Past Q & Athena Award Recipients

Carolyn Cullen, University of Virginia – 2014Carolyn Cullen Recipient

What did it mean to you when you were presented with your award?

“It was very humbling and I am extremely appreciative.  It meant the validation of my local efforts on behalf of professional women.  I’m keenly aware of the prestige of the Athena Award, but I am equally as honored to be recognized as a Q Award winner since the award was developed especially to recognize local women in a local way.”

Has it come to mean something more/different since the time you won?

Every time I wear my Q necklace, someone asks me about it.  So while the award itself hasn’t come to mean anything different than the enormity of what it meant initially, I take those opportunities to spread the word about it, and about Quadruplicity, which is an honor in itself. ”

How do you see the role of women as business leaders today?

“We have broken through a lot of barriers but we still aren’t where we need to be.  Events like Quadruplicity, groups like the BWRT and awards like the Q Award are exactly what we need to move not just the conversation but change forward.  For a region this size, to have a conference of this prestige and a group of engaged women is unusual, and I’m not sure everyone truly recognizes that.  We can and do take a leadership role in changing the face of our community; we must continue to do more.”

How do you see the role of women as philanthropic leaders today?

“If we want to make an impact on poverty, hunger and equality in our community, it can and must start with us.”


Sue Friedman, Alzheimer’s Association – 2012 RecipientSue Friedman

“Receiving the Athena Award was an unexpected honor…and underscores my continuing commitment to our community and the women who contribute so much to our vibrant community.   I am reminded daily that our collective energy makes positive solutions and opportunities possible.

The impact of women in business parallels the positive impact on community.  Women have more often seen the natural intersection of work,  family and community, creating more flexible working environments.  As women continue to expand their leadership influence in CEO positions and the Board room, this “work-life balance” will become the norm.

With greater business success, women will grow as philanthropic leaders both individually and collectively.  Increasing individual wealth provides women, already community focused,  greater opportunities to make charitable donations.  And, more women-owned and women-led businesses incorporate “social good” as part of the business model.  With these two changes, I believe we will see women take the lead in philanthropy, both as nonprofit leaders and as donors.”