Karen Gunn Announced as 2015 ATHENA Award Winner

The Salt Lake Chamber has announced Karen Gunn as the 2015 ATHENA Award recipient. 

The ATHENA Award is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business. Each recipient must also provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.

“I can not think of a more deserving recipient,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Gunn has over thirty years’ experience as an educator, corporate manager and entrepreneur. Besides having an astonishingly successful career herself, Karen has helped numerous other women achieve their dreams. We couldn’t be more excited to honor her as the newest ATHENA.”

Presently, Gunn oversees programs associated with workforce and economic development, global entrepreneurship, small business development and women’s business development. She also actively participates in several community and economic initiatives on behalf of the Salt Lake Community College and provides institutional leadership to position the college as a supportive partner in achieving the state’s economic goals.

“I am very humbled and grateful to receive this award,” said Gunn. “I have been inspired by incredible women, including ATHENA awardees. To be that person who can share the power of mentoring, see the potential in others and tap it, and help people reach their goals and dreams–there is no greater service or privilege.”

Gunn has also been the recipient of the following awards and recognitions: Region VIII SBA Women’s Business Champion, US Small Business Administration (2009); Outstanding Service, Utah Office of Refugees (2010); International Leadership Award, Women’s India Trust (2012); Chamber Champion, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce (2013); Businesswoman of the Year, Utah State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2014).

The award will be officially presented at the 39th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference & Wells Fargo ATHENA Awards Luncheon on November 17, 2015 at the Little America Hotel & Tower.

In addition to the ATHENA Award, five women will receive Pathfinder Awards at the conference. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths promoting the development and recognition of women in business. The five Pathfinder recipients include the following:

–       Rebecca Dutson, executive vice president and COO, United Way of Salt Lake

–       Jodi Holmgren, marketing strategist, Design Solutions Integrated Marketing

–       Cathy Keen, senior private banker and vice president, Wells Fargo

–       Fraser Nelson, director of data and innovation, The Salt Lake Mayor’s Office

–       Kathy Ricci, executive director and CEO, Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund