News Spotlight: The Links Celebrate Women's History Month With a Gala
Monday, February 16, 2015



LANSING, MI  – The Lansing/East Lansing Chapter of Links will celebrate Women’s History Month by hosting its 5th annual White Rose Gala on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Huntington Club (Overlooking Spartan Stadium), on the campus of Michigan State University.

During this strolling reception, the Links will present the Young Professional Leadership and Organizational Leadership ATHENA Awards and will highlight the chapter’s ongoing community service efforts. This dynamic event provides the community with an opportunity to network with leaders from the business, legal, health and education sectors.
“We are grateful for the community’s steadfast support of this exciting event. As we celebrate the 5th year of our partnership with ATHENA International, we continue to take pride in recognizing individuals’ outstanding personal and professional accomplishments and honoring organizations’ dedication to advancing women professionals,” said Teresa A. Bingman, Esq., President of the Lansing/East Lansing Links.
Jesenia Pizarro, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, will receive the Young Professional Leadership Award.  “Growing up a resident of public housing in the city of Newark, New Jersey I never envisioned I would be in the position I am today.  I am here today because of great people who gave me an opportunity and inspired me to dream and to go after those dreams.  As a result, I aspire to do the same. It is my goal to help other women and young professionals reach their dreams and achieve their potential.”
Two Men and a Truck will receive the Organizational Leadership Award. “We are truly honored to receive the 2015 Athena Organizational Leadership Award,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International Inc. CEO Brig Sorber. “Since the evolution of our company, we’ve had two incredibly strong women as influencers of our brand—my mom and company Founder, Mary Ellen Sheets, and my sister, who is current chair of the board, Melanie Bergeron. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® our core principle is to move people forward, and we’re proud to move countless women forward with great positions and leadership roles not only within our corporate office, but throughout the entire franchise system.”
Guest presenters of the ATHENA Awards during the White Rose Gala include two former ATHENA Award recipients - Paula Cunningham, President and CEO of Capitol National Bank (member of the Lansing/East Lansing Links, Incorporated), and Dean Marsha Rappley, Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine.
Sponsorships remain available at various levels and tickets are available for purchase for $50.  For more information, contact any member of the Lansing/East Lansing Links or access the organization’s website:
Young Professional Leadership Award 
ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Awards are presented to emerging women leaders, 40 years of age or younger, who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession and provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in her community.  Award recipients must clearly serve as role models for young women both personally and professionally. 
Organizational Leadership Award
ATHENA Organizational Leadership recipients are presented to a business or organization, which creates an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential.  Organizational Leadership recipients give back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and/or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives.  
The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan and has grown to include presentations to more than 5,000 individuals in hundreds of cities in the United States as well as in Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom.   The Lansing/East Lansing Links believe in the values underlying ATHENA International’s philosophy of incorporating the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, our communities and our government. The spirit of the ATHENA Award® Program is captured in a quotation from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” By honoring exceptional leaders, others will be encouraged to excel.
Lansing/East Lansing Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of their community.  Members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders, having attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. Links are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership.

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