2018 ATHENA Recipient – Emily Ballard

Emily BallardEmily Ballard has been selected as the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award® recipient by the Ogden-Weber Chamber Women in Business Committee. The 30th annual ATHENA Leadership Award® Ceremony and Luncheon will be held on January 23rd, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Timbermine Steakhouse in Ogden, Utah.  Emily will be the ATHENA speaker, and Adrienne Andrews, the 2017 ATHENA recipient, will be the keynote speaker.

The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented annually by the Women in Business Committee in conjunction with ATHENA International to an individual who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her profession; contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and actively assists women to realize their full leadership potential.

ATHENA International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support, develop and honor women leaders in order to inspire women to achieve their full potential and create balance in leadership worldwide.

Emily Ballard moved to Ogden ten years ago with her husband, Steve Ballard, and their four children. Together, they opened Sonora Grill in 2008 and Thai Curry Kitchen in 2014. Emily works as the marketing director for both restaurants.

Passionate about improving the community through volunteer activities, Emily became involved with the Junior League of Ogden (JLO). She enjoyed working at Oasis Community Garden, spending her summers pulling weeds and mowing the grass with four young children in tow. She cherished her opportunities working with the Children’s Health Connection, Women’s Health Connection and Dental Days. Emily held different positions on the JLO Board of Directors for four years, serving as Junior League President from 2015 to 2016.

Emily’s commitment to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities was recognized when she was selected as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for the Association of Junior Leagues International.

Identifying a need for leadership opportunities for young women, Emily launched the Jr. Junior League of Ogden (JrJLO) in 2014, focused on preparing the next generation of female leaders in our community. JrJLO offers volunteer opportunities and leadership training for girls ages 10 to 16 to reach their full potential. Out of 291 Junior Leagues in four counties, Junior League of Ogden is the only league with a Jr. Junior League.

With the goal of raising her own children to value cultural differences and create positive change, Emily sought out international volunteer projects in which to participate as a family. Emily organized Shoes for South Africa in 2013, delivering shoes to schoolchildren in remote villages. In 2015, the Ballard family traveled to Guatemala to volunteer with disabled orphans and elderly women. The Ballard’s also shared their home, their country and their culture by hosting three foreign exchange students from Japan.

This year, Emily participated in three international volunteer projects. In March, she and her husband helped at impoverished schools in India and Cross-Cultural Solutions. In May, she traveled with 20 JrJLO girls to work at an orphanage in Mexico. In August, she volunteered with the Red Cross at a Syrian refugee camp in Greece.

In her free time, Emily loves to plan adventures. She was Co-Founder of the National Park-to-Park Centennial Tour for the National Park Service Centennial Celebration in 2016. Her family successfully completed the month-long tour, camping at 12 national parks in the Western United States.

2017 ATHENA Recipient – Adrienne Andrews

Adrienne AndrewsAdrienne Andrews was named as the 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award® recipient representing the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business, and has accomplished her goal to “prove her worth over the next year to the community.”

Adrienne hoped to build on the work of those who have come before her, “strengthening community connections, providing access and opportunities to improve ourselves and our communities through education, service and collaboration.”

When chosen as the recipient last year, Adrienne said, “I hope to fill the cups of those around me as recognition, listening and support make amazing change possible.” As a longtime advocate for community building and education, she utilized this opportunity to bring women’s ideas, issues and concerns to the forefront of discussions and decision-making within the Women in Business Committee.

Adrienne was selected as the first-ever Chief Diversity Officer at Weber State University in May 2015, and was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President of the Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer.  She has worked in the field of diversity and inclusion for more than a decade and is excited to develop new opportunities for community building in this role.  

Adrienne is married to Albert “Chip” Andrews.  Whenever possible, she loves to travel, knit, quilt, read, write and laugh. Last but not least, her wish is to share her love of knitting. “Finally, I wouldn't mind teaching people how to knit.  It not only lowers your blood pressure, creates a calming emotional effect but also provides a lovely finished product for someone, letting them know you care.”