Betsey Solberg and Marshaun Butler will be Athena Award recipients

08/12/2014 12:04 PM

08/12/2014 4:18 PM

Betsey Solberg, who founded the Kansas City office of FleishmanHillard and was the first woman chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, will receive this year’s Athena International award for leadership and community service.

The chamber said Solberg and Marshaun Butler, who will receive the young professional leadership award, will be honored at a reception Oct. 15 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Kansas City chamber has been host of the Athena program since 2001.

“In addition to her great success at FleishmanHillard, Betsey is a great civic leader and one of the most outstanding people Kansas City has produced,” said Jim Heeter, president and chief executive officer of the chamber. “She is a role model for all of us — no matter our gender — but for women especially. During her long career, Betsey has blazed trails in both her work and her community.”

Solberg now is an executive consultant for FleishmanHillard. Solberg, a former newspaper and television journalist, helped the public relations company expand in Kansas City, Canada and the Asia Pacific region. Besides the Chamber of Commerce, she has led the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. She has served on the boards of the Truman Library Institute and the UMKC Foundation, among other boards and committees.

Butler, vice president of Children’s Mercy South Hospital and Regional Medical Practices, is an active volunteer with nonprofit groups including Mattie Rhodes, Swope Ridge Geriatric Center and the Johnson County Community College Foundation. She is named in Who’s Who in Black Kansas City and was a member of the chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program.

Athena Award recipients are chosen by a diverse committee of business and community leaders.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to


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