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The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce has honored two New Jersey businesswomen at its 2021 International ATHENA Leadership Awards luncheon in recognition of their outstanding professional accomplishments, community service and mentorship. 

Jodi Grinwald, who has served in leadership positions with two different NJBIA councils, was recognized with the chamber’s 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award. With over 16 years of nonprofit experience, Grinwald started her career as a regional director at the American Heart Association, rising to executive director. She next served as vice president of development for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic region and in 2017 co-founded the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, where she is the now CEO and raises funds for performing arts lessons for children whose families lack financial means. 

Grinwald is the lead for the statewide NJBIA Not-for-Profit Council and has chaired the NJBIA Women Business Leaders Council. She is a mentor for NJ Advance Media’s Mentoring Monday event for women and is a certified professional coach for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and individuals. She also provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations. 

In 2020, Grinwald launched the “Today is the Day Changemakers” Podcast and YouTube Channel, where she interviews changemakers and inspirers, including CNN heroes, CEOs, professors, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and others who are making a difference in the world. On March 24, she will launch the first international Today is the Day Changemakers Virtual Forum, connecting leaders from a range of backgrounds and industries for an inspiring global summit. She is also authoring a book about her quest to help people feel more connected. 

Kristina Henderson was presented with the 2021 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. Henderson is CEO and co-owner of Henderson Promos in Red Bank. She was crowned 2020 Mrs. New Jersey American and placed in the top six at the Mrs. American 2021 pageant in Las Vegas. In June 2021, Henderson held “Stars of Women in Business,” a red-carpet networking and awards event where women leaders in television, business, and the nonprofit arena were honored for their contributions to the community and the advancement of women, and the inaugural Kristina Henderson Empowering Young Women Scholarship for college was presented.  

Henderson is an ambassador for Tigger House Foundation, an organization to prevent drug abuse, and is on the advisory board for the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation. She was a flight attendant before going on to be a television news producer in New Hampshire and later establishing, together with her husband, Henderson Promos, LLC and the nonprofit Bart and Kristina Henderson Foundation, which will help fund community projects. Henderson is also the co-founder of The Giving Back Forum, an event that brings together more than 65 community nonprofits in one space to learn from one another, share resources, and promote awareness for their causes. 

Jodi Grinwald and Kristina Henderson are now working together with other Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce ATHENA committee members to plan and promote the 2022 event and the importance of the International ATHENA Leadership Award program, which celebrates women as valued leaders who serve as role models and give back to the community in profoundly meaningful ways.  

The ATHENA program’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. The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce is the only organization in New Jersey that is licensed to present the ATHENA Award and has hosted the event for 36 years.