The Triangle East Chamber of Commerce is proud to celebrate professional leadership at our annual ATHENA Leadership Award Banquet on Thursday, November 3. Join us as we celebrate our award nominees and announce our 2022 award recipient.
2022 ATHENA Leadership Award Nominees
- Gisselle Ames, Gigi Aesthetics
- Marcia Armstrong, Armstrong Law Firm, P.A.
- Kathleen Coates, Au.D., Coates Hearing Clinic
- Katherine "Kitty" Johnson, Edward Jones
- Bernice Lopes, Carolina Restoration
- Pam Ryan, Kid's Country of Wilson's Mills and Clayton
- April Stephens, The April Stephens Team EXP
- Tiffany Thomas, Princeton Day Care Center
- Charles "Trey" Walters, Blue Line Aviation
- Kristina Whitten, The Southern Bostonian
- Dana Wooten, Clayton Chamber of Commerce
Our guest speaker for this event is Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree. Ingrid has an impressive and storied career as a higher education leader
with more than 30 years in diverse roles. She made history in 2008 when she became the first female to hold the permanent title of the Director of Athletics at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Ingrid led NCCU's successful reclassification from NCAA Division I to Division I FCS membership, which included developing and implementing the first long-range strategic plan for the transition. Upon her retirement, Ingrid oversaw the development of a new strategic plan, Era of Excellence, 2020-2025. Ingrid has also served in various leadership positions on local, regional and national boards, including the Durham Sports Commission, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the FCS Football Regional Ranking Committee, the NCAA Division II Volleyball Committee, NCAA Research committee, and most recently the NCAA Division I Council. She is the current Chair of the Durham Sports Commission, a consultant for the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, The PICTOR Group, and serves as an adjunct dissertation chair for Maryville University.
Her experiences as a college student-athlete, coach, and administrator lend her success as one of the longest-tenured athletic directors in NCCU history. As a result of her hard work and support, an endowed scholarship was established in her name at NCCU, The Ingrid Wicker McCree Legacy Endowed Scholarship Fund. Ingrid is a member of four Halls of Fame as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator– C.E. Jordan High School Hall of Fame, NCCU Alex Rivera Hall of Fame, John B. McLendon Hall of Fame (CIAA), and the George Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Ingrid is a John C. Maxwell Leadership Certified team member and holds certifications in DEIB, Workplace Conflict Resolution, and is a certified facilitator of the 360 Leadership Assessment by the Center for Creative Leadership. She earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from George Washington University, a master's degree in recreation resources administration, and a doctorate in higher education administration from North Carolina State University. She is married to Geno, a former Elon three-sport student-athlete and mother to three young adults, Alexia (24), Quinton (22), and Sydney (18).
PHOTO: Melissa Overton named 2021 Triangle East ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient (Kay Johnson, 2019 recipient; Melissa Overton, 2021 recipient; Mark McDonnell, 2021 Board Chair)