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Steven J. Chickery, president of family-owned Hudson Valley Office Furniture, has been chosen by The Chamber Foundation as the recipient of the 2013 ATHENA Award. He was presented his honor at the annual ATHENA Awards Brunch on Sunday, December 8 at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie. Chickery, the Hudson Valley’s first male recipient of the ATHENA Award, will travel to an upcoming regional ATHENA conference to represent the region.
For the past six years, Chickery has partnered with the Grace Smith House, a Poughkeepsie based domestic violence shelter, and his desire to help victims and their families has driven him to become their current board chair. Chickery claims being in a position to empower women to break the cycle of domestic violence while working closely with the Grace Smith House has added a new dimension to his life, one which he embraces wholeheartedly. He intuitively recognizes the strength his involvement has in the effort to eliminate violence against women by elevating awareness and modeling what is means to be a ‘good man.’
Chickery has been instrumental in leading the effort to build Grace Smith House’s capacity to serve more victims of domestic violence and to serve them better than before. Through his vast community connections, he has brought the Grace Smith House mission to the forefront in the community.
“Steven Chickery has all the qualities that an ATHENA Award recipient should possess,” said Charles North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber Foundation. “He is a tireless advocate for women, especially women who have faced difficulty in their life, and I am proud to be able to recognize his contributions to our community by presenting this honor to him.”
A lifelong resident of Dutchess County, Chickery has been particularly committed to downtown Poughkeepsie, an area that has undergone economic hardships throughout the years. He has been a loud voice in attracting individuals and businesses to the area in an effort to revive Main Street, and he has a unique and critical understanding of the intersection between economic development and quality of life.
In addition, Chickery has co-chaired the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum Golf Tournament for many years, helping it become the single largest fundraiser for the organization. Currently, he serves as the vice president of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House board of directors and tirelessly promotes the theater as “the crown jewel of the area.”
Bestowed annually, the ATHENA Award is given to a member of the community who best embodies the ATHENA Leadership Model. The model is unique in that it focuses on personal traits of strong, successful leaders. It captures the spirit and collaborative leadership style often exemplified in women leaders, while also recognizing the importance of traits such as courageous acts and fierce advocacy in the pursuit of excellence. Nominations for the 2014 ATHENA Award are now being accepted. To submit a candidate for consideration, visit ChamberFDN.org/athena.
The 2013 ATHENA nominees, all chosen because of their strengths in career excellence and leadership, community volunteer involvement and willingness to serve as a mentor, especially to women in the community, include:
• Ellen L. Baker - McCabe & Mack LLP, Attorneys-At-Law
• Natalie Borquist - Family Services
• Linda G. Campbell - Dutchess ARC
• Lisa M. Cathie - Ulster Savings Bank
• Steven J. Chickery - Hudson Valley Office Furniture
• Peter Maher - Mid-Hudson Subaru
• Michelle Martin - RiverStone Wealth Management
• Gertrude O'Sullivan - Foundation for Community Health
• Kelly Outwater - Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
• Angelline Smalls - An'tyrice Salon & Spa
• Sue Sywetz Sullivan - St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital
The 2013 ATHENA Award Brunch was presented by Health Quest and sponsored by: KeyBank, Dutchess ARC, Mid-Hudson Subaru, Riverstone Wealth Management, Hudson Valley Office Furniture, McCabe & Mack LLP - Attorneys At Law, DCH Wappingers Falls Toyota, Orange County Trust Company, Ulster Savings Bank, COBESO, Inc., DRA Imaging P.C., Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Hudson Valley Fresh and College Planning 101.
The Youth Leadership Program is proud to offer our track two students the opportunity to intern in an industry that aligns with their future career goals. This internship program helps the students determine if their current career aspirations are the right choice for them. In partnership with College Planning 101, The Chamber Foundation is hard at work starting the process of placing these students and is looking for internship hosts.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.