ATHENA Grand Rapids



We empower, connect, and equip women in West Michigan to fearlessly lead and cultivate our next generation of leaders.

ATHENA, an affinity group of the Grand Rapids Chamber, provides the information, access, and connections to support the professional development of women professionals in West Michigan. The scheduled events and programs of ATHENA are built upon 8 Principles: Learning, Relationships, Celebration & Joy, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy, Authentic Self, Collaboration, and Giving Back.

ATHENA Grand Rapids focuses on issues and topics relevant to women professionals at all career levels in corporations, small businesses, public and non-profit organizations within our community. The program offers the annual ATHENA Leadership Award, ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, and ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award, scholarships to women, and leadership forums and events.

ATHENA International

ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that aims to support, develop, and honor women leaders in local communities all around the world through scholarships, leadership forums, and recognizing women of excellence.

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The ATHENA Awards Celebration

The ATHENA Award program began in Grand Rapids in 1989 and exists to honor women and men for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. More than thirty amazing individuals have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in Grand Rapids. We are also excited to continue the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award, which began in 2019, to recognize businesses and organizations that support, develop and honor women leaders.

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Be sure to follow the ATHENA Facebook Page to stay in the loop with all things ATHENA!

Check out our Events Calendar to see all of our upcoming ATHENA events!

The ATHENA Leadership Forum

These events are a time for people to authentically connect across roles, communities, and sectors to promote growth for individuals and the community, as a whole. Each forum is based on one of the eight ATHENA Principles. The speaker format varies from one person, two people in a fireside chat, to a panel. Throughout each forum, there will be 1-2 breakouts for table discussion.

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ATHENA Action Committee

As our programs and community expand, we need leaders to intentionally put our principles into action. Through the ATHENA Action Committee, we will create spaces to authentically connect and celebrate those that are fiercely advocating and leading for women in our community. The Action Committee will:

  • Promote events and be intentional to invite and include new people
  • Unofficially lead table discussions to ensure depth and participation at ATHENA Leadership Forums
  • Actively create a strong community where people own their ATHENA power
  • Participate in quarterly Uplift event to help foster ATHENA principles in our community
  • Contact Monica Mendez, Talent Development Manager for more information about the ATHENA Action Committee.

Apply for the ATHENA Action Committee


The ATHENA Council meets monthly and attends ATHENA Leadership Forums and events throughout the year, including the Annual ATHENA Leadership Awards Celebration. We ask that our council members commit to attending 80% of our ATHENA programming for the year. Please only apply if you are able to make this commitment.

Additions to the Council will be reviewed in November of every year for a January 1st start date.

Krashawn Martin | City of Wyoming | Chair

Jaime Counterman | University of Michigan Health-West

Erin Fisk | Fisk Solutions

Shaquanda Gordon | SpartanNash

Sara Gray Lachman | Lachman Studios PLC

Mei Mah | GVSU

Patty McCormick | Retired

Dormica OppenhuizenMeijer

Krista Paulin | Huntington Bank

Daysha Pell | Anna's House

Abbey Sladick Priority Health

Isabel Lopez-SlatteryIsabel Media Studios

Misti Stanton | Mercantile Bank

Kimberly Van Driel | DGRI

Questions or Comments?

Please reach out to Mel Trombley, Director of Leadership Programs, at 616.771.0317 or [email protected]

Being awarded this amazing scholarship from such a strong group of powerful women gave me the encouragement I needed to work towards my college education.” - Valerie Cook, 2014 ATHENA Scholarship Recipient
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