SPRINGFIELD, PA – The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 2020 ATHENA® Leadership Award recipient, the passionate and intelligent Delaware County Community College President, Dr. L. Joy Gates Black. The award will be virtually presented to Dr. Gates Black during the 2020 ATHENA® Leadership Luncheon that will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, October 8, 2020 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM.
A committee comprised of business leaders from the community selected Dr. Gates Black based on her high level of professional excellence, eager and action to improve the quality of life for others in the community and willingness to actively assist others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.
“There are so many women deserving of this prestigious award in Delaware County. Women who encourage each other to succeed. This year a number of brilliant candidates were presented to the committee.” Cecile Charlton, ATHENA Committee Chair said. “Dr. Gates Black stood out. One of her many accomplishments has been the Student Resource Center at the college, providing students, and their families with necessities and basic needs. She fully embodies the spirit of the Athena Award.”
Dr. Gates Black was selected unanimously by Delaware County Community College’s Board of Trustees in 2017 to be the fourth president of the College since its founding. She is the first woman and the first African American to head the College.
A well-respected higher education administrator with decades of experience at both community colleges and four-year institutions, Dr. Gates Black was chosen after an extensive national search to lead the College, which serves 23,000 credit and non-credit students annually, online and at its eight locations in Delaware and Chester Counties.
Dr. Gates Black currently serves on a number of boards, including the Chester County Economic Development Council; the Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County (a consortium of private sector corporations and non-profit institutions that works to improve Delaware County waterfront communities); and the Foundation for Delaware County (the largest independent public foundation serving Delaware County). She also is chair of the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, a non-profit organization consisting of five regional community colleges and Drexel University, which in close partnership with business and industry, provides customized education and training services to regional employers seeking a highly skilled workforce.
The Philadelphia Business Journal featured Dr. Gates Black on its front page in August 2018 highlighting her as one of 12 “change agents” who set high standards and are not afraid to take bold action to help students achieve their educational goals in Greater Philadelphia. Dr. Gates Black also testified in August 2018 before the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee regarding the importance of workforce development training to meet the acute skilled labor needs of regional manufacturers. In March 2018, Dr. Gates Black was one of three women to receive a “Woman of Achievement” award from the Delaware County Women’s Commission. She was one of two recipients of a 2017 Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award from the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation, an international, non-profit organization. For three years, Dr. Gates Black has been a commissioner for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and in July 2019 will become a director of the AACC, which represents the nation’s 1,051 community colleges. She also has spoken at numerous conferences on the topic of transformational leadership in higher education.
Dr. Gates Black holds an undergraduate studies certificate and a master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College, a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. She also has pursued doctoral studies in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding University in Santa Barbara, California. A U.S. Air Force veteran and a native of Dayton, Texas, Dr. Gates Black is married to Dillet Black. They have four adult children and five grandchildren.
“It is an honor to have been nominated and selected to receive the ATHENA Leadership Award and to play a role in helping other women to achieve their personal and professional goals.” said Dr. Gates Black.
About the ATHENA Award
The ATHENA Leadership Award was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Award is unique in both scope---local, national and international---and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman ---or man--- who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
For more information and to register for the 2020 ATHENA® Leadership Luncheon visit www.delcochamber.org/athena. Driving Business Forward.
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