The 2020 West Michigan Woman People's Choice Brilliance Award

BAPCA19 Social1 UPDATEVoting is now closed! The West Michigan Woman Brilliance Awards is entering its 4th year of celebrating the unique talents of women and men in our community. For the second year, the public will select one honoree from the finalists for the People's Choice Brilliance Award. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at the West Michigan Woman Brilliance Awards where they will receive their award and recognition.

• To vote, please provide your first and last name and email address
• You may only vote 1x for one person
• Voting opens March 2nd and closes at 5pm on March 18th

 Enjoy reading the bio snippets below that were written from the nominators' and finalists' submissions.



Senior Director of Leadership Giving
Make-A-Wish Michigan
Brilliant Champion of Service

Ellie carries the torch for many fundraising initiatives that have grown to be record-breaking under her leadership. These funds are vital to Make-A-Wish’s mission and without the steadfast efforts under Ellie’s leadership, transformational wishes wouldn’t be possible for Michigan kids. Through a tough three-year battle with leukemia as a teenager, Ellie realized philanthropy was her passion. Ellie has been a Patient Mentor for the P.O.R.T program at Spectrum Health where she mentors young women going through their cancer journey. Ellie also volunteers her time as an AFP mentor to young women entering the non-profit world in fundraising.

The Mitten Brewing Company
Brilliant Best Supporting Man

Chris is an advocate for everyone he meets. From a small startup, he now runs a $4 million company with 100-plus employees. Chris is a believer in giving back to the community, with more than $250,000 in charitable gifts since 2012. He also helped form the Small Biz 4 Equality, to rally small businesses to work toward expanding the Equality Act to explicitly support LGBTQ+ individuals. He currently supports Hillary Scholten as she runs for Congress and serves on her campaign committee.

Founder & CEO
Hibachi Creamery
Brilliant Emerging Leader

After exploring several higher education options, Faten realized being an entrepreneur and a business owner was her calling. She invested in a concept West Michigan hadn't adopted yet: rolled ice cream. Despite having no knowledge in the food industry, she spent endless hours, sleepless nights, and never-ending days learning the ins and outs. Faten recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of Hibachi Creamery, a minority- and woman-owned small business that has regular customers coming in and out every day.

Director of Sales and Event Services
ASM Global (DeVos Place)
Brilliant Team Player

Whether it’s a co-worker, staff member, or one of her many clients and partners, Kathy is always finding ways to lift them higher and encouraging them take every opportunity to grow, professionally and personally. She has been an integral part of the success of DeVos Place and the Grand Rapids convention industry as a whole but, according to her staff, she will never tell you that. It will always be a team effort or someone else’s success.

Founder/Executive Director
STEM Greenhouse
Brilliant Social Change Agent

Keli is the founder and Executive Director of STEM Greenhouse, a nonprofit organization that fervently believes if you plant the seed in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—aka STEM—and nurture the resulting curiosity, children will flourish! Keli adds her own fifth ingredient, which may be the most important: student mentoring. STEM Greenhouse, under her direction, runs afterschool programs at several Grand Rapids Public Schools and for Camp Blodgett.

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?