Robin Tomechko and Sara Garbarino Honored as 2021 ATHENA Award Recipients

10 May 2021

Robin Tomechko and Sara Garbarino were named award recipients during the ATHENA Leadership Award Virtual Event on March 5. Tomechko, Chief Executive Officer for Harford Family House, received the ATHENA Leadership Award and Garbarino, Senior Director of Resource Development at The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, received the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

ATHENA Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their career and assisted the advancement of women in their professional communities. The presenting sponsor for the ATHENA Leadership Award Event was Harford Mutual Insurance Group.

Under Tomechko’s leadership, the programs and services of Harford Family House have been positioned to be more client-centered and outcomes-focused with a new emphasis on special programming for children, and newly added services for unaccompanied youth between the ages of 18-24. Her volunteerism is an impressive and lifelong commitment, best demonstrated by her experience as a Big Sister volunteer mentor for over 30 years. She has been an Aberdeen Rotary member for the past three years, serving on the Board of Directors and enjoying fundraising and service projects. In addition, she has been appointed to the Women’s Commission and to the Local Management Board of Harford County, working to improve the lives of women and children in the community. She has been very involved in supporting and empowering women her entire career.

Garbarino has increased fundraising for The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region’s events and has also increased agency marketing/public relations and outreach efforts including enhancing its social media presence, developing new online awareness campaigns, and launching a new volunteer program. This program has helped the people they support develop new friendships, thereby helping to combat loneliness and depression. She consistently gives back to organizations such as Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network, Harford Leadership Academy, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore, and others. In recent years, she has mentored three women, all in different phases of their careers, to grow and develop in their positions at work.

Rachel Druckenmiller, Founder & CEO of Unmuted, LLC, was the keynote speaker at the event. She is on a mission to humanize the workplace by building resilient, connected and compassionate leaders and teams. Through interactive virtual and in-person keynotes, workshops and trainings, she supports leaders and their teams to become more energized, engaged, and resilient.

Hosted by the Harford Community College Foundation, the ATHENA Leadership Award Event is part of ATHENA International, which is dedicated to creating leadership opportunities for women and recognizing their achievements in their communities and on the national level. Event proceeds are designated to the ATHENA Leadership Scholarship, a $1,000 award given to adult students returning to college who exemplify professionalism and commitment to the community. An additional $500 Emerging Leaders Scholarship is also funded.

The ATHENA Awards highlight what recipients have accomplished in addition to paving a path for future successes. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence. Nominations for next year’s award will open in fall 2021.

ATHENA Award winners

ATHENA Award

Sara Garbarino (left) and Robin Tomechko (right) were recently named ATHENA Award recipients. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award was presented to Garbarino, Senior Director of Resource Development at The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region. Tomechko, Chief Executive Officer for Harford Family House, received the ATHENA Leadership Award. ATHENA Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in their career and assisted the advancement of women in their professional communities. Stacey Rebbert (middle) is the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for the event’s Presenting Sponsor, the Harford Mutual Insurance Group. 


Nancy Dysard

Sheila Terry