The keynote speaker for the evening was Ray Hexamer, president of the Stark Economic Development Board. He discussed a report commissioned by the Stark Community Foundation in 2017 on the economic wellbeing of Stark County. The bottom line is Stark County is becoming smaller, older and poorer. He discussed how the economic development organizations in Stark County are working together to turn this trend around. Also, during the evening, the Women’s Division presented their annual Athena Award. This year’s recipient was Kim Stanley, Executive Director of the Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter. The Athena Award is a national award presented to an outstanding business or professional woman who has attained and embodies the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively assists women in realizing their leadership potential. Kim is dedicated her life to helping others. She has been the director of the shelter for 13 years but is also involved in many other organizations in the area including MS Dreams, Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Stark County Domestic Violence Collaboration, Stark County Victims’ Rights Coalition, Alliance Area Child Injury Task Force, and a founding partner in the NEET Mentoring Program started by the Women’s Division of the Chamber. Congratulations Kim on a well-deserved recognition!! The past Athena Award and Woman of the Year recipients presented their fourth annual scholarship. The Athena/Woman of the Year Scholarship is presented to a deserving female high school senior who has demonstrated community involvement, academic achievement and leadership. This year’s recipient of the $1000 scholarship was Olivia Woods, a senior at Sebring McKinley High School. Congratulations Olivia!! The evening could not have happened without the financial support of our sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: Alliance Ventures, Consumers National Bank, and Nationwide Insurance- The Burgess Group; Gold Sponsors: Alliance Community Hospital, Stark Economic Development Board, Ermlich/Goris- Meadows/McConnell Insurance Agency and The Eastern Stark County Safety Council; Silver Sponsor Arthur Gallagher & Company. Your generous support is greatly appreciated, THANK YOU!!