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Leadership award to Pioneer VP


Diane Bridgewater, a busy executive, mentor, and volunteer, has received the first annual Athena award from the Women’s Chamber Alliance (WCA) of Greater Des Moines. Bridgewater, one of six women nominated for the honor, is Pioneer Hi-Bred International’s Vice President and Business Director for North America Operations. The Athena award recognizes her efforts in helping women become leaders and her volunteer activities.

Bridgewater joined Pioneer in 1988 and has helped create a Women’s Network within the company, designed to promote professional development, networking, and recognition of achievements. The Johnston resident and University of Northern Iowa graduate also mentors several Pioneer professionals and college students and has served as a board member for ChildServe, the Johnston Community School Foundation, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central Iowa, and Hospice of Central Iowa.

The WCA dates back to 1920 and has about 60 members. It’s a local partner of the International Athena Foundation, formed in 1980 in Lansing, Mich., to create leadership opportunities for women. Principal Financial Group and Charles Gabus Ford Group sponsored the local award for 2004.

The WCA honored Bridgewater at Hoyt Sherman Place in an event featuring Athena Foundation founder Martha Mertz. Bridgewater has been invited to attend the International Athena Conference in Chicago April 29-May 1.

The other local nominees were Susan Hunsaker, chief executive of Broadlawns Medical Center; state legislator Geri Huser; Kim Linduska, senior vice president of Des Moines Area Community College; Loretta Sieman, vice president of marketing and events at Business Publications Corporation; and Kristine Young, president of Miller the Driller.

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