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Herbert receives ATHENA award

October 12, 2012
Daily Press

ESCANABA - Dannielle Herbert has been named recipient of the 2012 Delta County ATHENA award. She was presented with the award, a 14-inch solid bronze statue, at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner held at the Island Resort and Casino Thursday.

Retired from Wells Fargo Bank, Mary Dannielle Herbert has been involved in numerous community events and activities, as both a participant and leader. According to those who nominated her, she has been a strong supporter of local businesses and community organizations and actively involved with the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. For many years she was involved with the Chamber "Business After Hours" events, was on the planning committee for the Chamber's annual "Love Affair" dinner, participated in Delta County shopping destination excursions and initiated a practice of sending notes congratulating businesses or individuals for their efforts to improve the community, with an eye toward recruiting new members and maintaining positive relationships with new members.

She maintains her associate membership and continues to attend "Business After Hours."

Article Photos

Dannielle Herbert, center, is presented with the 2012 Athena Award by Athena Committee members and former recipients Kay Johnson, left, and Debbie Peterson, right, at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Thursday. (Daily Press photo by Jason Raiche)

Dannielle has also remained active in Altrusa International of Escanaba since joining in 1985. She has held various board positions within the organization, including president, vice president and director. While she was president, the club hosted a District Seven Conference in Escanaba. She has served on numerous Altrusa committees and chaired many projects, including literacy, yearbook, record retention/scrapbook, international relations and a membership drive/fashion show event. She was editor of the District Seven newsletter for two years while an Escanaba member served as the district governor. Dannielle represented Escanaba at the Altrusa International Convention in Chicago as a delegate in 1991; became a Laubach literacy tutor in 1986 and currently serves as the membership committee chair. She has attended seven district conferences and presented workshops at several of them.

Additionally, Dannielle was a member of the original Altrusa board of directors, in establishing the Youth Assistance Program (YAP), and served many years as bookkeeper. She and her late husband, Garry, were honored as Life Term Ambassadors and Members of YAP in 2006. For her 18 years of service to YAP she was given an eagle feather, a high honor from the Native American Community.

In April 2005, Dannielle joined the International Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Sisterhood, Chapter EE, Escanaba. The purpose of the organization is to celebrate the advancements of women: educate women through scholarships, grants, awards and loans; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations and fullest potential. Within the organization, she has served on many committees and has held the office of chaplain and guard.

She is active and attends Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone; is an Elder Member of the Cherokee National Historical Society; a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and votes in tribal elections.

In 2006, she began volunteering for the Title VII Indian Education Program in the Gladstone School District and continues to serve as secretary of the parent committee and assisting with the annual fall and spring feasts. She and her late husband were also highly involved in assisting their grandson in completing his Eagle Scout project, a drum that was given to the Gladstone School District. Dannielle is also an accomplished seamstress, making her granddaughter "jingle" regalia, who is a Girl Scout and dances at Native American events.

"With all she does and all she gives, she has never looked for recognition, being very humble," said Sharon Gilbert, who along with Brenda Kinsey and Jacklyn Wulf nominated Dannielle. "We believe she embodies the spirit of Athena, as she actively and generously assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills."

The ATHENA Award was introduced in Delta County in 2001 for the purpose of recognizing individuals whose involvement in the community serves to raise awareness of women's issues, helps guide and mentor young women; and/or assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Previous Delta County ATHENA recipients have been: M. Jean Jokipii, Bonnie Wenick-Kutz, Elnora Vader, Debbie Peterson, Paddy Fitch, Deb Doyle, Clara Watson-Mosenfelder, Caren Crawford, Ann Jousma-Miller, Dr. Kay Johnson and Cherie Severinsen.

In addition to recognizing individuals who support women in their attainment of leadership roles and skills, the ATHENA program also provides scholarships for area students. Through sponsorships, more than $8,000 has been given over the years to local high school and Bay College students who demonstrate exceptional volunteerism in their communities.

For more information about the Delta County ATHENA award, visit the Delta County Chamber of Commerce website at



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