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A Community for the Influential & Professional Woman

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From the Ground Up

Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:41
Kristy Sherlund is an executive mom, employee, and Caledonia community member. In her role as vice president of product and merchandising at Baudville, she helps managers to connect with their employees, and she's learned a little about making connections herself along the way. Kristy's interior design degree brought her to the Furniture City in 1987 without a job, but with a lot of hope. She was hired right away and got her feet wet with Interface Fabrics, now True Textiles. Kristy isn't shy to admit that this first job, in customer service, wasn't her true calling. But it was from… Read more...

Living the Dream

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 12:08
As the president at The Watermark Center in Muskegon, Sarah Rooks does everything from taking out the garbage to making multimillion dollar decisions, like one of the company's first projects–breaking ground on a million square foot urban development property–the former Shaw Walker Building. Watermark is constantly developing the old into new. The Watermark Lofts houses fifty-three condominiums, and Watermark 920 is a chic showroom for concerts to dance parties to intimate affairs. "It's been so exciting being a part of creating something. It's not like just going to work, we actually get to create something, and it's been very rewarding… Read more...

Above and Beyond Status Quo

Thursday, 14 June 2012 11:47
Kristin Britt bucks tradition and paves her own way with sheer will power. She never cowered away from adversity, and seems to thrive in situations that have pulled her in as many directions as there are days on the calendar. Kristin grew up in Muskegon, moved to Grand Rapids, and landed in Rockford. At twenty-five, she was a mom going back to school at Grand Rapids Community College for her two-year associate's degree. But Kristin is always striving for more. "I was working full time when I decided to keep going. I started my bachelors at Grand Valley, but they… Read more...

Her Cup Runneth Over

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 17:14
Heidi VanderWal is "one of those full time girls," she says, but when she goes to work, it's on her own terms. As a Silpada Director, Heidi puts to use her love for selling things that sparkle, but for someone who has no background in sales, she draws on a more natural, inner beauty. Heidi started selling Silpada in 2001 because she wanted something that would allow her to adjust her schedule in order to take care of her family while still making a buck. With three kids going to private school, having three parties a month seemed like a… Read more...
Diana Sieger has captained the ship of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation since 1987. Since then, the organization has grown in assets from $35 million to $260 million, and with Diana at the helm, citizens of Kent County and beyond are reaping the benefits of her determination and stellar work ethic. As long-time president of the community foundation, Diana knows a thing or two about leading, establishing, and collaborating. But she didn't get to where she is now quickly. Growing up during decades soaked in civil and women's rights revolutions, Diana built her foundation on a passion for change and… Read more...

Essential Ingredients

Thursday, 24 May 2012 15:51
If you can dream it, she can bake it–into a cookie. Monica Mitidieri wears as many hats as there are ingredients in her professional-size kitchen at Monica's Gourmet Cookies, but one thing is for sure, "you can't have a bad day making cookies." Monica infuses her sun-shiny attitude into everything she does, whether it’s spending time with her two daughters, supplying another local store with her products, or shipping cookies to her family's country of origin—Italy. Since 1996, when she started with a food catering business, Monica has been making people smile with her hospitality and delicious desserts. "It was… Read more...

At the 'Topp' of Her Game

Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:11
MSU grad Angela Topp knows a thing or two about "going green," and she's planting her alma mater's well-known slogan in a community on the cusp of environmental sustainability. As owner of Tree Huggers in Holland and Grand Rapids, Angela is bringing a green awareness to West Michigan, and to her, the movement is well needed. Angela opened her first Tree Huggers store in the Westshore Mall in Holland in 2010 just six years after graduating with a degree in hospitality business. Owning a store wasn't exactly what she planned, and she really wasn't expecting to open a second store… Read more...
Like any woman in tune with the importance of breast examinations, Teresa Hendricks was well aware of the need for annual mammograms, even before she was 40 years old. She kept track of lumps, one in particular that she questioned. But what Teresa did not know is that her breast tissue is classified as "dense" and because of this physique, the mammograms were missing what was diagnosed after seven years of negative tests as breast cancer.  "I had a normal (mammogram). Six months after that, I felt an area of thickness, or fullness, not a lump," Teresa says. "The second… Read more...

Sweet Success

Thursday, 03 May 2012 15:07
With her Nikon in hand, Kelly Sweet is ready to take on the world, or at least commit it to film. The Grand Rapids business owner is forever advancing in the field and willing to go anywhere to perfect her craft. After high school, Kelly hit the road and landed in San Francisco she where bought a good camera and took classes for fun in photography at the local community college. After that, she got her Bachelor's degree in photojournalism. She was working sporadically as a second shooting photographer in San Francisco before she moved home to West Michigan. Kelly… Read more...

Art of Entrepreneurship

Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:05
With a degree in elementary education and work experience as a manager and a buyer, Amy Ruis takes a well-rounded approach to her nearly 10-year-old business, Art of the Table. "I got the idea because I love to entertain, drink good wine and beer, cook, and bake," she says. "I always loved retail a lot. Most people say that sounds crazy, but I loved it." Amy may say she's in the minority when it comes to her love for retail, but because of that love, she has seen her business grow along with her love for providing West Michigan with… Read more...

 

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