Mental health advocate wins 2012 Athena Leadership Award

2012-11-01T20:15:00Z 2012-11-02T09:10:46Z Mental health advocate wins 2012 Athena Leadership AwardPANTAGRAPH STAFF pantagraph.com
November 01, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

BLOOMINGTON — A longtime community volunteer received the 2012 Athena Leadership Award on Thursday from the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.

Judy Buchanan, an advocate for mental health issues and chairwoman of Connect Transit (the former Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System), was honored during a reception at Illinois State University, along with the other nominees.

“Judy is an outstanding leader in our community,” said Charlie Moore, chamber president and CEO. “It comes as no surprise to us that she was nominated by her peers … Judy Buchanan truly is a force for good.”

The Athena Award recognizes local professionals who support, develop and honor female leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential.

As a member of the Illinois Commission on Mental Health and Development Disabilities, she provided significant input into the state’s Mental Health Code, which provides protection for citizens who are mentally ill. As part of the Bloomington-Normal Public Transit Board, she was involved in a variety of changes, including the creation of the Connect Transit system.

Other award nominees included:

- Ann Harding, director of alumni relations, Illinois Wesleyan University. Harding has worked at IWU for 24 years and was described as the “epitome of a successful woman leader.”

- Bobbie Lewis Sibley, who recently finished her first year as county director for the University of Illinois Extension. She was praised for her  ability to handle challenges with enthusiasm, energy, and interest.

- Candace Brownlee, director of recruitment and admissions, Heartland Community College. Brownlee was described by her peers as going above and beyond to provide the utmost service.

- Carole M. Ringer, recently retired from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation and a past board president for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, has a long tenure of charitable service that exemplifies her passion for the community.

- Mary Bennett-Henrichs, president, Integrity Technology Solutions. Henrichs encourages and challenges each of her employees, providing them with training and technical services needed to succeed.

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