Some history was made at last night’s Leader’s Circle banquet at the KCAC.
First, it was one of the largest crowds for the banquet, with over 300 people on hand. Second, there was a tie in the voting for the Athena Awards, which are given to individuals who have actively assisted women in attaining professional excellence and leadership skills. Kelly Polando was one of this year’s Athena recipients, and she was surprised that she would be honored.
Also honored was Indiana County Commissioner Rod Ruddock. His wife was the first to receive an Indiana County Athena Award, and Rod Ruddock was quick to praise her.
Also honored were the Male and Female Civic Leaders of the Year. William Stancombe was named the Male Civic Leader of the year, while Vera Bonnet was named Female Civic Leader. When asked about what was most satisfying about his volunteer work, Stancombe said it was seeing the reaction from someone he was helping.
And Bonnet said it was humbling to be honored as the female civic leader of the year.
Also being honored last night was State House Speaker Sam Smith, as he was presented with the IUP President’s Medal of Distinction. Smith mentioned that while he was grateful for the award, there were a lot of people who in his mind also received the award.
(From l to r: Athena Recipient Kelly Polando, Female Civic Leader of the year Vera Bonnet,
IUP Presidental Medal of Distinction honoree State Representative Sam Smith, Male Civic
Leader of the Year William Stancombe, and Athena Recipient Rod Ruddock
at the 2014 Leader's Circle Banquet. Photo by Kris Mellinger/Curly Bear Productions)