HANOVER TWP. — When she got to the podium and composed herself, Kathy Dunsmuir accepted flowers, wiped away tears and spoke about her mother.
Dunsmuir, the 2018 recipient of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award, said she was honored and humbled to be chosen.
“I lost my mom in September,” Dunsmuir said as she fought back tears. “My mom thought I owned the bank. But all I can think of right now is how proud she would be today.”
Dunsmuir, 58, is senior vice president/wealth management director at PNC Bank, where she has worked for 40 years. A resident of Plains Township, Dunsmuir and her husband, Tom, have been married for 37 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Dunsmuir said her mother was a single mom who worked hard to raise a family in difficult times.
“We were so blessed to have her,” Dunsmuir said. “I know I would not be where I am today without her.”
The ATHENA Award is presented to someone who has attained and personified the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to the community in a meaningful way, and most especially, has generously assisted women in attaining their full potential.
Dunsmuir was nominated by Barbara Maculloch, a colleague and friend. Here are a few comments Maculloch made on Dunsmuir’s nomination form:
• “As (Dunsmuir) grew in her career, she looked out for and made sure those talented women worthy of recognition and promotion grew along with her.”
• “Kathy literally graduated from high school on a Friday and began her banking career the following Monday. She has truly climbed the ladder of success the hard way.”
• “Kathy is very inspirational to anyone who knows her in every facet of her life. Kathy is successful as a wife, mother, banker and mentor to so many women.”
Dunsmuir has an extensive community involvement record, having served numerous organizations, such as the CYC of Wyoming Valley, Osterhout Free Library, the Luzerne County Community College Foundation, Dress for Success, Maternal & Family Health Services, Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, Leadership Wilkes-Barre and many more.
Dunsmuir will be honored at the Chamber’s Epic Awards on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at the Wyoming Seminary Kirby Center for the Creative Arts. Also honored that evening will be Alison Zurawski, named Volunteer of the Year by the Chamber.
Asked how receiving the award will affect her life, Dunsmuir said, “I guess I feel like I’ve arrived somehow. I look at the past recipients and I value so much what I have learned from them. My plan is to go back to what I do and continue doing all I can for my community.”
Lindsay Bezick, vice president of the Chamber, hosted the event. Mary Erwine of Erwine Home, Health and Hospice and a past recipient, presented the award to Dunsmuir.
A panel of four previous ATHENA recipients — Catherine Shafer of Lightspeed Technologies; Katie Lambert, McCarthy Tire Service; Marilyn Millington, Berkshire Asset Management; and Barbara Maculloch, Community Bank — fielded questions from the audience on how to get more involved in the community and how to climb the ladder of success.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.