Past ATHENA and ATHENA Young Professionals include Sherry Turner and Dr. Michele L. Watley in 2021, Karen Daniel and Chelsea Laub in 2020, Kathy Nelson and Caitlyn O’Byrne Waters in 2019, Anita Bajaj Newton and Adrienne Haynes in 2018, and Dianne Cleaver, Debby Ballard, Betsy Solberg, SuEllen Fried, and Mamie Hughes, among others.