Women in Business
Karen Kramer and Brandy Harris win Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Awards
Karen Kramer has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 ATHENA Award, and Brandy Harris was selected for second annual the Virginia Fry Rising Star Award.
By Jenna deJong
Jan 26 2021 at 4 p.m.
Today the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of two of its annual awards: Karen Kramer, senior vice president and chief hospital officer for CoxHealth was awarded the 2021 ATHENA Award, and Brandy Harris, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Springfield, was awarded the Virginia Fry Rising Star Award. Both women will be celebrated at an award ceremony on March 3 at the White River Conference Center. In-person and virtual tickets are available.
According to a press release, both recipients were nominated by the public and selected from among dozens of nominees by an independent panel of judges. “While there were numerous strong candidates, the two women selected as honorees this year are incredible examples of all the criteria for these awards,” said Chamber President Matt Morrow in the release. “It is a thrill to recognize them for their efforts, and I will be truly excited to honor them on March 3.”
Each year, the Chamber uses the ATHENA Award to “honor exceptional professionals and leaders, thus inspiring others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives. Award recipients will be individuals who have not only attained professional excellence and served the community, but also those who have actively assisted women in their achievement of professional excellence and leadership skills. They also will have contributed their time and energy to improving quality of life for others in the community.”
The release says Kramer has more than 32 years’ experience with the health system and has been, in the system’s own words, “the driving force behind some of the most important patient care and quality advancements in the system.” In the last year, she has served as CoxHealth’s COVID-19 incident commander. Last year’s ATHENA Award recipient was Francine Pratt.
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce also honored its second recipient of the Virginia Fry Rising Star, Brandy Harris. The award is named after the late Virginia Fry, “a pioneer in the legal profession and a beacon in the Springfield community.” According to the release, this award honors an emerging leader and mentor in their chosen profession and in the community—someone age 40 or younger who is already beginning to light the way for women leaders. Harris began working with the Springfield chapter of Boys & Girls Club in 2013. She became CEO in early 2019 and also serves on the Mayor’s Commission for Children, the CoxHealth Young Professionals Council and the Chamber’s Legislative Policy Committee. The first person honored with this award was Ashley Norgard.
To celebrate both women, grab your tickets for the luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on March 3 at the White River Conference Center.
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