Human Resources, Lakeshore, and Nonprofits

Chambers name lakeshore ATHENA winners

October 9, 2015
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Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga and Renae Hesselink ATHENA awards
Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga, left, and Renae Hesselink stand with their Lakeshore ATHENA awards. Photo via

More than 20 women have been recognized for their efforts along the lakeshore.

During the 11th annual Lakeshore ATHENA Award presentation and luncheon this week, Renae Hesselink was selected the 2015 Lakeshore ATHENA Award recipient and Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga was recognized with the 2015 Lakeshore ATHENA Young Professional Award.

The program

The Lakeshore ATHENA Award is a program recognizing people who are established as leaders and mentors assisting women in reaching their potential, demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their professional field and contribute to improving the quality of life in the community.

The collaborative program is supported by the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg.

More than 20 people who live and work in Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon counties were honored.

ATHENA Award winner

Hesselink is the VP of sustainability at Norton Shores-based Nichols.

Hesselink oversees sustainability efforts, LEED certification and helps customers achieve their sustainability goals.

She is also involved with a network-based organization supporting sustainability in planning and operations known as the Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership and is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan chapter and chair of its Green School Advocacy Committee.

ATHENA Young Professional winner

Rinsema-Sybenga is executive director of Muskegon-based Community enCompass

The community development organization focuses on restoring core city neighborhoods in Muskegon through initiatives such as Sacred Suds, Healthy Neighborhood, CATCH Camp, Youth Employment Program, Muskegon Learning Lab and McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm.

ATHENA nominees

Kristen Brown

Tina Butler

Stacey Henkel

Renae Hesselink

Maggie Jensen

Holly Johnson

Holly Lookabaugh-Deur

Donna Lowry

Anne Saliers

Judy Whipps

Tracy Wilson

ATHENA Young Professional nominees

Katie Appold

Jennifer Becksvoort

Jenna Blamer

Jessica Chandler

Sara Julius

Elizabeth Kidd

Brittany Lenertz

Sarah Lilly

Nicole Paquette

Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga

Lindsey Thornsen

Jennifer Vanderstelt

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