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A Community for the Influential & Professional Woman

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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...
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...
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

May 03, 2012
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...
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...
Writers block doesn't scare Linda Nemec Foster–she's always writing. As Grand Rapids' first poet laureate, from 2003 to 2005, her literary oven is always cooking, although she hesitates to talk about the projects that are still in the works. "I'm superstitious. If I talk too much about a project when it's still in the hopper, I feel a little bit uncomfortable…I don't want to jinx it," she says. There is plenty to talk about that Linda has already completed. As the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, the poet, playwright, inspired literary artist works to deepen her… Read more...
Payton Dewitt is a sweet, happy, 7-year-old girl, just special enough to have a charity named after her. What makes Payton even more special is that she is living with mitochondrial disease. Through Payton's Race for a Cure, the organization founded by her mother, Michelle, members are raising money and awareness, and helping researchers to find a speedy antidote. Payton's Race for a Cure started four years ago as a way for Michelle's 11-year-old son to take part in finding a cure for his sister. Michelle turned his dirt biking hobby into a regional fundraising extravaganza that continues to grow… Read more...
When her eyes opened in a hospital room, Holly Werlein had no idea she'd undergone a liver transplant surgery. What's more, the 21-year-old from Traverse City could not imagine that a few years later, she would be founding the Holdol Wear Clothing line and acting as Special Advisor to the Transplant Games of America. Holly is turning her sudden acute liver failure and subsequent status one transplant surgery into awareness and success. After moving to Grand Rapids to be closer to her sisters, she got involved with the Transplant Games and set out to educate and inspire others to become… Read more...
Laura Caprara is putting Grand Rapids on the map one event at a time. Her business, Stellafly Social Media, is taking off, and with photography and video coverage of happenings throughout West Michigan and even beyond the state lines, Laura hopes to inspire her social network followers to travel and see things outside of their comfort zones. From dog shows to celebrity appearances, the Stellafly crew mixes and mingles with the community. Doing brand management and social networking for clients like the Grand Rapids Public School District, Stellafly works behind the scenes to bring awareness to local events and organizations.… Read more...
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