Martha Mertz, ATHENA Founder, left, presents The Honorable Mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry with the ATHENA National Leadership Award at LeQuire Gallery during a reception. Photo by Michael Bain

NASHVILLE, TN — Mayor Megan Barry received the ATHENA National Leadership Award recently at LeQuire Gallery during a reception. Martha Mertz, ATHENA International Founder, presented the award. The award is presented to nationally known women leaders who have achieved the highest level of professional excellence, have contributed personal time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in her community and actively assisted others, particularly women, to realize their full leadership potential.

Mayor Barry joins honorees that include Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Astronaut Sally Ride.

Mayor Barry is a pioneer in politics and community service.  To that end, she put together the most diverse team in the history of Nashville. She appointed Metro’s first Chief Diversity Officer and created a Council on Gender Equity. She launched an initiative, Opportunity NOW, which created 10,000 paid jobs and internship opportunities through private, public and nonprofit sectors to help address the rising rate of youth violence. She partnered with the National FUNDWOMEN to launch the first crowdfunding platform to empower female entrepreneurs.

Patricia Pierce and Yvonne Wood, both members of the ATHENA International Honorary Board, who nominated Mayor Barry,   thanked Ruth Ann Harnisch and the Harnisch Foundation for sponsoring the award. Ms. Harnisch said, “Mayor Barry embodies the ATHENA ideal and models leadership so well.”

Martha Mertz said, “great courage and fortitude to inspire women everywhere–this is what ATHENA leaders represent. We are delighted to announce this honor and pleased to present this award to Mayor Megan Barry in her hometown of Nashville.”

The Harnisch Foundation supports the work of effective leaders working to advance the quality and inclusivity with the focus on women and girls.

ATHENA International supports honors and develops women leaders, and inspires them to reach their full leadership potential.

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