Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding lakeshore women who excel in their professions, give back to their communities and help to raise other women leaders.

The award luncheon is held on the first Tuesday in October.

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ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The program was founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz. Since the program’s inception, more than 7,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities across 8 countries.


Leadership Model

The ATHENA leadership model identifies eight attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: living authentically, learning constantly, advocating fiercely, acting courageously, fostering collaboration, building relationships, giving back and celebrating.



This committee gathers monthly to produce the ATHENA on the Lakeshore Awards.

  • Cindy Achterhoff, Chair, ChoiceOne Bank
  • Carolyn Taylor, Co-chair, Fifth Third Bank
  • Kristin Knop, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
  • Bari S. Johnson, The Stanton Group
  • Dwana Thompson, City of Muskegon
  • Ellie Holman, The Chamber Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg
  • Stefanie Herder, Spring Lake Country Club
  • Emily Morgenstern, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber


Past Recipients

  • Brianna T. Scott (2019)
  • Mary Boyd (2018)
  • Kelly Springer (2017)
  • Tracy L.N. Wilson (2016)
  • Renae Hesselink (2015)
  • Helen Zeerip (2014)
  • Leslie Brown (2013)
  • Patricia VerDuin (2012)
  • Candace Dugan (2011)
  • Elizabeth Rolinski (2010)
  • Blanche Smith (2009)
  • Judith Hayner (2008)
  • Nancy Miller (2007)
  • Nancy McCarthy (2006)
  • Nancy Crandall (2005)


Past Young Recipients

  • Abby Selby (2019)
  • Meghan Heritage (2018)
  • Stefanie Herder (2017)
  • Sara Julius (2016)
  • Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga (2015)
  • Kris Collee (2014)

Become A Sponsor!

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