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Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 6|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 1|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 2|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 3|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 4|Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 5

The Grand Rapids Chamber is excited to celebrate the amazing work that our community leaders are doing to empower and encourage the inclusion of women. This year, our 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration highlights ten amazing individuals and three impactful organizations that are making a difference each day.

Join us in congratulating these amazing leaders and don’t forget to save your spot for the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration on Wednesday, September 28, where the recipients of these prestigious awards will be revealed!

Meet our 2022 ATHENA Leadership Award Finalists

Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration 1Andrea Inostroza Castro
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Puertas Abiertas Inc

What ignites your light?
I believe Latina women deserve to live a self-sufficient, safe and authentic life, so I strive to provide empowering opportunities and tools for achieving these vital goals. “Every woman deserves to be respected, valued, and appreciated”.

 

 

Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration 2Meg Goebel
President, Acrisure LLC d/b/a Paul Goebel Group

What ignites your light?
I’m passionate about what I do on a professional and personal level. This passion transcends to community work as a way to enhance your life experience and get involved with organizations that excite & challenge you. Community involvement makes a well-rounded leader.

 

 

Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration 3Dr. Lisa M. Lowery
Section Chief of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine, Spectrum Health
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Cultural Initiatives, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

What ignites your light?
I believe that you give back to a community that has given so much to you and try to make the space you occupy better for those that come after. I have a servant leadership style, a passion for clinical medial education, and truly enjoy connecting people with their passions.

 

 

Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration 4Tara McCrackin
President, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

What ignites your light?
Mentorship ignites me as learning happens for all involved. Seeking opportunities to make change designed to better our community lights my fire. Amplifying, advocating, and advancing young creatives in our community (and beyond) has me shining bright!

 

 

Dr. Sandra Upton
Founder & Chief DEI Strategist, Upton Consulting Group

What ignites your light?
Providing individuals and organizations practical and sustainable strategies for creating more diverse, inclusive and equitable organizations and communities ignites my light. And seeing the impact of their efforts is even more rewarding.


ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Finalists

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 1Ciarra C. Adkins, JD
Founder & President, AQUME Foundation

What ignites your light?
My light is most ignited when I encounter women leaders coming together to support other women leaders. Often times in the professional spaces I most navigate, I’m the only person of color, the youngest, and the only woman. It can be exhausting. Yet, my spirit is encouraged when I see women leaders in my community doing truly amazing things in their professions AND also lifting up other women along the way. It energizes me – I strive to embody that shining example of womanhood.

 

 

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 5Kayla Benda
Owner, Oh, Hello Companies

What ignites your light?
Empowering others to do what’s worth doing through sharing stories.

 

 

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 2Elise Kutt
President, Mod-Bettie Portrait Boutique

What ignites your light?
Traveling with strangers! Hosting retreats all over the world, I’ve loved watching women try new things and connect with each other over shared experiences. The magic that happens in small groups in places you’ve never been before is electric!

 

 

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 3Alexis Reame
Client & Community Relations Assistant Director, PNC Bank

What ignites your light?
I love bringing excitement, laughter, and energy to the organizations that I am involved with. I’m fortunate that my job allows me to engage with variety of organizations, missions, and meaningful causes throughout Western Michigan that help shape and honor our community. If there’s an opportunity to connect people’s passions with community needs in way that helps both reach their full potential, I’m all in.

 

 

Ignite Your Light: Meet the Finalists of the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards 4Ellie Wilcox
Regional Managing Director
Make-A-Wish Michigan

What ignites your light?
I enjoy helping others and seeing others happy and thriving. Seeing and inspiring my two daughters to grow up to be fierce women. When the fruits of my labor and hard work make wishes become a reality for other people who are experiencing critical illnesses.


ATHENA Organizational Award Finalists

What ignites your light?
At MillerKnoll, our collective of brands is pushing design forward to build a brighter future for everyone. Throughout our 100 years of history, embracing diverse perspectives has shaped us into the innovative company we are today. We know that creating space to include more voices and more perspectives leads to greater access and better outcomes. We’re working to create a company, industry, and communities around the world that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion so all people can thrive.

 

What ignites your light?
Teamwork, seeing each other thrive and inspiring other creatives from the community to use their talents.

 

What ignites your light?
At Warner, we genuinely and sincerely care about our clients and the work we do for them. We work on their behalf to make connections, bring business opportunities and do all that we can to help them succeed. We tailor our services to exactly what a client wants and needs and ensure access to the right person, or team, at the right moment.


Don’t forget to save your spot for the 33rd Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration on Wednesday, September 28, as we celebrate all of our finalists and the recipients of these prestigious awards will be revealed!

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