ATHENA Leadership Award winner announced

Shown with this year’s ATHENA Award recipient Laura Ducceschi are, from left: Kristine Augustine, vice president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Laura Ducceschi, president & CEO, The Scranton Area Foundation and 2023 ATHENA Award recipient; Donna Barbetti, and Mari Potis, director of membership and events, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has announced Laura Ducceschi, MBA, MA, CAP, CFRE, president & CEO of The Scranton Area Community Foundation, as the 2023 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient.

The ATHENA Award, sponsored locally by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants, honors an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals, and leadership skills. Laura Ducceschi embodies these characteristics wholeheartedly.

For over 10 years, Ms. Ducceschi has made significant strides as a nonprofit leader to make lasting and meaningful changes in the region. Since being named president and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, the organization has witnessed exponential growth. Under her leadership, the Foundation has established programs like NEPA Gives, The Center for Community Leadership, NEPA Moves, Women in Philanthropy, and the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative.

Ms. Ducceschi is actively involved with numerous communities. Currently, she serves on the Geisinger Advisory Board, the University of Scranton Advisory Board, NEPA Grant Makers Steering Committee, the Lackawanna County Women’s Commission, The Chamber’sLackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises (LIFE) Board of Trustees, and is a Board Governor for the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. In addition, she serves as a mentor for the Kirby Center for Entrepreneurship, is a Schwartz Mack Foundation trustee, and participates with the Funder’s Network racial equity group.

“Ms. Ducceschi is no doubt making positive and inspiring advances in the local nonprofit sector by implementing projects and programs that support our community,” says Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “We commend her for the work she has done so far and congratulate her as the 2023 recipient of this prestigious award.”

The ATHENA Award will be presented to Ms.Ducceschi at The Chamber’s International Women’s Day Luncheon on March 8, held at Marywood University, and is sponsored by The Honesdale National Bank. Tickets can be purchased online at

The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, and has grown to include presentations to more than 5,000 individuals in hundreds of cities in the United States as well as in Canada, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage, and wisdom of the recipient.

The ATHENA Award® Program is nationally underwritten by General Motors and National City Bank.

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