The first recipient of the Regional ATHENA Award was announced at a reception held in honor of the nominees at the North Dakota Museum of Art. Kris Compton, Chief Operating Officer of Alerus Financial was selected as the first recipient of this prestigious award, which was presented by Bob Rydell of Rydell GM Auto Center.
The ATHENA Award recognizes individuals – both women and men – who demonstrate professional excellence, community service, and actively assist women in their attainment of leadership and professional excellence. Individuals are nominated for the award by their peers, colleagues and members of the local community.
Kris was nominated by a number of employees from Alerus Financial who work in a variety of positions and who consider her a mentor. Kris has served on numerous boards and committees and is recognized for her contributions to the community including: Altru’s Breast Center Campaign Chair (2005), Altru Health Foundation Board of Directors, Mayor’s Taskforce on Downtown, Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee Member, Adult Leadership Speaker and Director of Leadership Conference.
The seven other nominees honored were Nancy Andrews, Valley Memorial Homes; Katherine Benda; Sheila Gerszewski, Bremer Bank; Gretchen Graf, First Presbyterian Church; Valerie Miller, The Ultimate Look; Mary Haslerud Opp, University of North Dakota’s School of Communication; and Rebecca Thrall, University of North Dakota.
The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, MI. Over 4,500 individuals have been presented with the ATHENA Award since its inception.
The Regional ATHENA Award was presented by Rydell GM Auto Center, hosted by the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks Chambers of Commerce, and sponsored by Fine Print of Grand Forks, Alerus Financial, Altru Health System, Bremer Bank, Ideal Aerosmith, Xcel Energy, Congress Inc., and Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops.