Barbara N. Webber named as the 2018 ATHENA Award Recipient

WATERTOWN, NY – The Greater Watertown–North Country Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Barbara N. Webber has been selected as the 2018 ATHENA Award® recipient.  This is the 28th annual ATHENA Award® presented by the Greater Watertown–North Country Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by WWNY 7News/Fox 28 and Rose & Kiernan, Inc.

The ATHENA Award® is a nationally and internationally recognized program introduced in Jefferson County in 1991, which celebrates the potential of all women as valued members and leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them.  The ATHENA Award®honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishment, and those who excel in their chosen fields, have devoted time and energy into their community in a meaningful way, and those who open paths so that others may follow, while actively assisting women in realizing their full leadership potential.

The selection committee, composed of Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber board members, past ATHENA recipients, and business leaders, chose Barbara as this year’s recipient, using official Athena International selection criteria. Cindy Inschert, Pam Beyor, and Beth Fipps nominated her for the award with support from other outstanding community leaders.

Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and has a long career as an outstanding educator.  She taught for over thirty years in the Carthage Central School District, shaping future leaders in our community through education.  Barb was recognized by Carthage Central School district as a Distinguished Contributor and was enrolled into their Hall of Achievement, honoring her outstanding contributions of time and talent and serving as a role model for students and the community. Barbara Webber made history by accepting an appointment to the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; she was elected as the first African American woman, serving two terms as a Legislator. She also holds the distinction of being one of the original Women of the Mountain, a title she earned through her dedication, love, and support to her Fort Drum family.  She has been recognized as the New York State Outstanding Senior of the Year twice by Senator Ritchie and was named a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction.

In addition to her countless accolades and recognitions, Barbara’s community service in the North Country is exemplified by her numerous and varied volunteer roles with dozens of organizations:

Former Jefferson County Legislator

Samaritan Medical Center Foundation Board Member

Member Association of the United States Army AUSA

Community Action Planning Council Board Member

Girl Scouts Council Volunteer

Miss NYS Scholarship Pageant Board Member (establishing Scholarships in member of her late Husband Charlie)

Canton College of Technology College Council (now known as SUNY Canton)

Jefferson Country Office of the Aging Executive Board

Member Officer’s Spouses Club

Member of Sigma Gamma Rho

Member of Eastern Stars

Emeriti Member of former Chair for Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization

Original Committee Member of Operation Yellow Ribbon

Barb’s commitment to the advancement of young women is further illustrated by her service on the New York State Board of Directors for the Miss New York Scholarship Pageant.  As an active Board member, Barb welcomed hundreds of young women to the North Country, giving personal attention and guidance to many.  She has also established a scholarship in honor of her late husband to provide participant in the Miss Thousand Islands Pageant with financial assistance toward their education.

Beth Fipps, Vice President, Foundation and Community Services for Samaritan Medical Center, who has known Barb for over 25 years, states, “As the mother of a 12-year-old, I frequently look for role models for my daughter and Barb has always been one.  I am proud to say that my daughter is blessed to have Barb Webber in her life and she is someone that she truly can admire.  Barb has and continues to make a lasting impact on our community.  We are so fortunate that the Webber family came to the North Country many years ago and have chosen to stay here and be an active volunteer and member of our community.  I cannot image anyone more deserving of this year’s Athena award than Barbara Webber.”

Previous local ATHENA Award® recipients are Rose Frattali, Michelle Pfaff, Janice Charles, Chandler Ralph, Lana Brown-Taylor, Cathy Pircsuk, Elizabeth Fipps, Deborah McGloine, Jayn Graves, Maria Roche, Margaret (Peg) Fargo, Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, Pamela Caswell, Jane Gendron, Mary Corriveau, Cindy Intschert, Katherine Fenlon, Donna Dutton, Jody LaLone, Pamela Beyor, Lisa Weber, Denise Young, Margaret (Peggy) Coe, Erika Flint, Carolyn Fitzpatrick, Dr. Carole McCoy, and Catherine Quencer.

The 2018 ATHENA Award® recipient will be presented with the award at a formal dinner, Thursday September 6, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Watertown. Reservations can be made by contacting the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce at 1241 Coffeen Street, or online at  For more information, call 315-788-4400 or email