Two area organizations that presented annual awards to women of leadership and advocacy have now joined forces to combine their awards into one.

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wheeling YWCA made the announcement.

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce started giving the Athena Award last year.

And the Wheeling YWCA has presented their Tribute To Women award for about four decades.

Both awards recognize women in the Ohio Valley who are exemplary leaders. They not only excel in their chosen fields, but they help to empower other women.

Now both groups will combine to present the Athena Award.

We for many many years from the 70s have done a Tribute To Women every year pre-COVID and then we stopped and then when I was fortunate to get the Athena Award last year, it only made sense that I stepped forward and said we have to do this together. And the Chamber was willing and able and we’re honored.LORI JONES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHEELING YWCA

So I’m very excited for the combining and collaboration between the Wheeling Chamber and the YWCA. It seemed like we’re both striving for the same goals, same purpose, same passion behind it. So why not make it bigger and better than it was before.BROOKE ANDERSON, WHEELING AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

To be partnered with the YWCA is a great thing. To honor women’s leadership and work with a very strong women’s organization within the valley, that’s exciting.MIKE HOWARD, WHEELING AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

This year’s Athena Award will be presented June 6th at the Wheeling Park White Palace. If you want to nominate an exemplary woman in your life, log on to the Wheeling Chamber website.