Grand Rapids chamber names Jeanne Englehart 2013 ATHENA Award winner


Jeanne Englehart. Photo via

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce announced that Grand Rapids business leader and The Charter Group’s Vice President of Client Management Jeanne Englehart is the 2013 ATHENA Award recipient.

The prestigious ATHENA Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in their professional field, mentored and created opportunities for women and contributed time and talent to the community.

“I am ecstatic and greatly humbled to receive this award, and I thank the chamber and committee for this distinguished honor,” Englehart said. “In reflecting on the women who were nominated this year and who have received this recognition before me, I see great role models who — like me — believe in themselves and have a passion to make a difference in our community.”

Twenty-nine prominent community and business leaders were nominated for the award this year — the 24th year the award has been presented in the greater Grand Rapids community.

“Jeanne’s success story is one of leading by example,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the chamber. “She has helped so many realize their potential and has been a long-time mentor and supporter of women in a wide range of business and community leadership roles.”


Englehart has served in several leadership positions with local and national organizations: first female president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, serving for seven years; gubernatorial appointment to the State of Michigan Early Childhood Investment Corporation; member of the City of Grand Rapids Transformation Advisory group and nationally as community services director for Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers and delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.


Englehart also has a history of accomplishment: 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by the Business Journal in 2006, 2008 and 2010; Women of Achievement and Courage Award by the Michigan Women’s Foundation in 2005; Woman of “E” Quality Award from the Women’s Resource Center in 2003; Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council Award; a National Career Woman of the Year; an Entrepreneur of the Year; featured in West Michigan for Women’s History Month and honoree with Inforum’s Inner Circle in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

“Jeanne is the epitome of service, business accomplishments and leadership,” noted Dr. Jacqueline Taylor, Ph.D., of Pondera Advisors and member of the ATHENA Award Selection Committee. “Jeanne has exhibited every ATHENA tenet — leadership, giving back, fierce advocacy, celebration and joy, collaboration, learning, relationships and above all, she has remained her authentic self.”

ATHENA Award Celebration

Englehart will be honored at a luncheon on Sept. 12 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

The chamber’s ATHENA Award Celebration begins at 11:30 a.m. and will also feature the presentation of the ATHENA Young Professional Award, which recognizes an emerging leader for their contributions to community, professional excellence and commitment to serve as a personal and professional role model for young women.

Finalists for both awards will be honored at a private reception prior to the luncheon event, as well as recognized at the luncheon.

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