Diboll’s own goddess: Hernandez earns ATHENA Award

Martha Hernandez would have to spend time away from her family and her job just to list the many ways she serves her community – imagine the hours she spends actually serving.

Her community service in Diboll and Angelina County as well as her professional endeavors with First Bank and Trust East Texas earned her a 2013 ATHENA Leadership award, presented to her by the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce at the recent Women’s Conference of East Texas.

According to athenainternational.org, “the ATHENA Leadership Award (inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment) is presented to a woman — or man — who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.”

“As an icon to both the English- and Spanish-speaking communities, Hernandez serves as a professional voice and a great listener,” said Melissa Wheeler, the chamber’s Program & Operations Manager. “Her ability to assist others in attaining professional excellence and pass on her courage and strength is why Hernandez was chosen as the 2013 recipient.”

Hernandez has been active in the community,

serving on boards or being active in the Boys and Girls Club of Diboll, Diboll Housing Authority, Katherine Sage Temple Day Care Center, Diboll Booster Club, Family Crisis Center, United Way of Angelina County, Junior Achievement, Angelina Buautiful Clean, high School Gear Up, Parent-Teacher Organization and the Angelina County & Cities Health District, as well as the Finance Committee of her church, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Two years ago, Hernandez was appointed as a commissioner of the State of Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.

“I have to give credit to First Bank and Trust East Texas,” said Hernandez, who has worked for the bank for 21 years and is now a vice president. “They allow me the time to serve the community.

“My kids and husband, too, support me and are on board,” she said.

Wheeler, touched on that point, too.

“Being a servant leader comes with many different attributes. Hernandez exemplifies those with her delegating skills that empower others, her volunteerism spirit and the fun she exudes while serving,” Wheeler said. “Her joy in giving can be seen by her dedication in bringing her husband, three children and extended family to volunteer in many community activities she is involved with. Our community is rich because of the compassion of Martha Hernandez.”