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.

Nominations open for 2023 ATHENA Award

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce opened nominations for the 2023 ATHENA Award on Jan. 3 at The ATHENA Award is presented to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.

The ATHENA Award is sponsored by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants and will be presented at the Chamber’s International Women’s Day luncheon, sponsored by Honesdale National Bank, which will be held at Marywood University on Tuesday, March 8.

Nominations for the ATHENA Award will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20. Find application and eligibility criteria online at

And the SAGE Awards finalists are…

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announces the finalists for the 2022 SAGE Awards, the Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence, including Dunmore businesses including Fidelity Bank, FNCB Bank, and Nibbles and Bits, as well as Penn State Scranton, which is located in Dunmore.

The SAGE Awards honor outstanding local businesses for their talent, creativity, and innovation. The winners will be announced on Friday, Nov. 18, at the Chamber Gala, a black-tie optional event that will be held at the Ritz Theater and Performing Arts Center.

More than 85 applications were received for this year’s awards and nearly 50 community leaders and professionals volunteered to review applications and select finalists. The Chamber is proud to honor businesses that are making valuable contributions to the region and contributing to our overall quality of life. 

The finalists, in each category, are: Best Practices in Community Involvement: Settlers Hospitality; Titan Tree Service, Inc., Tobyhanna Army Depot; Best Practices in Customer Service: Century Dental Associates, CTB Studio, Northeast Music Center Inc.; Best Practices in Marketing & Communications: Golden Technologies, Market Share Consulting, Settlers Hospitality; Business of the Year: Disaster Blaster, Montage Mountain Resorts, United Sports Academy; Fastest Growing Company: FNCB, Nibbles and Bits, United Sports Academy; Hometown Star: Camp Freedom Inc., Scranton Area Foundation-NEPA Gives; United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties; Impact Award-Community Outreach: Penn State Scranton, Tobyhanna Army Depot, WVIA; Impact Award-Products & Services: Alleima, Fidelity Bank, Inspired Studio; Impact Award-People & Culture: Coal Studio, Tobyhanna Army Depot, United Sports Academy; New and Emerging Business of the Year: Emobile Gym Fitness LCC, The Prescription Center, Cherry Street; THEKIMMY; Non-Profit Business of the Year: Camp Freedom Inc., Children’s Service of Wyoming County, Northeast Pennsylvania Youth for Christ Inc.; Small Business of the Year: Blu Elefante Events, Nibbles and Bits, The Training Loft LCC.

Additionally, all award finalists can also win the People’s Choice Award, where the winner will be chosen by voting from Monday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 11.