Portanova Wins Athena Award

Carolyn Portanova ‘74 (MS) is the 2005 recipient of the Athena Award, given annually to a local woman for her achievements in business, community service, and work to advance women.

Portanova is the President and CEO of the Catholic Family Center, the largest multi-service organization in Monroe County. It provides services in adoption, foster care, homeless and housing, substance abuse treatment, elder and youth programs, and employment to over 63,000 people each year.

Very few of the 19 past winners have worked for non-profit organizations. At the ceremony, Portanova thanked the Athena Award sponsor—the Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance Inc.—for recognizing that “not-for-profits are businesses in this community.” She also stressed the need for various facets of the Rochester community to coalesce to “build the kind of community we want to have.”

In addition to her duties at Catholic Family Center, Portanova is also president of the Council of Agency Executives, representing 77 nonprofit groups in Monroe County, and an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield board member.

Tags: alumni, award, Catholic Family Center