2009 Athena Honoree Videos
QC Chamber and The Women's Connection Announce
2009 Athena Award Winners
Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and The Women's Connection today announced
the recipients of the 2009 Athena Business Women's Awards, honoring those women
within the Quad City Region excelling in their business or profession and making
a significant difference in the community. The 2009 Athena Business Women's Awards
are presented by Missman Stanley & Associates.
to Rick Baker, President of the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce, and Colleen
Rafferty, Executive Director of The Women's Connection, five honorees were selected
from nearly 30 nominations to receive the distinguished 2009 Athena Business Women's
Awards. "We received nominations from numerous business and non-profit sectors,"
says Rick Baker. "The caliber of professionalism, dedication and selflessness
represented in these women leaders is exceptional."
2009 selection committee was comprised of last year's Athena Business Women's
Awards recipients, including Linda Newborn, Deere & Co.; Janet Masamoto, JTM Concepts;
Heidi Schultz, Management Resource Group; and Christy Kunz, J.A. Worldwide. The
honorees were selected based on the following criteria:
Honoree is a leader in business or her profession.
serves as a role model to other women in her profession and community.
displays creativity and innovation and contributes these talents to the growth
of her profession.
contributes time and energy to community betterment.
View 2009 Athena Honoree Videos
2009 award winners are as follows:
Armstrong, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Student Support Services, Black
Dr. Kim Armstrong received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from
Howard University in Washington, D.C. in Physiological/ Neuropsychology, with
an emphasis in Childhood Development. Her strong family upbringing instilled in
Dr. Armstrong the importance of education and civic responsibility.
her role at Black Hawk College, Dr. Armstrong provides administrative leadership
for student engagement, enhancement and retention. She also provides focus to
diversity and student leadership initiatives, as well as direct oversight to the
Center for Elderly Learning. In her work at Black Hawk College, Dr. Armstrong
lives her personal motto, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well
and let them lead the way."
Armstrong applies this same motto in her community involvements. A devoted mother
of two daughters, she has mentored countless students, focusing on empowering
young women through education. Dr. Armstrong has served on the Balm of Gilead
"National Black Church Awareness of HIV/AIDS;" as an advocate for the Mental Health
Department; on the board of Churches United, on the board of trustees for Trinity
Medical Center, as chairperson for the Target Neighborhood Committee for United
Way, Success by 6; as a board member for the Witness Project, to educate African-American
women about breast cancer; on the board of United Way of the Quad Cities; on the
board of Bethany for Children and Family; on the board of Girl Scouts of Eastern
Iowa and Western Illinois, and on the board of The Women's Connection.
Armstrong has conducted research in Electrophysiology and was responsible for
developing health initiatives for African-American and Amish populations. She
co-authored a report for the National Science Foundation on "Diversity in the
Work Place," and prepared and presented a report for the U.S. Congress on "Mental
Health Services in Rural Minority Populations."
Armstrong resides in Milan with her two daughters.
Lisa Brothers Arbisser, Co-founder of Eye Surgeons Associates, P.C.
A world-renowned cataract surgeon, Dr. Lisa Brothers Arbisser co-founded Eye Surgeons
Associates, P.C. 25 years ago, along with her husband, Dr. Amir Arbisser. Today,
Eye Surgeons Associates has grown into a multi-subspecialty eye care practice
- one of the largest in the region - with five locations and a staff of more than
Lisa, as she is fondly known among her thousands of patients, received her undergraduate
degree from Princeton, attended medical school at Tulane University and the University
of Texas Medical School at Houston, and completed her residency and associate
fellowship in anterior segment surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and
Clinics. Dr. Lisa has completed many "firsts" in her career, including the first
Quad Cities surgeon to offer outpatient cataract surgery, the first to use the
Yag Laser, the first to introduce topical anesthesia using eye drops instead of
injections, and the first to introduce a no-stitch incision technique for surgery.
addition to her busy practice, Dr. Lisa is an adjunct clinical associate professor
at the University of Utah John A. Moran Eye Center and a former president of the
American College of Eye Surgeons. A devoted advocate for education and prevention
of eye disease, Dr. Lisa teaches worldwide and has performed live satellite interactive
surgery at major national and international meetings.
Lisa also has made numerous contributions to the Quad Cities community in the
areas of arts and education. She is a charter member and Chariman of the Board
emeritus of the Davenport Schools Foundation; is a member of the Presidents Club
in support of Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa; serves on the Ethics
Advisory Board of Augustana College; serves on the board of the American Board
of Eye Surgery and the Arunodaya Charitable Trust, New Delhi, India. She is on
the editorial board and or a reviewer for ophthalmic publications and the American
Academy of Ophthalmology. She is co-founder with her husband of the See Life Clearly
Foundation to advance the quality and availability of eye care in the region.
recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Lisa was honored as a "Woman of Excellence"
by the March of Dimes, won the Living Legend in Iowa award from the American Medical
Women's Association, named a Junior League "Woman of Distinction," is the recipient
of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, and, along with her
husband, was named Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureates and received
the Illinois Alliance for Art Education Industry Award for their dedication to
arts for youth.
Lisa lives in Davenport, and, along with her husband, Amir, are the parents of
four, and new grandparents of one.
Bustos, Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, Iowa Health
a diverse career that has included 17 years as a newspaper reporter and editor,
seven years in health-care management, and two years on the East Moline City Council,
there is one theme that runs through Cheri Bustos' work - her commitment to public
service and her passion for furthering public policy.
earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland
and her master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois
at Springfield. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield's
Legislative Staff Internship Program, and she served as a delegate of the Illinois
Women's Institute for Leadership, a statewide organization that develops future
political leaders and is led by a board that includes Illinois Attorney General
Lisa Madigan, the Honorable Dawn Clark Netsch, Loretta Durbin and Anne Roosevelt,
the granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
her current role as Vice President of Iowa Health System, Cheri oversees all marketing,
communications and public relations for Iowa's first and largest integrated health
system. With 25 hospitals and nearly 20,000 employees, Iowa Health System is one
of Iowa's largest employers, serving the health needs of one in three Iowans.
It is a $2 billion a year organization and is the seventh largest nondenominational
health system in America.
is tireless in her advocacy for women's leadership and health. She is founder
of the Iowa Outdoor Women's Association in Des Moines; on the board of directors
for the Iowa Sports Foundation; on the board of directors for the Iowa Statewide
Poison Control Center; on the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Des Moines;
and vice president of The Women's Connection Board of Directors. Cheri also has
devoted her time to Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Junior Achievement; Skip-A-Long
Child Development Services Board of Directors; the Two Rivers YMCA; and the WVIK
Board of Directors. Additionally, Cheri was a college athlete and is in the Illinois
College Sports Hall of Fame.
and her husband, Gerry, live in East Moline and are the parents of three sons:
Tony, an engineer in the Chicago area; Nick a junior at Illinois College in Jacksonville;
and Joey, a freshman at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Linda K. Neuman, Retired Member of the Iowa Supreme Court, Attorney at Law
The Honorable Linda Neuman made history in 1986 when then Governor Terry Branstad
appointed her the first woman to serve on the Iowa Supreme Court. Her words during
her swearing in ceremony -- "the work that we are about is neither women's work
nor men's work, but a solemn responsibility" - reflect Linda's commitment to fairness
for all and her lifelong belief in the universal rights and responsibilities of
Neuman earned her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Colorado,
and her master of laws degree from the University of Virginia. Earlier in her
career, Linda was a partner in the law firm Betty, Neuman, McMahon, Hellstrom
and Bittner in Davenport. She also worked briefly as vice president and trust
officer for Bettendorf Bank and Trust before her appointment in 1980 as judicial
magistrate for Scott County, a part-time position that enabled her to achieve
balance between her career and a growing family.
1982, Linda was appointed District Court Judge for the 7th District of Iowa by
then Governor Robert Ray, before her historic appointment to the Iowa Supreme
Court in 1986. Retiring from the bench in 2003, today Linda teaches courses in
legal ethics and appellate courts at the University of Iowa College of Law. Highly
respected in the legal community, Linda is known for her well-crafted and researched
opinions, her application of the law, and her dedication to the judicial system.
her busy career, Linda always has made time for civic responsibility and leadership.
She serves as a trustee for St. Ambrose University, on the community advisory
committee for the Augustana College Center for the Study of Ethics, as a friend
of the Davenport Museum of Art, as a member of the Past-President's Council for
the Marriage and Family Counseling Service, and as a reader for the sight-impaired.
She has been honored as the recipient of the Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Council
"Exceptional Achievement Award," the University of Colorado "Award for Distinguished
Achievement," and received a gubernatorial commitment to the National Commission
on Uniform State Laws.
and her husband, Henry, reside in LeClaire and are the parents of two grown daughters,
Emily and Lindsey.
Wilkinson, Founder and CEO, Paragon Commercial Interiors, Inc.
1983, at the age of 26, Dana Wilkinson lost her interior design job because she
was seven months pregnant. She looks back on this discrimination as a defining
moment in her life, enabling her to take the risk of opening her own interior
design business. That business, today known as Paragon Commercial Interiors, has
grown to a staff of 15, was named one of the "Best Places to Work" by Quad City
Magazine, and was honored for its "Excellence in Commerce" by the Illinois Quad
City Chamber of Commerce.
a degree in interior design from Iowa State University, and several years spent
working for a design firm in Chicago, Dana recognized after moving to the Quad
Cities, that no other design firms in the area emphasized the aspect of interior
design in commercial buildings. Wilkinson introduced the concept of corporate
image to Quad City businesses and began implementing ergonomic principles into
her designs, enabling employees to work more efficiently at a time when typewriters
were the norm. Ever the innovator, Dana and her partner, Darla Evans, advocate
the green building philosophy, encouraging clients and contractors to embrace
it as well.
Commercial Interiors has been involved in many large commercial construction projects
in the Quad Cities and worldwide. Local project include Russell Construction,
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, ORA, John Deere Parts Distribution Center,
Eye Surgeons Associates' Bettendorf office, the John O'Donnell Stadium Suites
and Lounge, and the River Music Experience. Globally, projects include locations
throughout the US, India, Russia, China, Canada and Mexico.
part of the architect selection committee for the Figge Art Museum, Dana traveled
the globe meeting world-renowned architects. She then was chosen to serve as executive
director of the Museum of Art Foundation, successfully leading fundraising for
the $47 million building project.
Paragon regularly donates interior design services to area non-profits, including
the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Skip-A-Long Day Care Center and Gilda's
Club, Wilkinson's commitment to community is not limited to design and architecture.
She currently serves on the board of directors for Gilda's Club, is a member of
the Trinity Foundation Board of Directors, Vice Chair of Davenport One Downtown
Partnership and serves on the board of the Riverboat Development Authority. In
2008, Dana received the DavenportOne Chamber of Commerce Larry Reed Volunteer
of the Year Award. Every two years, Dana accompanies her husband, an optometrist,
on a medical mission to Micronesia, serving the eye care needs of more than 300
is a member of the International Interior Design Association and a juror for the
NCIDQ certification exam for interior designers. She and her husband, Mark, reside
in Bettendorf and are the parents of Lyndsey and Shaun, son-in law Kyle Day and
a soon-to-arrive grandson.
2009 Athena Honoree Videos
2009 Athena Business Women's Award recipients will be honored at a luncheon event
on March 24, Noon, at the i wireless Center, Moline. The event is presented by
Missman Stanley & Associates, with sponsor support from MediaWork Productions
and Venus Envy.