Two area women will be recognized for their leadership Thursday at a reception by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.
Debby Ballard, director of community affairs at Sprint and president of the Sprint Foundation, will receive the chamber’s 2016 Athena Leadership Award.
At the event, the chamber also will honor Chandra Clark of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City with the Athena Young Professionals Leadership Award.
Ballard has been with Overland Park-based Sprint for 31 years and heads its local and national outreach programs. She also oversees employee engagement, employee giving campaigns and both charitable and corporate giving.
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The Kansas City chamber’s Athena award has recognized civic leaders such as Adele Hall, Anita Gorman and Dianne Cleaver. It is named for the Greek figure Athena, goddess of intelligence, wisdom, arts and science. The award recognizes not only leadership and service but also individual active assistance in opening pathways for others.
Ballard serves on the board of the Central Exchange, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Francis Family Foundation, Truman Foundation and CTIA The Wireless Foundation, and she is also a trustee for the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also has been chairwoman of the Friends of the Zoo and Friends of Alvin Ailey boards, and she was the immediate past president of the Jackson County chapter of Links Inc., a volunteer service organization for 14,000 professional women of color.
Clark, a UMKC graduate with a master’s degree from Rockhurst University, is the manager of external partnerships for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kansas City.
She has also served as career and alumni coordinator for the Kauffman Scholars program, director of the Life Coach program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, community relations coordinator for Newhouse Shelter, and was founder and president of M.O.D.E.L., a faith-based nonprofit to inspire and mentor young women.
The event at Municipal Auditorium’s Little Theatre is sold out.