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"FANTASTIC event. Wow!"
-Laura Hopson, Kentwood Office Furniture

"You did an outstanding job of organizing the event.  It was top notch!!!  I wouldn't change a thing."
-Mary Oudsema, Kalamazoo Gazette | The Grand Rapids Press | Muskegon Chronicle

"Congratulations on putting together such a terrific event!  The Goodwill group had a wonderful time."
Lisa Greenwood, Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids


 ATHENA Tenets

1. Authentic Self: Understanding who you are - your values, beliefs and thoughts. Honoring your uniqueness. Accepting personal responsibility for your actions. 

2. Celebration & Joy: Appreciating and acknowledging your accomplishments. Looking forward to your life with a sense of hope and purpose. 

3. Collaboration: Reaching out beyond what you can achieve on your own. Working in unison with others, while celebrating diverse points of view, ideas and actions. 

4. Courageous Acts: Standing up and standing firm in the face of fear. Taking risks to speak the truth or challenge the way things have always been done. 

5. Fierce Advocacy: Supporting and acting on your passion for people, causes or ideas. Creating an unstoppable force for the greater good. 

6. Giving Back: Serving the greater good. Committing to help your personal community of family, friends and peers as well as the global village at large. 

7. Learning: Challenging yourself to listen and be open to what is new and unfamiliar. Expanding and developing your knowledge, skills and experiences. Teaching others.

8. Relationships: Connecting with and embracing others. Appreciating the gifts and talents of different people in your life. 

ATHENA Awards Celebration

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Congratulations to our 2013 ATHENA Recipients!

ATHENA honors those who have demonstrated leadership in their field, opened doors of opportunities for women, contributed time and talent to the community, and are role models to others.

2013 ATHENA Award Recipient: Jeanne Englehart, Vice President of Client Management, The Charter Group

Jeanne Englehart’s success story is one of leading by example. Well known as a Grand Rapids business leader and Vice President of Client Management for The Charter Group, Jeanne has mentored and supported women through a wide range of business and community leadership roles—exhibiting every ATHENA tenet while helping others realize their potential.

Englehart has an extensive history as a business owner and entrepreneur. Her experience includes a host of board and leadership positions in local and national organizations, seven years as the first female President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and a gubernatorial appointment to the State of Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation. She previously served as a member of the City of Grand Rapids Transformation Advisory group and formerly worked at the national level—both as Community Services Director for Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers and as a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.

Among her many accomplishments, Englehart counts being named as one of 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2006, 2008, and 2010. She was honored with the Women of Achievement and Courage Award by the Michigan Women’s Foundation in 2005 and the Woman of “E” Quality Award from the Women’s Resource Center in 2003. She has also been featured among the outstanding women in West Michigan for Women’s History Month and received the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council Award. Previous accolades also include recognition as a National Career Woman of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2009, 2010 and 2013 honoree with Inforum’s Inner Circle.

2013 ATHENA Young Professional: Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director, Kids’ Food Basket

Bridget Clark Whitney is the executive director of Kids’ Food Basket (KFB), the largest and most successful anti-childhood hunger program in the state of Michigan with an annual budget of $3.8 million. It is also one of the largest volunteer programs in Michigan with over 12,000 volunteers, ages 5-95, averaging 175 volunteers each day. From humble beginnings 10 years ago, the childhood hunger relief organization has expanded from serving 125 to nearly 6,000 evening “Sack Supper” meals each day to food-insecure children in Greater Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

A Pittsburgh native and 2003 Aquinas College graduate, Whitney is passionate about Grand Rapids and the opportunities for community collaboration that exist here. She has served on the Heart of West Michigan United Way campaign cabinet, Gilda’s Club LaughFest cabinet, and the boards of Indian Trails Camp, Nonprofit Innovations Inc. and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids. She is currently co-chairing the two-day Michigan Nonprofit Association annual meeting and SuperConference 2013 coming to Grand Rapids in October. Additionally, she was named a 2009 American Express NGen Fellows—one of 12 emerging leaders in the country chosen to examine together how young leaders can contribute to a conversation that generates collaborative solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

Event Information

Date | Thursday, September 18, 2014

Location | Amway Grand Plaza, Ambassador Ballroom, 187 Monroe Ave. NW

Time |11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Cost | (lunch included) $50/individual, $700/corporate table of 10 seats

Registration | Click the "Register Now" button to resregister online, or, call the registration hotline at 616.771.0303.


**If you and/or your guest(s) have any dietary restrictions, please contact Mercedes Cowper.

Questions? Contact Mercedes Cowper at or 616.771.0341.


If you like the ATHENA Award Luncheon, you may also like:
 ATHENA Leadership Forum
Business Exchange Luncheon
EPIC Awards


Sponsorship Opportunities

Build relationships with other prominent members of our community and create a partnership that connects your organization with a prestigious women’s leadership program. The sponsorships for this “must attend” Signature Event are designed to raise your company’s profile, image and brand in front of hundreds of motivated business people.

Why sponsor the ATHENA Award Celebration?
• A portion of each sponsorship funds our ATHENA scholarship program each year
• Connect your organization with a prestigious, international women’s leadership program
• Increase visibility of the program and the contributions of the nominees and recipient

We invite all Chamber Members to connect by participating in events and being a sponsor. 

Click here for sponsorship levels and benefits or contact Diane Cisler at 616.771.0357.

Thank you to our
2014 Event Sponsors

Without the generous support of our sponsors, it would not be possible to present this event. A portion of sponsorships funds the ATHENA Scholarship program each year.

Premier Sponsor


Event Underwriter


Reception Underwriter

Diamond Sponsors

Emerald Sponsors

Ruby Sponsors


Chemical Bank

Crystal Sponsors

Rockford Construction




For additional sponsorship information contact Diane Cisler at 616.771.0357.

|  Mindscape