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MELVILLE, NY, January 14, 2016 – Nancy Engelhardt, founding director, the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College, and Michelle Schmitt, partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP, have been recognized for outstanding leadership with the fourth annual ATHENA Leadership and Young Professional Leadership awards, respectively.


The ATHENA awards recognize exemplary women leaders who have achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way, and actively assisted women to achieve their full-leadership potential. Engelhardt and Schmitt received the honors January 7 at a breakfast ceremony attended by Long Island business and community leaders.


In addition to Engelhardt, other finalists for the ATHENA Leadership award were: Cindy McLoughlin, partner, CohnReznick, LLP; and Lois Carter Schlissel, Managing Partner – Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.


Other finalists for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award were: Claire Dorfman, vice president, Political and Public Affairs, Cablevision; Megan Tzakas, process development engineer, Estee Lauder Companies; and Dionisa (Dina) Xenos, project manager, NBTY


“The Long Island business community continues to show the strength and vibrancy of women leaders,” said Theresa Ahlstrom, partner, KPMG, and cohost of the ceremony. “Across industries, we see the contributions of these outstanding leaders, their commitment to their communities, and their dedication to helping other women succeed.”


Christine M Riordan, Ph.D, president, Adelphi University was keynote speaker at the awards breakfast which was held at the Oheka Castle. Dr. Riordan is the 10th president of Adelphi University and an internationally recognized expert in leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and team performance.

The ceremony was hosted by the Long Island Athena Selection Committee. Participating sponsors included Cablevision, Estee Lauder Companies, Farrell Fritz, The First National Bank of Long Island, Henry Schein, Long Island Development Corporation, NBTY, NorthWell Health, Signature Bank,, and KPMG LLP.



Founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz, ATHENA International has been developing, supporting, and honoring women leaders in more than 500 communities. Professional women have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. To date, over 6,500 award Recipients have been recognized.



KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries

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ATHENA Award Recipient Biography Highlights

ATHENA Leadership Award –Nancy Engelhardt, founding director, The Energeia Partnership at Molloy College

  • Serves on several Long Island non-profit boards and committees:
    • Board Member, Pal-O-Mine Equestrian
    • Founding Member and Vice President, Social Enterprise Alliance LI
    • Board Member, Long Island Arts Alliance
    • Council Member, Long Island Regional Planning Council
    • Board Member, Babylon IDA
    • Board Member, Wyandanch Rising, LLC
    • Advisory Board Member, Suffolk County Police Commissioners Council
    • Advisory Board Member, Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities Doctoral Program at Molloy College
    • Board of Directors, NYS Empire Justice Center
  • Founder, Women on the Move


ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award – Michelle Schmitt, partner, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP

  • Guest Lecturer, Touro Law School and Hofstra University
  • Member, Touro Law School’s
    • Alumni Council
    • Mentor Program
    • Dean’s Advisory Board
  • Event Chair, American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women Luncheon”
  • Member, Long Island Association’s Rising Professionals Affinity Group
  • Past Member of:
    • Huntington Chamber of Commerce’s Women-in-Business Committee
    • LIREG Women’s Group


Contact:  W. Scott Horne, KPMG LLP, 212 909 5350 (office), 908 625 5361 (mobile),