Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Announces Lauren Y. Casteel as its 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient

Foundation CEO recognized for professional excellence and advancing women

DENVER (Nov. 28, 2022) – The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) and a selection committee of its members are pleased to announce that Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Colorado Women’s Foundation, is the recipient of the 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award. 

The 24th annual award recognizes Casteel’s significant professional accomplishments as an executive leader and her passion and dedication to serving the state’s business community. 

“Lauren has been on the right side of justice for decades, promoting equity in our community for longer than the word has been a part of our business vernacular,” said Simone D. Ross, CEO of the CWCC. “This award honors individuals who assist women and other historically underrepresented individuals in achieving their full leadership potential, a practice that defines Lauren to her core.”

The first person in Colorado to lead three separate foundations and a Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Casteel is known for leading groundbreaking social and economic justice programs and is seen as a national leader in the movement for gender, racial and economic equity. Her personal and professional lives have been rooted in and guided by advocacy for women, children, youth and families in Colorado.

Casteel will be recognized at an award reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 on Dec. 6 at the Grand Hyatt Pinnacle Club in Denver. Tickets and sponsorships typically sell out quickly and can be purchased at

The event will also feature a keynote address by Sara Blanchard, co-founder and co-host of Dear White Women, an award-winning weekly podcast dedicated to helping White women use their privilege to uproot systemic racism.

This annual event seeks to provide a platform to uplift powerful voices and figures in the community who are committed to making positive changes in the workplace that meet the evolving needs of all people. The CWCC is dedicated to supporting businesses and business leaders to keep equity and inclusion at the center of their work and seeks to make Colorado the best state for women in business.


The 2022 ATHENA Leadership award recipient was selected by a group of volunteers, which include past ATHENA honorees and other business leaders. Criteria include: 

  • Excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession
  • Service to improve the quality of life for others in their community
  • Assist women and historically underrepresented people in achieving their full leadership potential
  • Leadership traits such as authenticity, community service, and courage.

Previous ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients

  • 2021: Kelly Brough, MSU Denver
  • 2020: Michelle Lucero, Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • 2019: Christine Benero, Mile High United Way
  • 2018: Donna Lynne, Former Lt. Governor, Colorado
  • 2017: Jean Galloway, Prosono
  • 2016: Dr. Dorothy Horrell, University of Colorado
  • 2015: Pat Cortez, Wells Fargo
  • 2014: Sheila Gutterman, Gutterman Griffiths PC
  • 2013: Elbra Wedgeworth, Denver Health Foundation
  • 2012: Carita Watson, IBM
  • 2011: Mimi Roberson, HealthONE
  • 2010: Paula Herzmark, Denver Health Foundation
  • 2009: Caz Matthews, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield
  • 2008: Sister Alicia Cuaron
  • 2007: Patricia Barela Rivera
  • 2006: Olga Garcia, Coors
  • 2004: Taryn Edwards, Hensel Phelps
  • 2002: Patty Fontneau, TIAA-CREF
  • 2001: Judy Taylor, Zenith Woman Magazine
  • 2000: Joy Burns, DC Burns Realty & Trust
  • 1999: Gwinavere Johnston, Johnston Wells Public Relations
  • 1998: Kate Paul, Delta Dental
  • 1997: Elaine Demery

About the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) is a member-based non-profit organization whose mission is to provide women opportunities that better our community and economy, promote equity in the workplace, and help women grow their businesses and their careers. With a vision to make Colorado the #1 state for women in business, CWCC provides opportunities and visibility for women in business through development programs and education, mentorship, partnerships, and alliances. Visit for more information.


Media Contact
Meaghan Carabello

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