Last night, the Rotary Club of Jasper, in partnership with ATHENA International, held its second annual ATHENA Awards ceremony at the Huntingburg Events Center.

Brenda Stallings, the current president and CEO of Matrix Integration, became the second winner of the award. Stallings says being a leader in her eyes comes with a willingness to help others:

During her speech, Stallings gave thanks to many people, including her employees and Dubois County as a whole:

Stallings began her career as a typesetter/proofreader for a St. Meinrad-based magazine known as “Psychology Today”. She later started up her own computer business, which was formed into Matrix Integration after a merger with a telecommunications company.

Stallings has been a board member for Economic Development group Dubois Strong since 2004. She is also currently a board member for the Business Alliance Network Organization, a position she has held since 2006, and a Chairwoman for Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center’s finance committee, a position she has held since 2012.

In 2011, Stallings was named as ‘Enterprising Woman of the Year’ in the business category with over 25 million dollars in revenues. Earlier this year, she was honored with the ‘Power 100: Woman of the Channel’ award from Computer Reseller News Magazine.

Each of last night’s seven finalists was paired with a charity of their choice. Stallings’ charity was Junior Achievement, where she currently serves as an advisory board member. One third of all proceeds from last night’s event will be donated to Junior Achievement on behalf of the Rotary Club of Jasper.

Last night’s keynote speech was provided by Sally Schott, the founder and president of SOAR, a professional development program for high potential young women.

Schott discussed her background and also shared stories about the changes in the role of women, particularly within the last 10 years:

Schott says her passion to tell her story began when she realized many young women, including one of her own daughters, thought that opportunities for women have always been what they are now:

Since the inception of ATHENA’s awards program, over 6 thousand awards have been given in more than 500 cities and towns across America, Canada, China, and Russia among others.