By Millicent Martin Emery
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated.
Decades of serving others helped Janis Buhl-Macy, retired founder of the Western Wayne News and Nettle Creek Gazette, receive the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award® for Wayne County.
Buhl-Macy, of Cambridge City, received the award Thursday night in front of a large crowd at Forest Hills Country Club in Richmond.
Buhl-Macy and Jessie Pilewski, an Earlham College employee who won the county’s new ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award for women ages 18-35, were presented with awards that recognize women leaders who motivate, inspire and create positive change in the community.
Wayne Bank and IU East partnered for the fifth year to bring the ATHENA Leadership Award® to Wayne County.
The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way and, most importantly, actively assisted women to achieve their full leadership potential.
Buhl-Macy retired as publisher of the newspapers in August 2017, when one of her daughters and sons-in-law, Brenda and Jim McLane, purchased them.
Brenda McLane nominated her mother for the award to recognize her years of helping others, ranging from foster parenting to serving on various committees.
Buhl-Macy has been active in the community through the Wayne Chamber of Commerce, served on the committee for the Greens Fork Alumni and as a board member for the Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau, the Town of Cambridge City and the Cambridge City Chamber of Commerce.
She has been a mentor at Western Wayne Elementary School, sponsored ball teams and served as lay leader in her church. Before establishing the newspapers, Buhl-Macy helped to establish the Milton Lions Club. She also worked for GTE and owned and operated the former Fireside Restaurant with her late husband, Ed Buhl.
Buhl-Macy is married to Duane Macy, and has three children, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The other finalists for the ATHENA award were Susan Isaacs and Amanda Marquis, both of Richmond.
Isaacs is Wayne Township trustee, co-founder and a board member of Sprout of Control, and founder and director of the Grassroots Action Resource Center.
Marquis, who works as executive director of The Leland Legacy, serves on several non-profit boards and has shared her experience as a victim of domestic violence with local youth to help inspire them to overcome challenging circumstances.
The committee also honored three young professionals for their contributions to the community.
ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Nominees are emerging women leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and clearly serve as a role model for young women both personally and professionally. This was the first year to recognize an awardee in Wayne County.
Pilewski is a career coach for the Earlham College Center for Career and Community Engagement. Her work with first-generation and underrepresented students has led her to become a mentor and role model for many of these students. Previously, she worked with WorkOne in Randolph County as a youth services advisor.
The other finalists were two Richmond women: Roxie Deer, director of programs and events for the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce; and Brittany Irvine, director of the Indiana Cuddle Cot Campaign and practice manager for Runnels Chiropractic.
Local sponsorship of the award is provided by Wayne Bank and Indiana University East. Event proceeds will equally benefit the Women’s Fund of Wayne County and Girls Inc.