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Windsor Chamber Athena Awards

Windsor Chamber Athena Awards

Photo: From left: Erin Dufour, Sydney Chapados, Holly Nicholson and Shelley Fellows. Photo courtesy of the Athena Scholarship Committee.

Windsor Chamber Athena Awards

One of my favourite events of the year is the Athena Awards luncheon, which I try to attend and support every year. This annual event was held last Friday, November 2nd hosted by the Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and it always leaves me inspired and energized. The event is held to celebrate three winners of the Athena Scholarship who excel academically, exhibit extensive community involvement and serve as outstanding leaders while also assisting girls and women to achieve a better quality of life and reach their full potential as leaders.

The ATHENA Scholarship Program was created in 1999 in Windsor in keeping with the ATHENA philosophy, which maintains that by elevating people with potential and solid values, they will be exceptional role models and inspire others to achieve excellence. Recipients of this scholarship must be interested in increasing leadership opportunities for women, enhancing the quality of life in their community, mentoring, team building, and pursuing diversity. The keynote speaker was Shelly Fellows Vice-President, OperationsRadix Inc.

Shelley Fellows – Keynote Speaker – Vice-President, Operations – Radix Inc.

One of the founders of Radix & a graduate of the University of Windsor, Fellows has responsibility for planning & strategy execution in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources & business operations. A strong & entrepreneurial leader, Shelley is part of the management team which led Radix to be recognized as one of the Profit’s Fastest Growing Companies in Canada in 2006 and 2016, and Product Innovation Awards 2007 & 2015 from the Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, as well as to acquisition by mold-making leaders, Active Industrial Solutions, in 2016. Fellows was a 2016 recipient of the Athena Award for her work supporting women in science, technology, engineering & math careers. Fellows has had positions on the many boards and committees, including WETech Alliance, Workforce Windsor Essex and the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation. She is currently a Director with the Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and is on the steering committee for ProsperUS, a regional poverty reduction initiative.

Radix, founded in 1994, with headquarters in Windsor, Ontario and offices in Montreal, Quebec, Mississauga, Ontario & Trenton, Michigan, designs & delivers smart factory solutions based on advanced technologies like vision systems, industrial controls, robotics & simulation to world class manufacturers in North America.

2018 ATHENA Scholars Profiles

Sydney Chapados combines outstanding academic excellence with a passion for helping others in the community. This spring she completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Women’s & Gender Studies & Sociology and is currently enrolled in the first year Masters of Sociology program at the University of Windsor. Chapados’s passion for community involvement includes volunteering at the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women, We Love Windsor West and West Side Church of Christ Community Clothing Drive. Her focus on women in leadership includes 2017-2018 President of Women in Leadership at the University of Windsor, and an organizer of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and the 2018 March in Windsor. Her career goal is to create workplaces that are equitable and safe for women. Chapados exemplifies the ATHENA as a passionate advocate for women and community outreach.

Erin Dufour has maintained outstanding academic record while serving as a student leader and mentor for young girls. In 2017 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Gender Studies degree. She is currently a Master’s Thesis Candidate, Human Kinetics, Applied Human Performance at the University of Windsor. Her passion to make a difference in the lives of women includes her role as 2016-2017 President of Women in Leadership and 2017-2018 Executive Board Member of Leadership Advancement for Women and Sport (LAWS) at the University of Windsor. She also helped co-create the Female Youth Collaborative mentorship program at the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society. Dufour hopes to pursue a career in health promotion of women and girls in the community. Dr. Linda McKay, in whose memory this ATHENA scholarship is named, would be very proud of this outstanding student leader and female role model.

Holly Nicholson not only excels academically but also passionately helping others in the community in various leadership and mentorship roles. This spring she graduated from St. Clair College with a Business Administration Human Resources Advanced Diploma receiving Academic Distinction throughout her three-year program. Nicholson’s leadership activities include Vice President 2016-2017 and President 2018-2019 of the Student Affairs of St. Clair College Student Representative Council. Her community involvement includes the Windsor Essex Humane Society, the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association Student Board Member; The House Youth Centre Event Volunteer and Girl Guides of Canada – Windsor Unit #1 Spark Leader. Nicholson intends to pursue a career in human resources at St. Clair College while representing the values of ATHENA with her leadership and her passion for mentoring others and improving the quality of life in her community.

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Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh
Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh is an award winning leadership consultant and former Director of Leadership Windsor/Essex, Principal, Chief Communications Officer and business owner with over 30 years of experience in education, administration, mentoring, consulting and community leadership. She is also the founder of Girls Rock Windsor, which supports camps across the world to develop leadership, social justice, community awareness, positive self-esteem and a sense of belonging, using music education and performance.