2023 Finalists

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The finalists of the 2023 Brilliance Awards are:

FlameIconBrilliant Woman of the Year

Zaneta Adams, JD
 | CEO & Owner | River Acres Development LLC 

Cara Anne Poland, MD, MEd, FACP, DFASAM | Michigan State University

Megan Schmidt | Senior Vice President of Employer Solutions | Priority Health



FlameIconBrilliant Tenacity

Henrietta Hadley 
| Founder & CEO | Infinite Solutions Consulting Group

Alma Ross | Personal Lines Account Executive | Koop & Burr Insurance

Amanda Villarreal | Owner | AVWELLNESS




FlameIconBrilliant Team Player

Colleen Laskowski 
| Director of Delivery | SpinDance

Katie Racey | Guest Experience Manager | Frederik Meijer Gardens

Kim Murphy | Activity Director | Heron Manor & Heron Woods 



FlameIconBrilliant Social Change Agent

Vanessa Greene 
| CEO | Michigan African American Health Institute

Jessica Johns | Co-Founder & Executive Director | The Community StoreHouse

Vonnie Woodrick | Founder | I Understand



FlameIconBrilliant Mentor

Salina Bishop 
| Assistant Vice President of Development | Grand Rapids Symphony

Susan Negen | Co-Founder | WhizBang! Retail Training

Missy Summers | Executive Director | Festival of the Arts



FlameIconBrilliant Entrepreneur

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW 
| Founder & CEO | Robyn Gobbel

Meredith Kent, MS, PA-C | Master Injector, Clinical Educator, Owner | Skin CoLAB

Rachel VanBuskirk, LMSW | Clinical Director & Owner | Portal Point Counseling




FlameIconBrilliant Emerging Leader

Stormie Drake
| Executive Director | READ Ottawa

Lindsay MacMillan | Head of Community Engagement | Sleeping Giant Capital

Caylie Peet, MS, CTA | Minority Business Program Manager | Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce



FlameIconBrilliant Connector

Jennifer Pascua 
| Marketing Director | Broadway Grand Rapids

Kori Thompson, MBA | Advancement Officer | Wedgwood Christian Services

Amiee VandenElzen | Aread Lead for Business Development | Disher Corp



FlameIconBrilliant Champion of Service

Rev. Joanna Bailey 
| Manager of Spiritual Care | Trinity Health Grand Rapids

Kristin A. Chmela, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F | Co-Founder, Director of Training and Therapeutic Programs, Owner & Director | Camp Shout Out Inc./Chmela Communication Center

Nicholette Driggs | Development Director | Comprehensive Therapy



FlameIconBrilliant Best Supporting Man

Craig Clark 
| Owner, Senior Counselor | Clark Communications

Omar Cuevas | Vice President of Investor Relations | Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce

Carlos Sanchez, MAD | Executive Director | Davenport University - Casa Latina





From this issue

A driving purpose in Dr. Wendy Falb's life has been a commitment to creating more equitable educational opportunities and a passion for effective community transformation. She served on the GRPS board for 10 years, where she was instrumental in the development of the Museum School and part of the team that increased enrollment for the first time in 25 years and passed a $175 million millage.
Have you ever been in a space and the vibe is just ... off? Often, lighting is the culprit. Research indicates that warmer lighting is most associated with a cozy and relaxed atmosphere perfect for being creative and socializing, while cooler lighting is more suited for when you need to be most alert and ready to focus on the task at hand. And while preferences vary, more and more folks are recognizing how influential lighting can be in a space, especially within your home, where you're meant to feel the most at ease.
If you've never had a little one (or it's been a while), it can be difficult to know the best ways to celebrate our friends, family members, colleagues or neighbors when they welcome a new baby. Here are a few ideas to show them some love, whether they're welcoming their first or fourth.
The concept of "treating" ourselves has long been equated with indulgences and luxuries to be enjoyed sparingly. But what if treating ourselves really meant engaging in self-care?