The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC) has announced the finalists for this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award® and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

A gala luncheon is planned for Friday, Nov. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune, where the 2021 ATHENA Award recipients, selected by a diverse group of community leaders, will be announced.

The esteemed International ATHENA Leadership Award Program® celebrates women as valued members and leaders of the community who serve as role models and encourage all women to achieve their full potential.

Each year, the ATHENA Awards honor individuals who are nominated in recognition of their business or professional accomplishments, community service, and mentoring of others. Their achievements give back to the community in profoundly meaningful ways and make it a better place to live, work, and lead.

The ATHENA Leadership Award’s rich history, international scope, and focus on mentorship distinguish it as one of the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive, with more than 6,000 recipients honored worldwide since the renowned program was established in 1982.

This will be the 36th year that the ATHENA Leadership Award will be presented by the MRCC, the only organization in New Jersey that is licensed to do so. It will be the seventh year that the MRCC will present the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, which recognizes emerging community leaders, ages 24 to 40.

To be considered for an ATHENA Leadership Award, nominees may represent either the profit or not-for-profit sector and must demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential.

The 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award finalists include:

  • Lisa Ascolese – CEO and founder of Inventing A to Z and the nonprofit Association of Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs
  • Roe Couture DeSaro – founder and president of Gutsy Gals Get More, LLC and executive managing director for eWomenNetwork, Inc.
  • Jodi Grinwald – certified professional coach, co-founder and CEO of Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, and founder and host of Today is the Day Changemakers Podcast
  • Michele Lawson – owner of Hair & Company Salon and founder and president of Wig Warriors: The Maureen S. Konopko Foundation

The 2021 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award finalists include:

  • Amanda Deltuvia – spiritual healer, psychic, and certified life coach
  • Kristina Henderson – co-owner and CEO of Henderson Promos, LLC and 2020 Mrs. New Jersey American
  • Danielle Ippolito – CEO of D Fitness Studio

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and additional details, see