2023 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Recipients Named

Chamber Blog |Oct 19, 2023|3 min read

Spring Lake, Michigan – Kathy Moore, Administrative Health Officer and Public Health Director for Muskegon County, was honored as the 2023 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Award Recipient. The announcement was made on October 3 at the annual luncheon celebration, held at the Trillium Catering and Event Center. The ATHENA awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding lakeshore women who have demonstrated excellence in their business or profession, have provided valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in their community, assist women in reaching their full potential and exhibit the spirit of regional collaboration.

Kathy Moore is recognized for her incredible leadership and service to the citizens of Muskegon County for over thirty years. As the top public health official for the county, she is empowered by the Michigan Public Health Code to implement and enforce rules and regulations to prevent disease, promote health and protect the environment. She credits the “awesome leadership and collaborative spirit” of our local community service organizations for working in partnership to successfully respond to the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic.

Kathy’s dedication to the West Michigan community is exemplified by decades of charitable giving and volunteer service. She has dedicated time, talent and treasure to support numerous organizations and initiatives including the United Way of the Lakeshore, Harbor Hospice, Muskegon Community College, the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club, and many more.

The ATHENA on the Lakeshore program also recognizes a Young Professional Recipient each year. Ashley Latsch, City Manager of the City of Grand Haven, was recognized as the 2023 ATHENA on the Lakeshore Young Professional Award Recipient. Latsch is the first female City Manager in the history of the City of Grand Haven. Her four-year progression from intern to City Manager of the City of Grand Haven serves as a testament of her dedication to the community and the public’s trust in her. Ashley prides herself on addressing community needs in an equitable and authentic way, including improving attainable housing and workplace diversity. By volunteering for many charitable organizations throughout the community she lives and serves in, she embodies service above self. She serves on several committees, including those that allow her to mentor, support, and empower women in municipal government.

The recipients are chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives from the participating Chambers and community business leaders. Ten finalists and eleven young professional finalists were recognized at the luncheon, which was attended by over 300 regional community and business leaders.

This award program is a collaboration of The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, and your Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. Please join us in congratulating Kathy, Ashley and all of the 2023 finalists!

ATHENA Award Finalists:

  • Zaneta Adams, Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Jill Bonthuis, Pioneer Resources
  • Shelby Bytwerk, MillerKnoll
  • Cara Galbavi, Cara Galbavi Law
  • Melissa Horton, Lakeshore Museum Center
  • Kelly Larson, Sweet Temptations
  • Sarah Lewakowski, Mosaic Counseling
  • Reyna Masko, Ottawa County
  • Karlie Parker, Muskegon Intermediate School District
  • Heidi Sytsema, Community Foundation for Muskegon County
  • RandiLynn Talsma, Blended Furniture
  • Kathy Moore, Public Health Muskegon County


Young Professional Award Finalists:

  • Aubrey Boerema, Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center
  • Dominique Bunker, United Way of the Lakeshore
  • Jocelyn Hines, Community Foundation for Muskegon County
  • Cathryn Kitchka, Moola
  • Ashley Latsch, City of Grand Haven
  • Emily Machiela-Leestma, Leestma Management
  • Alana Matyas-Brower, Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
  • Jenna Vipond, Momentum Center