Bonnie Stevens wins Athena Award
Jan 27, 2013 (The Arizona Daily Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
It has been a good year for Bonnie Stevens.
The author, award-winning television journalist, public relations consultant and all-around entrepreneur was given one of the top awards from the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce Friday.
The Athena Award, given during the Chamber's annual luncheon, will probably look good next to the Rocky Mountain Emmy she recently won for a video she produced called "Forests Under Fire: The Race to Restore the American West."
Earlier in 2012, Stevens helped to organize the Flagstaff Festival of Science, which was named Event of the Year in the annual Viola awards.
Close to tears as she accepted the award on Friday afternoon, Stevens said she was genuinely terrified while on stage.
Taking a deep breath, she offered a quote from televangelist Joel Osteen.
"Our challenge is to live in a way that encourages others to win," she said to 120-person audience.
Later in the afternoon, Stevens said it was her mother who mentored and inspired her at a young age.
"My mother is a rock star," she said, noting her mother was also responsible for the ink in her veins.
Beaming with pride, Stevens remembers how her mother worked as a journalist in New Jersey and led Tai Chi classes well into her 80s.
"She has always said that if you can visualize it, you can do it," she said.
The namesake behind the public relations firm she started in 1994, Bonnie Stevens' Communication Station, her clients have included Arizona Snowbowl, Babbitt Ranches, Northern Arizona University's School of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Ecological Restoration Institute at NAU, Flagstaff Family YMCA, Flagstaff Medical Center and Weatherford Hotel.
Stevens has been a key player in various local issues, helping to create Heritage Square, raise millions of dollars to bring a YMCA to Flagstaff and start a fund to build Flagstaff Medical Center's Taylor House.
She was also chosen for mentoring the next generation of Flagstaff public relations professionals, saying that working with younger women has always been energizing to her.
"I am so impressed by the younger generations," Stevens said.
She mentored, guided and helped hone the skills of countless young women in a professional public relations atmosphere, hiring a number of them over the years to work at her firm.
She also gives motivational talks to junior high and high school students as well as NAU's Public Relations Student Society of America, encouraging them to knock down barriers and to set aside their doubts about themselves.
"I've been really impressed over the years with the way that Bonnie has been a role model and mentor for our young women," wrote Dale Hoskins, NAU associate professor of communication. "She is not only professionally competent, she also brings an attitude and a value system to work in relationships that are a good model for our young women."
For the last 24 years, the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce has honored local women who demonstrated the highest levels of professional excellence, commitment to the community, and mentor other women to reach their career goals.
The annual event was sponsored by the Chamber, McCoy Motors and Nordstrom & Associates.
Joe Ferguson can be reached at 556-2253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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