ATHENA Awards Celebration

ATHENA Celebration 2016

Our annual ATHENA Awards Celebration is held each year to recognize and celebrate women and the remarkable leaders fostering avenues of opportunity and professional growth for future generations.

The ATHENA Awards Program and ATHENA Young Professional Award are founded on the ATHENA Leadership Model® from ATHENA International, which identifies eight distinct attributes, called the ATHENA Tenets, that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning, Fierce Advocacy, Celebration and Joy.

Over 500 attended the 27th annual ATHENA Awards Celebration on September 15, 2016 for a luncheon steeped in the ATHENA tenets—from Celebration & Joy to Learning, from Authentic Self to Fierce Advocacy. The event included two award presentations and the granting of $4,250 total scholarships to five women over 30 pursuing degrees. Read a 2016 recap with event photos here.

2016 ATHENA Young Professional Award Announced

Stacy Stout photoCongratulations to Stacy Stout, assistant to Grand Rapids’ City Manager! She was announced the 2016 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient at today’s ATHENA Awards luncheon.

“I believe it is my purpose on this planet to push for change and challenge the status quo,” she said during her acceptance speech and talking about her role as a fierce advocate and taking courageous acts.

Read more about Stacy here!

2016 ATHENA Awards Recipient

Shelley_Irwin_PhotoIt’s official… Shelley Irwin, host/producer of The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin and several local PBS shows, is the 2016 ATHENA Grand Rapids Award recipient!

We are thrilled to recognize her leadership, mentorship, and many remarkable contributions to the greater Grand Rapids community. Not to mention boundless energy and positive nature elevating all those around her!

Read more about Shelley here!

Congratulations to all our 2016 finalists!

2016 ATHENA Award Finalists
Mina Breuker, Holland Home
Maria Erazo, Maria Erazo Agency
Jennifer Maxson, Varnum Consulting
Peaches McCahill, The McCahill Group
Michelle Rabideau, Saint Mary’s Foundation
Julie Sielawa, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids
Sandi Steensma, Kennari Consulting
Michele Suchovsky, Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation
Carroll Velie, Varnum LLP

2016 ATHENA Young Professional Award Finalists
Carlye Allen, East Grand Rapids Public Schools
Lisa Anderson, Grace’s Table
Mercedes Barragan, Spectrum Health
Afton DeVos, Kids’ Food Basket
Sonja Forte, Baxter Community Center
Rachel Hood, Chase Park Grants
Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, Spectrum Health – Strong Beginnings
Sara Marie Moylan, Shefit, Inc.
Stacy Stout, City of Grand Rapids
Amanda Williams, Williams Distributing/Kitchen & Bath

Click to learn more about each of the 2016 ATHENA Young Professional Finalists!

Exclusive Premier Sponsor
Huntington sm web logo

Exclusive Finalists Reception Sponsor

Diamond Sponsors

ferris-state-web 2013



Spectrum Health logo

Emerald Sponsors
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network

Holland Home



Williams Kitchen & Bath

Chamber Champions
Experience GR

Varnum LLP


Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship of the ATHENA Award Celebration creates a partnership that connects your organization with a prestigious women’s leadership program and connects you to other prominent members of our community. A portion of each sponsorship additionally funds our ATHENA Scholarship program each year. We invite all Chamber Members to connect by participating in events and being a sponsor.

Click here for sponsorship levels and benefits or contact Joshua Verhulst for sponsorship information.