ATHENA Grand Rapids

Upcoming Events

Nominate Your Next ATHENA

After 35 years of blazing trails
and championing women in the business community, ATHENA Grand Rapids is excited to celebrate the next era of women in leadership. 

Nominations for our annual ATHENA Awards Celebration are now open! We’re looking to honor those who pave the way for a brighter future. Nominate now and be a part of the legacy.

To be considered for an ATHENA Award:

  • All nominees must uplift and support women in the community and embrace the ATHENA principles.
  • The nominee has not been selected as a top five finalist for the same award category they are being nominated for in the past two years.
  • The nominee has not received an ATHENA award in the same category they are being nominated for.
  • The nominee has not received an ATHENA award of a different category in the last two years.
  • Nominees must work in Kent County. Nominees for the Young Professional Leadership Award must be 35 years old or younger as of the date of the celebration, and has a minimum of five years of professional experience.


About 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 (opens in new window)  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.


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 Summer Sharrard-Neering for more information about 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.


Lacey Dixon | Grand Rapids Symphony

Melissa Fugitt | BAMF Health

Alyssa Jester | Huntington Bank

Ana Jose | Michigan Women Forward

Thao Lai | Steelcase, Inc.

Isabel Lopez-Slattery | Isabel Media Studios

Mei Mah | Grand Valley State University | Vice Chair

Gricelda Mata | Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano

Patty McCormick | Retired | Secretary

Tara McCrackin | Kendall College of Art and Design

Jennifer Pascua | Broadway Grand Rapids

Abbey Sladick | Priority Health

Misti Stanton | Mercantile Bank

Kim Van Driel | Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. | Chair

Grace VanDenBrink | Know Honesty

Questions or Comments?

Headshot of Monica Mendez

Please reach out to:

Monica Mendez

Director of Talent & Leadership Programs