Newton, Larkin each named Slidell Athenians
SLIDELL — Two Slidell women were honored with one of the highest awards bestowed upon local women.
Sharron Newton was named the 2011 Athena Leadership Award recipient while Linda Larkin was awarded the 2011 Athena Young Leadership Award.
The Athena Leadership Award is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. The award is established through local host organizations in partnership with Athena International’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors.
The recipients of this year’s awards were handed out last Wednesday at the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The other nominees were Lisa Clement, Kathy Lowrey and Kendra Maness.
Last year’s Athena recipient was Sylvia Black, who said the Athena award honors an outstanding woman.
“It’s about being who you really are, giving back to the community, having courage, being open-minded to learning and knowing how to celebrate and have joy in life,” Black said. “Just being nominated was an honor.”
Clement works on behalf of women, children and the arts. Lowrey is always available to help anytime it’s needed. Maness helps with animals. Larkin is a go-getter and has been on the leadership team.
Newton is a registered nurse who has dedicated her life to helping others. She has been a nurse and head nurse for Rotoplast International Inc. since 1993. Rotoplast International Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide free cleft and palate anomaly surgery to children around the world. All of her work was done with Rotoplast International Inc. is done entirely without pay.
Newton has served on the Board of Directors of Community Christian Concern, the Rainbow Childcare Center, the Northshore Community Foundation and the Slidell Northshore Rotary Club. She was also one of the volunteer coordinators for the 2011 Rotary International Convention that convened over 20,000 volunteers to New Orleans for the purpose of promoting the eradication of polio worldwide and promoting other international peach and charitable goals.
She is also an active volunteer for the American Red Cross where she has been a CPR instructor since 1974. As a Red Cross volunteer, Newton worked the midnight to dawn shifts in local evacuation shelters after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
For two years, Newton coordinated the delivery of care packages to Slidell men and women in the Armed Services stationed in the Middle East.
She is also the recipient of numerous local and international awards.
“My husband and I always say that if it’s up to be, it’s up to me. I?look around for positive people to surround myself with. It takes hard work to get where you are,”?Newton said while fighting back tears. “You have to wake up every day and be the person who is really you in your heart. I?love positive relationships. I believe are all blessed and a blessed country.”
Newton said that life should be celebrated.
“I wouldn’t be where I?am without my husband so I thank him for his support,”?Newton added.
East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Dawn Sharpe-Brackett introduced Larkin as the Athena Young Leadership recipient.
“With the success of the Chamber’s EYP group, the Board of Directors felt that it was appropriate to expand our Athena program with this award,”?Brackett said.
This is the first year the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce gave out an Athena Young Leadership award.
Larkin was given the honor for her terrific leadership skills. She demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her business and her profession. She provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community and is a role model for young professionals both personally and professionally. She has taken her position with her employer Property Title to the next level.
“This is such a big, big honor. To be nominated with these other women is an honor,”?Larkin said.
She was handed her award by Black. Larkin said it was a pleasure to be in the same company as last year’s Athena winner.
“Thank you so much. I’m speechless,”Larkin said.
CREDIT: Slidell Independent