News & Updates

Athena PowerLink Announces 2019 Awardees

Posted on March 6th, 2019 at 10:24 AM
Athena PowerLink Announces 2019 Awardees

Marketing, cash flow concerns, growth projections…these are just a few of many reasons why a woman business owner might seek the help of ATHENA PowerLink®. And, women-owned businesses throughout Erie County continue to become key contributors to the economic growth in Erie County.

Now in its 19th year, ATHENA PowerLink® is an advisory program which guides women business owners, whose companies are poised for growth, in defining and achieving tangible goals by providing them with access to a panel of business advisors.  Each advisory panel is hand-selected based upon each woman business owner’s individual needs.  These volunteer panelists serve as mentors and advisors for a 12-month period at no charge to the woman business owner and strive to help the woman business owner achieve growth and profitability. As the third city in the nation to start this volunteer program, already ATHENA PowerLink® has helped 48 women-owned businesses to date representing a diverse line of business.

The program’s growth and the response from business professionals in the community eager to volunteer their expertise validate the important impact this program is making in the community.

The 2019 ATHENA PowerLink® Program Awardees who will receive a panel of highly skilled professionals are:

  • Christina Vogel, AED Group dba Donato’s Pizza
  • Jessica Yochim, Menajerie Studio

Each of these two awardees will receive an ATHENA PowerLink® Advisory Panel of Business Professionals for 2019.  The Advisory Panel works with the business owner for one year, free of charge. The panel, which can include everyone from lawyers and bankers to accountants and marketing professionals, help each woman with her individual needs to help grow her business.

Linda Stevenson, chair of the ATHENA PowerLink® Governing Body commented, “We are proud the program continues to grow and drawing a diverse number of women business owners and professional advisers.  This is a true testament to the community’s support for the ATHENA PowerLink program and our belief that these women are positioned to take their businesses to the next level with increased revenues and jobs.  Without a doubt when women-owned business grow the entire community benefits-it’s a win/win”.

And the success is in the numbers. According to ATHENA International, on average businesses realize an 88 percent increase in sales and 37 percent increase in business growth income as a result of the mentoring program.

For further information on eligibility requirements or application fee, questions can be directed to or


ATHENA PowerLink® is a business mentoring program designed to increase the growth and profitability of women-owned businesses. The program is simple—the selected business owners are "linked" with a powerful volunteer Advisory Panel specifically selected to assist her in addressing her growth challenges. This year, ATHENA PowerLink® will work with four businesses in the Erie Region. 

Joining the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership, are the Signature Sponsors; First Energy, ERIE Bank, Erie Federal Credit Union, Northwest Saving Bank, Marquette Savings Bank, and PNC.  

The ERCGP is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization that relies on its members’ investments to support its mission of providing the leadership to attract, retain and expand business in the region. More than 800 businesses currently belong to the Chamber. For more information on the ERCGP, visit