Chamber names ATHENA young professional


Lizzie Williams. Courtesy Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

The winner of the ATHENA Young Professional Award is an active force in the Grand Rapids community.

That fact is part of why Lizzie Williams, a marketing specialist at Open Systems Technology in Grand Rapids, was given the award last week by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at the 25th ATHENA Awards Celebration luncheon.

The award is given to young professional women who are seen as emerging leaders for their “contributions to community, professional excellence and commitment to serve as a personal and professional role model to young women,” according to the chamber.

“Lizzie is an inspiration to all young women. Her ‘sweat equity’ that she puts forth for change in this community is a true sign of a great future leader,” said Roberta Sniatecki, an ATHENA committee chairperson and VP and branch manager at PNC Bank. “We all need to experience Lizzie’s energy and engage in the change that she is proactively making happen.”


Williams, a Grand Rapids native, previously worked at the chamber as a marketing coordinator for the Center for Community Leadership and at Williams Kitchen and Bath, her family’s business, as a marketing assistant.

She currently sits on a number of boards, including the Saint Mary’s Foundation and Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, and was also arts co-chair for the WGVU Engage Committee.

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and design from Michigan State University.

In her free time, she volunteers with the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the United Way’s Schools of Hope program, Failure:Lab and the Opening Village Doors Foundation.

“Lizzie is an outstanding young woman who exemplifies the tenets of the ATHENA Leadership Model through her leadership, professional excellence and community involvement,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the chamber. 

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