New Castle News

April 26, 2013

Tourism director receives honor

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s JoAnn McBride has received the ATHENA Leadership Award.

The goal of ATHENA International is to incorporate the talent and expertise of women into the leadership of our businesses, our communities and our government. Its Leadership Award goes to someone who has achieved excellence in her/his business, profession or community service, has served the community in a meaningful way and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.  

McBride, who was nominated for the honor by Linda Nitch and Therese McShea, is the executive director of Lawrence County Tourism Promotion Agency.

For more than 22 years, McBride has worked to promote Lawrence County as a destination area for travelers. She is actively involved in the development of the Fireworks Capital of America brand and spearheaded the drive that resulted in obtaining the Fireworks Capital of America registered trademark in 2006. She also serves on the planning committee for the Fireworks Festival, one of Lawrence County’s premiere events.

When McBride was announced as the winner, she had a look of total shock on her face, according to Janet Falotico assistant executive director of the tourism agency.

“I had tears in my eyes,” McBride said, adding that for now, the Athena statuette will go from desk to desk in the office until she finds a permanent home for it.

“It is a very prestigious award and celebrates exemplary leadership,” she said, adding, “The people who make the Oscars also make the Athena so I feel like Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway.”

McBride is a 40-year-plus member of Girl Scouts of Beaver and Lawrence counties, serving as a leader, association chair, member and past president of the Girl Scout Board of Directors. The Girl Scouts named her a Woman of Distinction in 2000. She is a founding member of Women Connect of Lawrence County.

Leadership comes naturally to McBride who is the oldest of three daughters  

Her community involvement includes the loan review committee for the United Way of Lawrence County, board of directors of the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation and Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, steering committee for the Lawrence County Women’s Conference, Celebrate Summer Committee for New Visions of Lawrence County and Community Advisory Board for Butler County Community College.

McBride was one of eight women who were finalists either for the Leadership Award or the ATHENA Young Professional Award.

The latter was presented to Marci Radcliffe, administrative assistant to the chief investment officer and  Portfolio Management Team of F.N.B. Investment Advisors, Inc.

Though only two of the finalists received awards, the dinner held at the Park Inn by Radisson in West Middlesex honored the accomplishments of all eight, said Dianne Dinkel, president and chief executive officer of ATHENA International.

“We are honoring eight women tonight for their leadership and contributions to their communities,” she noted. “Each award recipient represents her ‘team’ of amazing women. This is not a competition.”

Other ATHENA Leadership Award finalists were Ruthanne Beighley, Sharon; Colleen Chamberlain, New Castle; Carrie Goff, New Castle and Dr. Kathleen Mastrian, Sharpsville.

Chamberlain is senior human resources Administrator for Nordson Xaloy, Inc.

Goff is a vice president of PNC Bank. She serves as a Banking Advisor for PNC Wealth Management in the Northwestern Pennsylvania Region

Joining Radcliffe as finalists for the Young Professional Award were Lisa Lombardo of New Castle and Lisa Walton of Hermitage.

Lombardo is director of public relations and marketing for Jameson Health System. She leads the Public Relations/Marketing and Volunteer Services divisions and is a leader of the health system’s Foundation Development Office and Patient Experience Multidisciplinary Team.

More than 150 people from Lawrence and Mercer counties attended the event.