The ATHENA Young Professionals Award recognizes emerging leaders, promotes women's leadership, and honors outstanding women and men in their earlier career stages. Sara Lachman, the 2015 recipient of this prestigious award, is a civil litigator with Miller Johnson. She chairs the firm's recruiting committee, created its current mentorship program and is active in her community. She enjoys her career, her activities, her family, her world. And she walked really deep into a dark woods to get there.
Receiving the ATHENA Young Professionals Award was among Sara's best moments, yet she had hoped against it. "I've never wanted to not win something so much! I knew I'd have to talk, and I knew what I would share."
Despite her initial hesitance, winning the ATHENA award has affected her deeply. "The award was a profound honor for me. I felt as though I had all of these things I wanted to share for so long. There was the recognition of getting through challenging times; the opportunity of connecting with so many women who've done the same thing. It felt like the most personal conversation of my life, in front of a few hundred strangers."
Over the years, Sara has learned to be intentional about her circle of influences. "Guard your gates." Choose which people and messages you're exposed to, she advises. "You'll recognize that some people influence you in a positive way, and some in a negative way."
Sara hopes her boys see "a lot of work" in her. "My highest priority with my children is to love them; the other bits will fall into place." She strives to give people her best, though some days are better then others. "I give myself a lot of forgiveness."
Fifteen years ago, Sara couldn't have envisioned the life she leads today. Her path was not easy—she was propelled by sheer determination, courage and a sense of humor. Leading by example, she now inspires others to persevere and achieve their goals. Click here to read more about Sara Lachman.
Come hear Sara speak at the next ATHENA Leadership Forum at Watermark Country Club on January 28. She will be talking about the ATHENA tenent "Courageous Acts." Click here to register.
Photo courtesy of Kasie Smith.