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Facebook Event-01

Date: September 20, 2021

Time: 6:00 - 8:30 PM 

Location: RP Funding Center



The Awards Dinner Presentation will honor exceptional leaders that inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives in three categories:

ATHENA Leadership Award
ATHENA Organizational Award
ATHENA Young Professional Award

Founded in Lansing, Michigan in 1982, the ATHENA Awards Program will debut as a Lakeland Chamber of Commerce premier program this fall. More than 7,000 top leaders in over 500 communities have received this prestigious ATHENA Award in nine different countries. The award actively advocates and celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing, and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential, and creating balance in leadership worldwide. The ATHENA Award honors women who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow.

Leadership Award Finalists

  • Stacy Butterfield – Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller Polk County, Florida
  • Stacy Campbell-Domineck – President & CEO of CareerSource Polk
  • Ann Claussen – Chief Executive Officer at Central Florida Health Care, Inc.
  • Tracy Kimbrough – Engagement Partner, CPS Group CPAs, PA

Young Professionals Award Finalists

  • Lauren Albaum – Executive Director of Career Services at Florida Southern College
  • Jesilynn Pfeffer – Outreach Counselor at Pace Center for Girls
  • Lauren Jensen - Associate Attorney at Sessums Law Group
  • Lydia Zbrzeznj – Attorney at Southern Atlantic Law Group

Organizational Award Finalists

  • Central Florida Health Care, Inc.
  • CPS Investment Advisors
  • Junior League of Greater Lakeland, FL
  • United Way of Central Florida

Guest Speaker: Elaine Larsen

With over 20 years of drag racing experience, Elaine Larsen has found her home behind the wheel of her jet dragsters. Elaine is a 2X World Champion and with her husband, Chris, their son, Andrew, and dog, Nitro, she lives her life at full throttle. Mentoring the next generation of High-Performance Vehicles Specialist is what fuels Elaine today. Giving women a chance behind the wheel or hands-on opportunities in this male-dominated industry is her focus for 2021 and beyond.

Elaine is the creator of four comic books, "Blaze." These books were inspired by real-life experiences and adapted to high STEAM education and embedded curricula for each of the corresponding comics.

"Drag Racing is the equalizer. On any given day, I have the same chance as anyone to win. It just has to be my day!" says Elaine. Being a strong positive female role model is a job Elaine takes very seriously, not only for the little girls but to all ladies out there never to give up and always give 100%.

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