‘Unselfish commitment’ marks Young ATHENA winner
Kristen Dyke thought Monday’s meeting at the Child Abuse Prevention Council, for which she is president of the board, was to discuss agency business.
That was just a ruse.
In the conference room, her husband (Gerrit), dad (Charlie Smith), CAPC staff and members of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce gathered to surprise Dyke as 2017′s ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award winner.
Looking stunned, she wiped away tears, accepted a bouquet of flowers from selection committee Chairwoman Judith Buethe, and smiled broadly.
Selected from what chamber President Diane Vigil said was stiff competition, the 36-year-old Dyke is the ninth recipient of the young ATHENA award, which honors the “next generation of women leaders in San Joaquin County,” aged 18-40, according to the chamber website. Nominees must demonstrate excellence, creativity and innovation in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and serve as role models for young women personally and professionally.
“I’ve known Kristen many years and I’ve always been impressed with her unselfish commitment to other women,” said Kristen Spracher Birtwhistle, who nominated Dyke. “She’s just a kind person. She’s a woman who opened her own business. She’s helped other women, had young women who interned with her. The award is based on women helping women. She’s a good role model, a great person, a lovely person. We’re fortunate to have someone of her caliber in our community.”