Human Resources, Lakeshore, and Nonprofits

Chambers name lakeshore ATHENA finalists

October 2, 2014
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Chambers name lakeshore ATHENA finalists
Finalists for the 2014 Lakeshore ATHENA Award and Young Professional Leadership Award pose for a group shot. Photo via

The lakeshore business community is honoring 25 female leaders next week for their work within their professions, communities and in the lives of other women.

ATHENA event

The 10th annual Lakeshore ATHENA Award luncheon, a joint program of three area chambers of commerce, will be held on Oct. 7 in Spring Lake at the Trillium Events space, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event will celebrate the nine ATHENA Award finalists and the 16 inaugural ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award nominees, who are 40 or younger, who have demonstrated excellence in their business, provided valuable service through time and energy in the community and encourage other women to reach their potential.

“It is amazing what they have done in their career and their communities,” said Pam Blake, membership services manager, the Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg. “This gives them an opportunity to tell their story and encourage women and women in business.”

The event is expected to draw roughly 350 attendees and will feature a program with biographies of the nominees and keynote speaker Jeanne Englehart, vice president of client relationships at Charter Capital Partners.

Englehart was the 2013 ATHENA recipient from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and has been a leader in the Grand Rapids community for years, serving previously as president and chief executive officer of the Grand Rapids chamber and the founder and president of Englehart Training Centers.

Nomination process

The lakeshore award program recognizes people who live and work in Ottawa, Allegan or Muskegon counties. 

The program is run jointly by three chambers: the Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Nominees are chosen by a selection committee consisting of community leaders.

The committee considers several criteria in making the nominations: established as a leader and mentor who assists women in reaching their potential; demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession; exhibits the spirit of regional collaboration; and for young professionals, serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally.


Tickets to the event are $40 for chamber members, $50 for non-members and $390 for a corporate table for eight people. 

People interested in registering for the event can email lakeshoreathena at gmail dot com.

A portion of ticket sales go toward the ATHENA scholarship program, which is given to three non-traditional lakeshore women returning to school.

In the past ten years, the program has given more than $33,000 in scholarships to women over 30.

2014 Lakeshore ATHENA Award nominees

Gwen Auwerda: Tulip Time, Holland

Mary Boyd: Mercy Health, Norton Shores

Sheri Holstege: ESSTEE Real Estate, Holland

Stacy Segrist Kamphuis: The Insurance Group, Holland

Jackie Kleino: Woodward Inc., Zeeland

Darcy Komejan: Children’s Advocacy Center, Holland

Suzanne Velarde: Velarde Marketing, Spring Lake

Tracy Wilson: Grand Haven High School, Grand Haven

Helen Zeerip: Teddy’s Transport, Holland

2014 Lakeshore ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award nominees

Katie Appold: Love INC., Grand Haven

Jessica Sowles Chandler: Merrill Lynch, Muskegon

Kris Collee: Kid’s Food Basket, Muskegon

Jennifer Cross: Modiv Coach, Muskegon

Jennifer Crouse: Stifil, Grand Haven

Carrie Anne Engels: What a Gem!, Grand Haven

Carla Flanders: CMF Marketing LLC, Norton Shores

Jamie Helsen: United Way of the Lakeshore, Muskegon

Stefanie Herder: Grand Haven Area CVB, Grand Haven

Meghan Heritage: BlueWest Properties | Boss Homes, Grand Haven

Elizabeth Kidd: Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland, Holland

Kate Klemp: Tulip Time, Holland

Sarah Lilly: Five Star Real Estate Lakeshore, Holland

Leigh Moerdyke: Pathways MI, Holland

Colleen Perdok: Holland Hospital, Holland

Brynn Shepherd: Northwestern Mutual, Grand Haven 

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