PGA/LPGA Professional Renee Powell of East Canton, Ohio, was named a co-recipient of the ATHENA International Leadership Award, which was presented March 21 in Canton at the University Center at Kent State University's Stark County campus.
Powell, the 2003 PGA First Lady of Golf and the head professional at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, was cited for a career of community outreach. Her initiatives include beginning the LPGA Girls Golf Club at her family-owned facility; the Renee Powell Youth Gold Camp Cadre in 1995, which provided golf instruction to inner-city junior high students; and in 2011, launched Clearview HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the first PGA-inspired year-round program exclusive to women veterans. Clearview HOPE currently has 36 members spanning service from Vietnam through Iraq and Afghanistan.
Powell, a PGA of America member since 1996, was the second African-American to compete on the LPGA Tour. She was honored along with Stark County Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton, the first female auditor in Stark County and the first female mayor of Canton. Creighton also served as the director of intergovernmental affairs and deputy assistant to President George W. Bush.
"I was shocked, but also very honored to be the recipient of such a prestigious award," said Powell. "I thank my parents for their support and inspiration. It was my honor to be recognized among so many exceptional people within our community."
The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment—qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The award is unique in both scope – local, national and international – and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman – or man – who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Since the program's inception in 1982, nearly 6,000 exemplary leaders in more than 500 communities have received the ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.