Economic Development and Human Resources

Chamber names Young Athena finalists

August 27, 2015
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Athena presentation
The Athena Young Professional Award recognizes individuals who are 40 years old or younger for their professional excellence, creativity and initiative; mentorship to young women; and service to others in the community. Courtesy GRACC

Young professionals who are recognized as emerging leaders will be celebrated during an event next month.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Aug. 25 the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Athena Young Professional Award who will be honored during a luncheon and the 26th annual Athena Award Celebration. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, in the International Ballroom of the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

The award

The Athena Young Professional Award recognizes individuals who are 40 years old or younger for their professional excellence, creativity and initiative; mentorship to young women; and service to others in the community.

Roberta Sniatecki, chair of the Athena committee and vice president branch manager at PNC Financial, said the finalists all exemplify some great qualities as emerging leaders.

“They are setting the course for some amazing things to happen within our community,” said Sniatecki. “What a great group of candidates we had this year.”

The finalists were chosen through a nomination process and represent a number of different professional fields, including law, social programming and services, nonprofit organizations, architecture and health care.

The event

The event will also grant five scholarships to women over the age of 30 pursuing higher education degrees, and will recognize Rev. Peggy Lawrence Burns, who was named the 2015 Athena Award recipient by GRACC earlier this month for her leadership, service and innovation. Burns is director of Intergenerational Programs at Senior Neighbors and founder of the Traveling Grannies and Grandpas program.

Event registration is available at GRACC’s website. Cost is $50 for chamber members and $75 for all others. Corporate tables of 10 are available for $700.

Finalists

  • Linsey Gleason — Varnum LLP
  • Lucy Joswick — Family Futures
  • Sarah Lachman — Miller Johnson
  • Amy Marshall — Management Business Solutions
  • Jill May — Frey Foundation
  • BriAnne McKee — Habitat for Humanity of Kent County Inc.
  • Sara Molina — Progressive AE
  • Judy Torres — Progressive AE
  • Shannon Wilson — Grand Rapids African American Health Institute
  • Amanda Winn — AMDG Architects Inc. and Children’s Healing Center

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