Human Resources and Nonprofits

Grand Rapids chamber names ATHENA Award winner

June 30, 2014
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Diana Sieger is catalyst for community change
Diana Sieger.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce has named the 2014 ATHENA Award winner from a group of nine finalists.

The chamber announced Friday that Diana Sieger, president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, will be the 25th recipient of the award.

The award is given to a woman who has demonstrated a major investment in her community, held positions of professional leadership and mentored aspiring women.

The chamber's ATHENA Award Celebration will be held in Grand Rapids on Sept. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the Amway Grand Plaza.

Sieger will be honored along with the yet-to-be-announced winner of the ATHENA Young Professional award. The finalists for the ATHENA Award and Young Professional award will also be honored at the event.

“Diana is a dedicated leader and truly an influential woman in Grand Rapids, who not only serves this community and leads positive social change, but also strives to foster future leaders and create an inclusive, supportive culture within her organization,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Foundation leader

Sieger has served as president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation for nearly 27 years. The chamber said that under her leadership, the foundation has seen an increase in financial assets from $35 million in 1987 to more than $320 million in 2014 — “significantly raising the level of influence and reach of the foundation within the community.”

Sieger has implemented practices for “attracting and retaining high-performing talent” at the foundation by recognizing work-life balance, creating family friendly policies and child-friendly spaces and encouraging staff to pursue their educational aspirations and personal development.

The chamber also recently recognized the Grand Rapids Community Foundation for its “sustained efforts and exemplary work” in supporting a “diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.”

"The ATHENA is the pinnacle for awards for female leaders in our community, and I'm honored to have been selected this year,” Sieger said. “Ensuring that established and emerging women leaders are heard, respected and have a seat at the table is something I am committed to influencing and working toward.”

Sieger awards

Sieger, who has been a member of Inforum’s Inner Circle since 2010, has won numerous community awards: the Distinguished Community Trustee Award, YWCA Tribute Award, Edward Frey, Sr. Distinguished Achievement Award and the Women of Achievement and Courage Award.

The Business Journal has also named Sieger one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan multiple times.

Registration

People can register for the ATHENA Award Celebration online or by calling 616-771-0303.

The event costs $50 for chamber members, $75 non-members and $700 for a corporate table of 10 seats.

2014 ATHENA Award finalists

Jennifer Maxson, Varnum Consulting
Nancy Hock, Western Michigan University
Kimberly Suarez, Priority Health
Sandi Frost Steensma, Parrish Consulting
Bonnie Nawara, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women
Rhoda Kreuzer, Partners in Action
Sharon Caldwall-Newton, Women's Resource Center
Marge Wilson, Marge's Donut Den

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