Kelly Mittiga ’94 was presented with the Athena Geneva Award during a ceremony on September 13. An article in The Finger Lakes Times quotes Jessica McGuigan of the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, “Kelly leads by example and is a great role model for women.”
Mittiga is senior vice president and director of deposit and retail operations at First Niagara Bank.
She is quoted, “I am truly, truly honored to accept this Athena Geneva Award,” and, later in the article adds, “It’s like being part of a family, living in Geneva. This region has such great spirit … I’m continually impressed by the region’s beauty.”
Mittiga earned her B.A. in economics cum laude from William Smith College. As a student, she was a member of the Herons lacrosse team and William Smith Congress and was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon. The full article about the Athena Awards presentation follows.
The Finger Lakes Times
Eighth Geneva Athena Award goes to Kelly Mittiga
Heather Swanson • September 14, 2012
GENEVA – Kelly Mittiga joined the ranks of Athena Geneva Award recipients Thursday night.
“I am truly, truly honored to accept this Athena Geneva Award,” she said to a full house of friends, fellow nominees and Genevans at Club 86.
Mittiga’s husband and children, who joined her for the awards banquet, could barely contain their smiles, brushing away tears of happiness as she accepted the honor.
A William Smith College graduate, Mittiga began her career as a part-time teller at First Niagara Bank. She is now senior vice president and director of deposit and retail operations there.
“Kelly leads by example and is a great role model for women,” said Jessica McGuigan with the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce as she presented the nominees.
All of the women nominated “play an integral role in making this a great place to live and work,” she said. The women deserve special recognition, she continued, noting they “give to the community so that all can benefit and prosper.”
McGuigan said the nominations themselves carry the heaviest burden when it comes to the award, as the selection committee must decide based only on the information they provide.
Mark and Belinda Venuti nominated Mittiga.
Kelly Bradley, executive director of the Smith Center for the Arts; Julie Champion, executive Director of Child & Family Resources Inc.; Elaine Stolp Morrow, retired principal of St. Francis-St. Stephen School; Kathy Brown-Ryrko, director of Finger Lakes Health’s Child Care Center; and Karen Anastasi Springmeier, executive director of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, also were nominated this year.
“What a group of outstanding women,” Mittiga stated. “Each of you really distinctly represents what’s really great about Geneva.”
She also praised the award itself.
“I’m admittedly a little biased,” said Mittiga, who was part of the committee that brought the Athena awards to Geneva. “It’s like being part of a family, living in Geneva. This region has such great spirit … I’m continually impressed by the region’s beauty.”
State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette, and Assemblyman Brian Kolb, R-129 of Canandaigua, congratulated Mittiga and praised all the nominees.
“We’ve known [Kelly] for a long time,” Mark Venuti said after the ceremony. “I’ve seen how hard she works and what she has done … She’s in this business that is really dominated by men, and she has risen to the top.”
She has helped other women at every step, he added, noting that is the crux of the Athena award.
“I had to nominate Kelly,” Belinda Venuti remarked. “She’s worked so hard and done so much.”
While her service includes working with numerous boards and organizations, Mittiga does much more than that.
“She made things happen,” Belinda Venuti continued. “She deserves this.”
Mittiga is the eighth Athena Geneva Award recipient. The others:
• Nancee Scott, retired vice president of retail sales, Seneca Falls Savings Bank.
• Dr. Jane McCaffrey, Finger Lakes Medical Associates.
• Lucile Mallard, Finger Lakes Misdemeanor Drug Court resource coordinator.
• Lara Chatel Turbide, vice president community services, Finger Lakes Health.
• Mary Boatfield, chief executive officer, Happiness House-Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association.
• Dr. Margaret P. Kennedy, child and adolescent licensed psychologist.
• Arlene Francis, executive director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Geneva.