Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Iowa Women Lead Change Quad-Cities, or IWLC, announced Friday that 10 Quad-City business and community leaders will be recognized as the 2018 Athena Honorees and Male Champions of Change. 

The honorees will be celebrated at an IWLC awards dinner and program March 29 at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf. 

The Athena awards recognize women from eastern Iowa and western Illinois who are known for their professional excellence, community service and for encouraging other women to do the same. Each year, the honorees are chosen by the previous year's honorees.

The 2018 Athena Honorees are:

  • Monica Forret, director of Doctor of Business Administration Program at St. Ambrose University. 
  • LuAnn Haydon, retired manager of John Deere Global Visual Services.
  • Lisa Killinger, professor at Palmer College of Chiropractic.
  • Chris McCormick Pries, clinical director of Vera French.
  • Amy Nimmer, retired director of John Deere Global HR Operations. 

Deanna Woodall, IWLC Quad-Cities regional manager, said Athena International supports, develops and honors women leaders. "Its mission is to inspire women to achieve their full potential. Our 2018 Athena Honorees are achieving that mission on a regular basis in both their professional careers and personal lives."

The annual Quad-City event, launched by the former Women's Connection organization, also honors area men who exhibit an exceptional commitment to the acceleration of women in leadership and who utilize their influence, talents and abilities to enhance gender diversity.

The 2018 Male Champion of Change honorees are:

  • Brian Hollenback, president and CEO, Economic Growth Corp.
  • Daniel Huber, owner and CEO, Frontier Hospitality Group.
  • Christopher Hunter, outpatient rehab supervisor, Genesis Health Systems.
  • A J Loss, president and CEO, Bush Construction.
  • Joe Moreno, president, Quad-City Marathon.

"It is important to recognize these Athena and Male Champion honorees and lift them up as the true role models they each are in the Quad-Cities community," Woodall said.

The awards ceremony will be part of IWLC's inaugural Quad-Cities Women’s Leadership Conference. The awards event begins with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. and will feature keynote speaker Robyn Benincasa, a world champion adventure racer, San Diego firefighter and one of CNN's Heroes for the Project Athena Foundation.

For more information on both events, visit or call Woodall at 563-275-8749.