Resource Center Doles Out Honors

    GRAND RAPIDS — This morning the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) hosted the Pathways to Leadership Conference and the 2003 Employer Recognition Awards in honor of local business people and businesses.

    Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Riverfront Financial Group and Crowe Chizek and Co. LLC were honored during a luncheon at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

    Keynote speaker Lynn Martin, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President George H.W. Bush, spoke on the role of leadership in today’s economy. The event served as a major fundraiser for the WRC.

    Since 1987 the awards luncheon has recognized West Michigan employers who have contributed to the success of women in the workplace by providing programs, policies and benefits that help to advance women into leadership roles and address the work/life issues of employees.

    “The winners’ top leaders have demonstrated that no matter what size or type of business, an environment that embraces diversity and advances women into leadership roles is possible,” said Sharon Caldwell Newton, executive director of the WRC.

    “Not only are the winners contributing to the success of women in their workplace but to their business’ success.”

    The Pathways to Leadership conference preceded the awards luncheon, dividing into two tracks, one for employers and human resource directors and the other for personal professional development.

    The opening keynote speakers were Janet Mason, general manager for WZZM TV13 and Jack Cichy, management department head at Davenport University. Breakout sessions within the tracks were led by facilitators from West Michigan businesses, including former ERA winners.

    The employer/HR director track, “How to Become an Employer of Choice in West Michigan,” focused on improving workplace practices to stay competitive and enhance employee retention and performance.

    The personal professional development track, “Gifted Leadership: Assess Your Capabilities, Fine Tune Your Skills and Journey Forward,” gave the tools necessary for advancement.

    For more information on the winners, visit


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