Sarah Effertz

Sarah Effertz, owner of Blu Elefante events, has a passion for creating unforgettable moments that bring people together to celebrate the things that are important to you! With over 15 years of event planning and marketing experience, Sarah has helped create powerful and profitable fundraisers for community partners, helped companies celebrate key milestones with cocktail receptions and golf tournaments, gathered like-minded individuals for intimate dinner parties, blown the roof off of venues for concerts and music festivals, and glammed up the runway with striking fashion shows. With Blu Elefante, she has also helped families and friends come together to celebrate some of life’s greatest moments! What makes Blu Elefante stand out is Sarah’s passion and creativity, her love for people, and seeing the magic that happens when all your moving parts come together to give you and your guests an amazing experience that you won’t soon forget!

Sarah is a dynamic professional with a bachelor’s in business administration, with a focus on marketing and finance, along with a master’s degree in project management. Her home base is Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, and services the greater NEPA region, including Allentown to Philadelphia, and also New Jersey and New York. Her history of service includes: past board of directors for Dress For Success Lackawanna, past regional director for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and past school board member for Summit Christian Academy. She currently serves as a board member for Here 4 A Reason, a worship team vocalist at The Grove Church in Scranton, and as a wife and mother to three wonderful children.

Peter Danchak


Peter J. Danchak is the regional president of the Northeast PA region of PNC Bank.

Danchak joined PNC Bank in 1984 and has held various positions of responsibility in Corporate Banking.  He was named Regional President of the Northeast PA Market of PNC Bank in January 2001.

Active in the community, Danchak currently serves as Chairman of the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine 2020/2021 Annual Golf Classic and as Co-Chair of the Scranton Plan. He serves on the Board of Directors of AllOne Health Foundation, the Highmark Regional Advisory Board and the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry.  In October of 2020 was appointed to the Early Learning Investment Commission Emeritus Advisory Council.

Danchak served as Chairman of the 2019 and 2018 Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Annual Golf Classics and The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties Annual Campaigns in 2013/2014 and 2002/2003. He also Co-Chaired the Northeastern Pennsylvania Boy Scouts of America 2019 and 2018 Annual Dinners and The Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission from his appointment in 2008 through 2018. 

He also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of Northeastern Pennsylvania Foundation,  Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Luzerne Foundation, the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, King’s College, Keystone College, Johnson College, Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Scranton Chamber Board of Commerce and Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company.  He served on the Board of Trustees of Marywood University, Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton Kania School of Management. He also served on the President’s Advisory Council for Keystone College. 

Danchak received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Scranton and was awarded an honorary degree from them in 2018.

ATHENA Award Eligibility

  • Nominee must provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Nominee must demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession.
  • Nominee must demonstrate an ongoing advancement or progressive job growth in her career including significant leadership accomplishments and milestones along the way.
  • Nominee must possess a minimum of 10 years of professional business experience.
  • Nominee must actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential.
  • Previous Athena Award recipients are not eligible for nomination.
  • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce staff are not eligible for nomination.
  • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce board members are not eligible for nomination.
  • Athena committee members are not eligible for nomination.
  • Athena committee members may not score an application that they submit for nomination.
  • Nominees must own or be an employee of a business that is a member in good standing of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
  • Nominations must be received no later than January 20, 2022 at 4 p.m. Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed.
Selection Process:
  • Nominations will be live on on January 2, 2022.
  • Nominations must be received by January 20, 2022 at 4 p.m.
  • The Athena Award committee will review all nominations and score independently.
  • The Athena Award winner will be announced by February 11, 2022.
  • The Athena Award will be presented at the International Women’s Day Celebration on March 8, 2023.