A Community for the Influential & Professional Woman

Profile

Andrea Ykema didn't go to college to become the area director of seven local Applebee's restaurants, and she didn't set out with that career goal in mind. Like many high school and college students, she wanted a job—and restaurants provided a great opportunity. Read more...
Looking for activities that include your furry friends in the festivities? Mark your calendar for Sunday, October 19, noon to 3, at Manhattan Park, where plenty of fun will be had—and for a doggone good reason! Read more...
Pursuing a dream is not without risk. Anyone who has ever dreamed of being an artist has probably faced questions about whether or not that's a responsible decision. Read more...

Paula Kerger: Telling Everyone’s Stories

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:45
This week, PBS President Paula Kerger visited Grand Rapids to announce a partnership with Grand Valley State University College of Education to educate and empower the next generation of teachers with the latest digital tools made specifically for classroom use. Read more...
Inforum was founded in 1962. Today, it is the only professional organization in Michigan—and one of a few in the country—that focuses on two things: accelerating careers for women and boosting talent initiatives for companies. Read more...

ATHENA: Learning

Monday, 18 August 2014 10:15
Never stop learning. Learning isn't just for students, nor does the opportunity for learning end after graduation: Each day brings a new set of opportunities to stretch and challenge ourselves. Touching on the ATHENA tenet Learning, which was highlighted at the Grand Rapids ATHENA Scholarship Fundraiser, Claudia Berry, retired vice president of Lakeshore Private Client Group, Huntington Bank, shares her insights into continuing one's education—even outside of academia. Read more...

Patti Griswold: Inforum Board Chair

Monday, 11 August 2014 09:53
Patti Griswold, senior vice president, retail banking, Comerica, was recently elected Inforum board chair and is the first person from West Michigan to serve in this capacity. West Michigan Woman chatted with Patti about her background, her successes, and her new role with Inforum. Read more...
ATHENA was created in 1982, from within the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, when Martha Mertz was the only woman on the board. "Neither my colleagues nor most community members perceived women as leaders. We didn't see ourselves as leaders, either, mostly because we didn't hold high titles or positions." Read more...

ATHENA: Leading with Fierce Advocacy

Monday, 28 July 2014 11:01
Sharing one's passion and creating an unstoppable force for the greater good defines the ATHENA tenet Fierce Advocacy. We also concluded that Mary K. Hoodhood, founder of the hunger-fighting organization Kids' Food Basket, is the epitome of Fierce Advocacy. As part of the ongoing ATHENA Leadership Forum from the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, we wanted to reach out to Mary K. and get the scoop on how she supports, shares, and acts on her passion of ending childhood hunger—and how she engages those around her in the cause. Read more...
Catherine Rogg, vice president, corporate engagement, is a new person in a new role for Inforum, a professional organization focused on creating strategic connections and accelerating women's careers. It's a nice alignment: Catherine has a long-standing career in education and philanthropy, was director of development for comprehensive fundraising offices at two educational institutions, and was director of alumni relations at Davenport University. She was active in establishing scholarship programs advocating for nontraditional women students. And she's focused on making connections, building relationships, and engaging support for professional growth opportunities. Read more...