Palm Beach Atlantic University faculty, staff, students and alumni are among the nominees and finalists for the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches ATHENA Awards. The awards luncheon is on Friday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
The awards honor a community leader, young professional and business for professional excellence, service and activity engaging in the promotion of women into leadership roles.
- Dr. Kathleen Anderson, professor of English, was selected from a list of nominees in the Individual category, and she also was selected as a finalist in 2005 and 2007. Dr. Anderson has taught at PBA since 1996, and she was the recipient of PBA's Charles and Hazel Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Grand Faculty Marshall for 2006-2007. She is active in the Jane Austen Society of North America, and she founded and serves as faculty advisor of the Women's Studies Group (WSG) of PBA, which provides campus programs, events, a scholarship and mentoring opportunities that promote women's leadership. She also directs the Women at Work: Annual Women's Leadership Conference, among various other activities.
- Also a finalist in the Individual category is Victoria Chouris '97/'01 MBA, vice president and chief operating officer of the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County Expositions, Inc. Chouris has been involved with the fair since 1982, when she went to work in the South Florida Fair's finance department during the event. She joined the fair's staff full-time in 1985, and she was appointed chief operating officer in 2006. She is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County.
- Head Softball Coach Kimmy Bloemers is a finalist for the first time in the Young Professional category. Bloemers is entering her fifth season at Palm Beach Atlantic, where in four years she has turned around a program that went 8-39 the year before her arrival. She since has led the team to three consecutive seasons of 30-plus wins, a first-ever trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament in 2010 and a National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship in 2009.
- Deborah Bowmar-Jaffe '89/ '92 MBA, director of alumni relations, is a nominee in the Individual category. Bowmar-Jaffe is responsible for planning events and activities for more than 11,000 alumni. She is a past president of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, and she served as president of the board of directors for the local chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In that role, she chaired the 2008 Race for the Cure. She also has served in volunteer leadership positions with the American Heart Association.
- Kelly Fason, chief operating officer of Dress for Success Palm Beaches, is a nominee in the Young Professional category. Fason is a graduate student in PBA's MBA program. Her non-profit organization provides professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help disadvantaged women thrive in work and in life.