SAULT STE. MARIE: In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce hosts 19th Annual Women In Business Breakfast at Water Tower Inn on March 6th. The event included 260 business women and men, a panel discussion of local business women and the announcement of the Athena Award recipient.
The Athena Award is presented to an individual who is recognized for their professional excellence, for providing valuable services to their community and for actively assisting women in the attainment of their professional goals and leadership.
This year’s Athena Award recipient is La-Na Fragomeni, Arthur Funeral Home Advance Funeral Planner. The Athena Award was presented by Janice Beatty, VP, Corporate and Student Services, College. Beatty introduces Fragomeni, “She has been described as someone, who’s community outreach is second to none. She leaps at every opportunity to assist, organize, plan, and get others involved. To say nothing of the countless volunteer hours, she dedicates beyond her working schedule. The following are just a handful of some of the agencies and community events that have benefitted from her involvement: Bandettes All-Girl Drum & Bugle Corps, 24-Hour Relay, the Rotary Club Dragon Boat Festival, Soo Sings for Kids, Crime Stoppers, Sault YMCA, both Sault Ste. Marie school boards, Festival of Trees, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Lions Club, and the United Way.”
Fragomeni says, “When asked to speak about myself and write the speech, I struggled because you are only as good as your team and the tribe you surround yourself with… I’m so grateful for the nomination. For me, the win was in the nomination. I’m still in shock about being the winner for it and congratulations for the other nominees and thank you. That’s all I can say – Thank you.”
Prior to the Athena Award, a panel included Ashlee Gerard from Ash the Assistant, Carly Creagh from Freedom 55 Financial, Monique Morrison from Jeronamo Solutions, and Sandra Holmberg from Sunnynook Farms was held to discuss the mindset of a business women or any women and men in business. Questions of discussion included, what keeps you up at night? What is leadership to you? As young women professionals, have you seen changes in your industry from your impact? All the panelists answered each question to their ability while sharing some own personal stories and thoughts.