2020 Athena Award Recipient… Michelle Lucero!

We are so excited to announce that Michelle Lucero, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Children’s Hospital Colorado is our 2020 Athena recipient! Our selection committee had their work cut out for them as the nominations were full of passion and support for women who are doing amazing things here in Colorado.

Thank you to our selection committee for their time, to the nominators who put their heart and dedication into the nominations, and to the nominees who are outstanding women in the community.

ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees must meet each of the following three criteria:

• Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession

• Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community

• Actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential


How does Michelle meet these criteria? Here are just a few examples:

Hailing from Ignaciao, Colorado, Michelle has always stayed true to her southern Colorado roots, and is driven to improve the lives of all Colorado communities

She currently serves on six boards/councils, including Boettcher Foundation and Vectra Bank, reaching a broad number of people across Colorado. She also previously served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan State University of Denver, was named to the Denver Chamber of Commerce Leadership Foundation Board for a six-year period. As a lawyer, Michelle brings that rare, but so valued, ability to look beyond the legal answer when asked a question and offer insights into the broader operational, people and long-term implications of every decision.

As Jena Hausmann, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital said, “[Michelle] has been instrumental in leading the way on how the legal and risk professions should be redesigned within the healthcare industry, literally saving countless of lives.”

We are not sure how Michelle finds the time, but she serves as the pro-bono Chief Legal Officer and Strategist for the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation. In this capacity she is working to combat gender-based violence, bring medical supplies to villages in need, improving pediatric wards, training health administrators, and supporting organizations that work with children born with HIV/AIDS. Michelle has established scholarships in her mother’s name, Phyllis E. Lucero, at both the University of Colorado Law School and Metropolitan State University of Denver for women and Latinas. She also provides scholarships annually for Latinas through the Latinas First Foundation. In establishing the scholarship at Metro, Michelle said of her mother “Phyllis Lucero was an amazing mother, grandmother, wife and community leader and committed fully to each of these roles in her short 63 years of life. With initially only an 8th grade education, she saw the value of education and passed that value on to her family.”

“Through this pandemic we have been reminded what is important to us, healthcare, education and having a good job to provide for our families. For the last seven months Michelle has been steadfast in her work and leadership at Children’s Hospital.” – Hollie Velasquez Horvath

“She will go down in history as the woman who has helped more women than anyone in this state. She expects every single person to lead and she ensures women around her have the support, authority and confidence to do just that.” – Kelly Brough

“Athena was the goddess of wisdom and war. She was known as the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, strength, strategy, and law and justice. I cannot think of a woman who embodies those characteristics more than our very own Wonder Woman – Michelle M. Lucero.” – Stephanie Donner

Despite all of this personal and professional success, Michelle would say her greatest accomplishment is being a mom to Jordan, Alex, and Noah.


Watch this video where CWCC CEO Kristen Blessman sits down with Michelle to talk about overcoming challenges and her mottos she lives by. See why she makes for a great recipient of our Athena Award. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA18os1kjMM&feature=youtu.be

Join us December 10th at 11am as we present the Athena Award to Michelle.

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