2017 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient is Margaret Ann Jessup
Illinois Women in Leadership Athena Award 2017 winner Margaret Ann Jessup July 27, 2017.

Illinois Women in Leadership Athena Award 2017 winner Margaret Ann Jessup July 27, 2017.

Margaret Ann Jessup was named the 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient during a ceremony at Erin’s Pavilion on Thursday, July 27.

The celebration, organized by Illinois Women in Leadership (IWIL), recognized 10 women in the Springfield for achieving excellence in their business or profession, serving the community in a meaningful way and, most importantly, actively assisting women to achieve their full leadership potential.

Margaret Ann is the associate pastor of Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church. Margaret Ann founded a Neighborhood Block Party, community garden, and a unique social enterprise "Wooden It Be Lovely," which hires struggling, single moms to refurbish wooden furniture for sale.

Molly Berendt, Compass for Kids executive director, nominated Margaret Ann for the prestigious award, which recognizes women around the world. “She always has new ideas for ways the church can serve its neighbors better, and she's willing to take the initiative to turn those ideas into reality,” said Molly.

IWIL is a professional networking group of around 200 women. All IWIL events, which include the forthcoming annual Women’s Symposium on September 7, are organized and run by member volunteers. Past president and ATHENA committee chair, Cheri Plummer, said the ATHENA Leadership award would not happen in Springfield if it were not for the commitment of IWIL’s members and the sponsors that help fund the occasion. “What a wonderful evening. I couldn’t be more excited for how the event turned out. A massive congratulations to Margaret Ann and to all the nominees.”

For more information about IWIL and forthcoming events visit IWIL.biz