The Greater Phoenix Chamber announced the 2020 ATHENA private sector, public sector and young professional award recipients during its 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Nov. 6 in a virtual event.
- Monica Garnes, Division President, Fry’s Food Stores was awarded the 2020 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award in the private sector.
- Chevy Humphrey, The Hazel A. Hare President & CEO, Arizona Science Center, earned the 2020 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award in the public sector.
- Monica Trejo, Arizona State Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance/Care in Action, took home the 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Award.
“We are incredibly proud to celebrate an inspiring group of leaders as this year’s recipients of the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s ATHENA Awards,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “These influential women are dedicated to building a brighter future and ensuring our community remains strong. They embody the best of the Arizona business community and we look forward to seeing how they will carry on the legacy of ATHENA through their work.”
The ATHENA Awards, named after the Greek goddess of courage and wisdom, is a program of ATHENA International, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women.
“I model being my authentic self so that other women will have the confidence and opportunity to do the same and still be recognized for their hard work and commitment,” said Monica Garnes, Division President of Fry’s Food Stores. “I am grateful for this tremendous honor and I wish you all to stay safe, stay healthy and be kind to one another.”
Garnes has risen from an entry-level employee to Division President of Fry’s Food Stores, and now oversees more than 120 stores, 90 fuel centers, and 21,000 associates across Arizona. On the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Garnes doubled down on her leadership philosophy, going above and beyond to ensure that Fry’s associates felt valued during a time when access to groceries was critical. Garnes has made it her mission to ensure that every associate feels connected to the company and has taken steps to mentor people in ways that support their career development. With a focus on community, she has led the charge to end hunger in Arizona—using her platform to create real solutions.
For more than a decade, Chevy Humphrey has led the Arizona Science Center, helping grow the organization’s assets and transform it from a traditional science center to an innovative, community learning hub. A trailblazer in her industry, Humphrey was the first Black American to lead a science center in the U.S. An entrepreneur at heart, she has a lifelong passion for learning that translates to her mentorship and community efforts. As a professional at the pinnacle of her career, Humphrey believes mentoring is a hallmark of her role as a leader and supports other women and minorities in their career journeys. When it comes to giving back, she doubles down on making science accessible and serves on organizations focused on educating youth and communities.
“My mother told me at a very young age, that she was sorry to tell me that I had two strikes against me,” Humphrey said in her acceptance speech. “She said you are a woman. And you are black. This means that you need to perform at 200 percent so that you have 100 percent in your back pocket. So I always remember when someone helps you, you need to give that back tenfold to others.”
When asked what this award means to her, Humphrey said, “[it] is humbling to be a part of this fearless fellowship of strong women leaders who are ATHENAs. They are my SHEroes!”
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized along with such amazing, powerful and inspirational women,” said Monica Trejo, the 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient. “This award is dedicated to the many women in my life who embody the ATHENA spirit everyday.”
As the state director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance/Care in Action, Monica Trejo is forging a path for vulnerable domestic workers. A leader in her community, Trejo leverages her position to connect women with opportunities and critical lifelines. She uses her voice as a rallying call to other women to organize and advocate. A former Teach for America teacher, she’s passionate about education and serves as the Tempe Elementary School District Board President. In this community role, she’s driven to ensure that all students have equal access to quality learning. Through her work and community service, Trejo role models to others that, with passion and purpose, any dream can be achieved.
Garnes, Humphrey and Trejo were chosen from among 11 ATHENA finalists, who were selected from a large group of nominees. The following is a complete list of the 2020 ATHENA finalists:
- Veronica Aguilar, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services, Arizona State University
- Anna Carolina Ortiz, International Program Director, Esperança
- Monica Trejo, Arizona State Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance/Care in Action
From the Public Sector:
- Peggy J. Chase, President & CEO, Terros Health
- Chevy Humphrey, The Hazel A. Hare President & CEO, Arizona Science Center
- Torrie A. Taj, CEO, Child Crisis Arizona
- Christine K. Wilkinson, PhD, Senior Vice President & Secretary of the University; CEO & President, ASU Alumni Association, Arizona State University
From the Private Sector:
- Rhonda Bannard, President & Chief Connector, Inspired Connections
- Rachel Frazier Johnson, Esq., Principal & Managing Attorney, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law
- Monica Garnes, Division President, Fry’s Food Stores
- Doris Savron, Vice Provost, Academic Colleges, University of Phoenix
Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, create a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.
The ATHENA Award, an honor awarded internationally, recognizes exemplary achievement and challenges its recipients with a continued sense of responsibility, support and leadership. The ATHENA Award honors women who have consistently invested in themselves, their profession, their community, and especially other women. They have achieved the pinnacle of success within their industry, have mentored women throughout their career, and have dedicated themselves to the community through various activities and charities.
ATHENA International established an award to honor emerging young leaders in our community. The ATHENA Young Professional Award officially launched at the 2007 International ATHENA Leadership Conference and Phoenix was proud to be one of the first cities to present it within their community. These are the “women to watch.”