Jennifer Román Receives the ATHENA Award

18 Mar 2013 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The 16th Annual ATHENA Award Celebration, held March 12, 2013 at Monona Terrace, was a special night with 300 attendees to honor ten outstanding nominees for their creativity and initiative in their business or profession, leadership in the community and especially for their efforts to help women achieve their full potential.


Lieutenant Jen Román, a career firefighter with the City of

Madison, was named the 2013 ATHENA Award recipient.  Lt. Román began her career in protective services as a volunteer EMT before putting herself through the UW Hospital paramedic program.   While working for the Madison Fire Department (MFD), she earned a graduate degree from UW-Madison in Adult and Continuing Education. Recently, she prepared for and took the Lieutenants promotion exam, earning top scores and was promoted to Lieutenant in January 2012. Along with her full time duties in the MFD, she has been an Instructor at Madison Collegefor over 20 years, teaching EMT, CPR and fire safety courses.

Jennifer has been an active Girl Scout volunteer for nearly 25 years and brought her two decades of experience with the Madison Fire Department, Madison College and Girl Scouts together in developing CampHERO, a program aimed at building character and self-esteem in girls (kindergarten through high school) by exposing them to the protective services: police officer, detective, firefighter, paramedic, 911 dispatcher, etc.  She organized over 120 volunteers to host the two week inaugural program in 2012 for more than 200 girls.  CampHERO was so successful that it was approved by GUSA to be opened to Girl Scouts across the country in 2013.


The other 9 Nominees recognized at the event were 

  • Milele Chikasa Anana, Editor & Publisher, Umoja Magazine
  • Lisa Bell, Executive Director, Madison Dental Initiative
  • Katherine Bidwell, Broker Associate, Stark Company Realtors
  • Keetra Burnette, Chief Operating Officer, Urban League of Greater Madison
  • Lisa Peyton Caire, President, Black Beauty Ventures
  • Kristen Capogrossi, Economist, Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc.
  • Andrea Marquardt Finck, Director of Marketing, M3 Insurance
  • Janine Stephens, Director of Marketing & Special Events, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County
  • Beth Zurbuchen, President/CEO, The Swiss Center of North America


Proceeds from the ATHENA Award event go to The Business Forum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that awards scholarships to high school students and returning adult women who attend college in

Wisconsin.  Since this event began in 1998, The Business Forum Foundation has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships.

Keynote speaker, Jody Glynn Patrick, Publisher of In Business Magazine and 2005 ATHENA Award recipient, gave an impassioned speech, “Living an Authentic Life.” Patrick highlighted the history of her own path to success starting as a young farm girl in

Illinois, and led the audience through a history of social and political change that has brought women to the place we are at in society today.


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