Meet Debbie Atkins

Having graduated in business studies Debbie Atkins spent 18 years in Industry as a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) working on business strategy, business integration, monthly accounting and enjoying the interaction with teams across the business. A particularly rewarding area of Debbie’s work involved being an ESAT Champion (Employee Satisfaction) for the Finance team.

Prior to qualifying as an ACMA Debbie started in the business world working within her family’s floristry business based in Buckinghamshire. It was here that her love of business and interaction with people evolved.

Upon leaving the Corporate world Debbie retrained as a Personal Trainer, pursuing a lifelong interest in health, sports and nutrition and is now a Level 3 Personal Trainer as well as a Nordic Walking Instructor ( The nutrition and wellbeing elements of her business developed whilst training for the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race in 2011. Her personal wellbeing was crucial as Debbie had to nutritionally support her body training 3-4 times a week in a canoe as well as growing and running her fitness business. Much of Debbie’s fitness business activity requires her to physically take part in the exercise (Nordic Walking) it is often not possible to stand around and instruct clients!

Debbie attended her first Athena meeting at Reading Central in April 2013, following an introduction by a friend in business who indicated that the group at that time did not have a Personal Trainer. From the first meeting the energy, enthusiasm and support from the meetings was immense and later that year in the winter of 2013 Debbie became Chairman of the Reading Central group. Now in March 2014 Debbie is proud to have joined the Athena Network as the new Regional Director of the Reading Central, East and South Groups.

Debbie is looking forward to developing these Athena areas and supporting existing and new members alike in growing and connecting their own businesses and enjoying the opportunity which the Athena Network affords women in business to inspire and support each other for greater success.


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What Athena Members Say …

Nicky Fitzmaurice

"Athena Networking has been the making of me! I have made more friends and learnt more about business tools and networking strategy in the last year than I ever thought possible. Athena’s focus on training members to be the best that they can be, whilst in a supportive and nurturing environment, gave me the confidence to learn and grow which in turn allowed my business to do the same. It is this, that is the heart of Athena. No hard sell amongst the members, we encourage one another to help where we can. I always come away from a meeting inspired and bubbling with ideas on how to grow my business. It’s a fabulous way to live, learn and grow. Nicky Fitzmaurice

Selena Ludick

“The Athena network can be distinguished from any other networking group I attend. Its structure and form mean that members who attend are committed and dedicated to proactive networking which on turn achieves tangible results.  This benefits me and my firm,  in just a two  hour monthly meeting I have the opportunity to talk to other business women about me, my business and what I need and how I can be helped.  The environment for delivering this is focused and professional. As a result referrals are made and recommendations given which, for me achieves increased clients and in turn builds greater contacts.  As a busy business women Athena also provides a forum to connect with other business women on a social / friendship basis so “all work and no play does not make this Jill a dull girl” Athena motivates me, strengthens my vision, equips and endorses me but most of all provides the fuel every business women needs to keep raising her game and stepping up to the mark.”

Rosie Mortimer

Working mostly on my own, I really appreciate the positive camaraderie of the Athena women. Whatever need or concern one has, there is always someone able, and enthusiastically willing, to help with good advice. I find the interaction tremendously stimulating and enjoyable - and highly instructive. A wonderful group to see regularly, with excellent opportunities to meet other interesting and skilled women at training days. Thank you Athena!

Tracey Richardson

"I've been an Athena member since Rachel Maunder launched her first group in Hampshire. And I'm still a member because it has transformed my very individual business by providing me with the professional and personal support system I used to enjoy in corporate life at Marks & Spencer, before I was inspired to put my commercial skills at the disposal of the Third Sector. Whether it be IT products and services, social media training, business strategy advice, personal image consultation, financial advice and planning and last but by no means least great, supportive friends it's all at Athena NEHants."   


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