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The ATHENA Award honors women and men who strive towards the highest levels of professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, have devoted time and energy to their community, and who pave paths for other women to follow. 

The ATHENA Award celebrates the potential of all women as leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them.

The ATHENA Award was created by former Lansing Chamber President Martha Mertz in 1982 and has since spread around the world. More than 6,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

2017 Recipient - April Clobes, MSU Federal Credit Union

April Clobes, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) was recognized by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce as the 2017 ATHENA Award recipient.

April Clobes joined MSUFCU in 1996 as a marketing specialist. She headed up a newly formed e-commerce department in 2001, which expanded into two separate e-commerce and e-services departments. She assumed the role of vice president of marketing in 2009, executive vice president in 2010, and eventually promoted to her current role.

April Clobes actively assists the women in her organization to have a fulfilling professional and personal life. She allots time for her employees to meet with her personally to discuss concerns and even get career advice. She regularly meets with female business students at MSU to provide mentoring.

April is strongly involved in the community. In addition to serving on the Chamber board, she currently serves on eight other boards, including serving as president of the MSU Wharton Center Advisory Council.

Under April’s leadership, MSUFCU makes a positive impact in the community through the volunteer hours of its staff and substantial financial contributions. Organizations supported by MSUFCU include The American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter, Capital Area United Way, Child and Families Charities Capital Area, Ele’s Place, Greater Lansing Food Bank, Greenlight Business Model Competition, Sparrow Hospice Services and MSU Women’s Resource Center.

Among her numerous recognitions, April was named the 2013 Top Woman to Watch by the Credit Union Times, 2016 Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces Leadership Award, Honorary Alumni Award from Oakland University and 2017 Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates Future Thinkers Award.

ATHENA Award Recipients

2017 - April Clobes

2016 - Joan Jackson Johnson

2015 - Sarah Jennings

2014 - Dr. June Pierce Youatt

2013 - Kelly Rossman-McKinney

2012 - Stella Cash 

2011 - Nancy McKeague

2010 - Nell Kuhnmuench

2009 - Tiffany Dowling

2008 - Rachelle Neal

2007 - Paula Blanchard-Stone

2006 - Sheri Jones

2005 - Paula Cunningham

2004 - Lou Anna K. Simon

2003 - Theda Rudd

2002 - Carol Conn

2001 - Mary Ellen Sheets

2000 - Virginia Hilbert

1999 - Suzanne Beekman Mills

1998 - Sandra Draggoo

1997 - Marianne E. Samper

1996 - Joan E. Bauer

1995 - Priscilla J. Peterson

1994 - Helen Pratt Mickens

1993 - Dawn E. Springer

1992 - Patrick D. Hanes

1991 - Eva Evans, Ph.D.

1990 - The Honorable Debbie Stabenow

1989 - Mildred Erickson

1988 - Hortense G. Canady, Ph.D.

1987 - Marcia Jensen Spencer

1986 - Martha Mertz

1985 - Alyson W. Steele

1984 - Sister Mary Janice Belen

1983 - Lucille E. Belen

1982 - Dr. MaryLee Davis

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