Two local women and an organization dedicated to helping young people succeed are being recognized in August.

Kathryn Girten will receive the Athena Leadership Award and Tai Muldoon is this year’s Athena Young Professional. Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County earned the Athena Organizational Leadership Award. 

Wayne Bank and Indiana University East have selected this year’s recipients. 

Wayne County’s eighth Athena reception, dinner and awards program begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at Forest Hills Country Club in Richmond. Reservations are $75 per person and are due by July 31.

The Athena Leadership Award is presented to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their career, served the community in a meaningful way and actively helped women achieve their full leadership potential.

The event recognizes women leaders who motivate, inspire and create positive change. Previous recipients include Mary Jo Clark, Jackie Carberry, Angie Dickman, Janis Buhl-Macy, Kim Poinsett, Tracie Robinson and Melissa Vance. 

Rae Marie Buchholz of IU East, left, Rebecca Gilliam of Wayne County Foundation, and JoAnn Spurlock of Wayne Bank, far right, notify Kathryn Girten that she won the Athena Leadership Award. Supplied

Girten joined Indiana University East as its sixth chancellor in 2013 and first woman in that role. 

She has previously been awarded Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce’s Art Vivian Distinguished Community Leader Award in 2020, as well as Amigos’ Community Achievement Award in 2018. 

Girten has been a member of Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Forward Wayne County steering committee. She serves on the boards of First Bank Richmond and its community foundation, Reid Health, Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Wayne County Foundation.

The Athena Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes nominees ages 18-35 who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their work, serve as a role model for young women and improve their community’s quality of life. Previous award recipients include Roxie Deer, Jessie Pilewski and Ashley Sieb.  

Rae Marie Buchholz, left, nominators Misty Hollis and Laurie Carr, and JoAnn Spurlock, right, congratulate Tai Muldoon of Girls Inc., who has been named this year’s Athena Young Professional. Supplied

Tai Muldoon is CEO/executive director of Girls Inc., an organization that encourages girls to be strong, smart and bold through direct service and advocacy.

Muldoon is a 2013 graduate of Indiana University East and has certifications in fundraising management and in nonprofit executive leadership from Indiana University and Western Governors University. She previously worked at Ivy Tech and Birth to Five.  

This is the second year the Athena Organizational Leadership Award is presented in Wayne County to a business or organization that encourages female employees to achieve their full leadership potential or assists local women and girls by providing and/or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives. 

Girl Scouts of Wayne County Service Unit won the inaugural organization award.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County is dedicated to helping kids through programs that encourage academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship. Their mission also includes inspiring and enabling young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

BGCWC units in Cambridge City, Hagerstown and Richmond offer computer labs, homework help, games, gyms, arts and crafts, and more. Families pay $15 per year per student.

If you go

Wayne County’s eighth Athena reception, dinner and awards program begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at Forest Hills Country Club, 2169 S. 23rd St., Richmond.

Reservations are $75 per person and are due by July 31 to Dana Henderson at 765-259-0205 or

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A version of this article appeared in the July 12 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.