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As reported in a September 21, 2009, press release issued by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Mary Ann Dunham was named the 2009 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award recipient at the organization's 19th annual luncheon on Monday, September 21, 2009. Dunham, a shareholder in the Corporate Finance & Technology Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh office as well as co-chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group, was also featured in a number of publications reporting on the honor, including the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the September 30, edition of Pop City. In addition, Dunham was profiled in the October 6, 2009, edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, under the paper's "Newsmakers" column.

According to the release, "Dunham, among six other finalists, was chosen for best embodying the ATHENA Award criteria: demonstrating excellence and creativity in her profession, serving the community, and assisting other women in reaching their full leadership potential. The award — named after the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom — is unique among other regional honors for women in business because of its focus on mentorship."

In the Post-Gazette article, titled "Women's advocate wins Athena award," Dunham was quoted saying, "I was genuinely shocked and surprised. It was a wonderful, wonderful feeling."

The article went on to point out some of Dunham's civic accomplishments, including chairing Buchanan's Women's Business Development Committee, in addition to chairing the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, "a group that works to raise awareness of social inequalities."

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times article, which also appeared in a number of Business Journal editions across the country, "In her acceptance speech, Dunham thanked her husband and parents for their love and support and called on those in attendance to support efforts to continue to work toward gender equality. 'Pittsburgh is a great city to live in, and I am proud to live here,' Dunham said, 'but we are behind the national standard in the payment of women and in the number of women in leadership roles.' We need to change that, she said, 'if not for ourselves, for our daughters and our sons.'"