Home > Sylvia Fields is 2017 ATHENA Award Recipient Andréa Stanford Receives ATHENA Young Professional Award

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Sylvia Fields is 2017 ATHENA Award Recipient

Andréa Stanford Receives ATHENA Young Professional Award


(PITTSBURGH – Oct. 2, 2017) The 2017 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award recipient is Sylvia Fields, executive director of Eden Hall Foundation. She was presented with the award – recognizing professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women – at today’s 27th annual ATHENA Awards luncheon, convened by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Also recognized during the event at the Westin Convention Center Hotel was PNC Bank’s Andréa Stanford, the 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient.

Sylvia Fields, ATHENA Award Recipient
Andréa Stanford, ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient

Named for the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the ATHENA Awards programdistinguishes itself from other regional accolades by highlighting women who mentor other women and girls, helping to build a pipeline of future leaders.

“The award recipients – and all of our nominees – have demonstrated professional excellence, contributed to their communities and are helping other women and girls to succeed and thrive,” said Allegheny Conference Chief Financial Officer Janel Skelley.

Under Fields’ leadership, Eden Hall Foundation has granted more than $15 million to initiate transformative change for women and girls. She provides valued leadership to the Women in Philanthropy program with Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the African American Funders Group of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the national boards of the YWCA-USA and World Affairs Councils of America. She has shepherded such successful initiatives as the establishment of Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus and the Single Parent Scholar Program at Wilson College in Chambersburg. Her support of a study of women in philanthropy laid crucial groundwork for the creation of the Women and Girls Foundation.

Fields’ personal leadership in fostering a supportive environment for working mothers – influenced by her own rearing by a “strong woman” – has been recognized by colleagues and is a model for other workplaces.

Also at the luncheon, ATHENA officials will recognize Jennifer Van Dam, the recipient of the second annual Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship. Named for the ATHENA program’s founder and retired president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce – an Allegheny Conference affiliate – the scholarship covers the tuition for the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women.

The other ATHENA Award finalists are:

  • Kenya Boswell, President, BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Jayme Butcher, Partner, Blank Rome LLP
  • Ilana Diamond, Managing Director, AlphaLab Gear
  • Mary Richter, Shareholder, Schneider Downs

Also at the event, the 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award was presented to Andréa Stanford, digital experience product manager at PNC Bank. This award recognizes a leader age 35 or younger who dedicates her time and talent to help other women and girls to thrive.

Stanford manages the digital content strategy and presentation of personal banking products on PNC.com. She is chair of the Community Outreach Committee for PNC’s Pittsburgh African American Employee Business Resource Group and facilitates its volunteer activities with such organizations as Gwen’s Girls and Grow Up Great.

Off the job, she has been a member and president of the YWCA Young Leaders Board, creating numerous events and workshops to empower women and girls. Through Strong Women, Strong Girls, she has served as an individual mentor while also developing programming on the importance of educational and career goals, and strengthening mentorship recruitment and retention. As a partner in the philanthropic Social Venture Partners network, Stanford consults with local nonprofits on capital fundraising, marketing strategy and sustainability efforts. She also co-chairs the development committee of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s board of directors.

The other 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award finalists are:

  • Erin Baker, Director of Campus Recruiting & Line of Business Development Programs, PNC Bank
  • Kelly Nestman, Program Administrator, Center for Women's Health Research & Innovation

Additionally, Jennifer Van Dam was recognized as the 2017-2018 recipient of the Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship. The scholarship honors and extends the legacy of Barbara McNees, who co-founded the ATHENA program and was the first female president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. The scholarship covers Van Dam’s tuition for a six-month, 100-hour certificate program at the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. Van Dam is the digital and community engagement manager at the tech incubator Innovation Works.

The Pittsburgh luncheon is one of the largest stand-alone events among some 500 annual gatherings around the world affiliated with ATHENA International. Learn more at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

The ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh is made possible by support from UPMC Health Plan; Citizens Bank; KPMG LLP; BNY Mellon; Bayer; Fort Pitt Capital Group; WTAE, Channel 4; Pittsburgh Magazine; Williams; Accenture; Carnegie Mellon Leadership & Negotiation Academy for Women; Covestro LLC; Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.; Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP; PNC; PPG; Pittsburgh Penguins; Schneider Downs; The Ellis School; and Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).

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The Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates – the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, LLC and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance – work in collaboration with public and private sector partners to improve the economy and the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania. Learn more at AlleghenyConference.org.


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