ATHENA Grand Rapids – International Women’s Day – Mel Trombley

Staff 188ATHENA Grand Rapids and International Women’s Day are rooted in similar missions. Both have a rich history of celebrating women and working to achieve gender parity through connections, leadership, and advocacy.

ATHENA Grand Rapids is magical. I say this because I have firsthand been transformed by the power of bringing together women who think, lead, and live differently. For 30+ years, ATHENA has created spaces where CEOs to first-time professionals and everything in between can come together to live and grow in the ATHENA Principles.

In honor of International Women’s Day, I would love to highlight the ATHENA Council because this group of leaders is a microcosm of our larger community. Each of these badass women is extremely unique, equally as powerful, and collectively unstoppable just like ATHENA Grand Rapids.

I hope you find a bit of yourself in one if not many of these leaders because YOU ARE ATHENA.

Krashawn Martin, Chair: This ATHENA is so genuine, practical, and has the power of bringing a group together in a graceful and optimistic way.

Kimberly Van Driel, Incoming Chair: This ATHENA is an innovator that thinks big, is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to do the work, and be honest.

Mei Mah, Secretary: This ATHENA can take a multitude of thoughts and ideas and bring them together with the perfect question or theme to push a group or strategy forward.

Lizzie Williams, Outgoing Chair: This ATHENA creates spaces where people feel like they belong by modeling being herself, affirming others, and connecting people that may have never intersected.

Krista Paulin: This ATHENA is a passionate advocate that understands the importance of affirming and empowering those around her AND speaking up when things are not right.

Lauren McElrath: This ATHENA brings contagious energy, asks hard questions, and brings creative innovation that leaves a group excited and connected.

Roberta Sniatecki: This ATHENA is bold, honest, and loyal; making her the ultimate teammate that will push you to grow and support you in the hard times.

Patty McCormick: This ATHENA is humble, bright, and is always looking to find an optimal solution while looking to leave the people around her better.

Sara Grey Lachman: This ATHENA is a goal-getter that is fierce, intelligent, and uses her voice to uplift, challenge, and advocate for many.

Misti Stanton: This ATHENA has a zest for life that motivates, elevates, and impacts her work and our community to thrive.

Jaime Counterman: This ATHENA is unapologetically authentic which models and gives courage to others to own their journey, their strengths, and their setbacks.

Isabel Lopez-Slattery: This ATHENA is intuitive, energetic, and wise which helps those around her find the beauty and purpose in our lives.

Erin Fisk: This ATHENA ability to connect quickly, listen intensely, and validate individuals and a group is healing and empowering.

Daysha Pell: This ATHENA is positive, intelligent, and intentional which leads groups to reach their full potential now and in the future.


There is ATHENA in each of us, regardless of gender. 


My challenge for you…

Take a moment and reflect on the gifts you give to this world.

Affirm one ATHENA in your life today.

Evaluate how are you creating spaces for people to thrive as their true selves because ATHENA is not just about individuals it is about the collective.








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