Columbia chamber honors two women at annual Athena Awards

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network handed out two awards at its annual Athena Awards Banquet on April 13 at Stephens College.

Vicki Russell, who was publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune until the newspaper was sold last year to GateHouse Media, received the Athena Leadership Award. Heather Hargrove, local sales manager for television station KRCG, took home the Athena Young Professional Award.

The awards recognize individuals who are striving toward or are at the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment. Commitment of time and energy to the community is another of the criteria for the awards.

“I have met young women over the years who were very reluctant to take on bigger roles,” Russell said. “My advice would be: Don’t ever turn down opportunities like that without giving it a chance.”

After leaving the Daily Tribune, Russell is still an active member of many organizations within the community. She said she doesn’t really consider herself “retired” and is expecting more adventures to come.

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