Every year at the ATHENA Awards Celebration, we gather to CELEBRATE those who embody, encourage and promote the inclusion of women. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to an outstanding leader who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.
This year’s event, Beyond the Bios, will focus on the stories and experiences that have made the ATHENA finalists the incredible leaders they are today. Join us to engage and connect as we celebrate ATHENA and continue to push the needle forward for women in our community.
We will be presenting this year’s celebration in a virtual format. Eliminating in-person attendance will enable us to provide the experience our members, community and partners deserve in a safe environment.
Meet the finalists for the 31st Annual ATHENA Awards Celebration below:
ATHENA Leadership Award Finalists
The ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient: is an established leader and mentor who assists women in reaching their full potential; Demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; Provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community
Tasha Blackmon, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cherry Health
Candace Matthews, Chief Reputation Officer, Amway Global
Bonnie Nawara, Chief Executive Officer, GROW
Ana Ramirez-Saenz, President, La Fuente Consulting
Misti Stanton, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Mercantile Bank
ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award
The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient: is an emerging leader who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; Serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally; Is 40 years old or younger as of September 2020, and has a minimum of five (5) years professional experience; Provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community
Brandy Arnold, Program Manager, WMCAT
Elise Kutt, Owner/Photographer, Mod Bettie
Ashley René Lee, Vice President of Strategic Communications, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Ashley Ward, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Hire for Hope
Shannon Wilson, Medicaid Outreach & Quality Director, Priority Health
ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award Finalists
The ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award Recipient: Recognizes businesses and organizations that support, develop and honor women leaders; Creates an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential; Gives back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and/or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives
The ATHENA Awards 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.