Strong and meaningful leadership is crucial to any community’s success, which is why the Barry County Chamber of Commerce serves as the host organization for the ATHENA program.
“The ATHENA program and awards are a way that we are able to bring acknowledgement of internationally recognized female leadership traits here to Barry County,” said Megan Lavell, past-chair of the Barry County Chamber and a 2012 ATHENA honoree.
The 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient is Nancy Goodin, assistant vice president and marketing director at Hastings City Bank.
“I am honored and humbled to be included in this group of accomplished women in Barry County. I am an example that one person, through their community involvement, can make a difference in Barry County,” Goodin said. “I hope that encourages other women and men as well, to realize they, too, can make a difference by finding initiatives they are passionate about and contributing their time and talents to those efforts.”
The 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient is Kristen Cove.
Cove said she was “in shock" when she was told. “It is humbling to be nominated by women that I consider to be my mentors. When you look at the list of past recipients it is overwhelming to consider myself as a fellow ATHENA. I appreciate the Barry County Chamber of Commerce, the ATHENA Committee, as well as the local businesses that have sponsored the ATHENA Award in Barry County.”
The ATHENA awards will be presented at the Barry County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners. For details, call 269-945-2454 or visit www.mibarry.com. //
The daughter of a U.S. Navy officer, Goodin spent her formative years in San Diego, Panama, South Carolina and Puerto Rico before returning to her parent’s hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and lived there for 12 years before relocating to West Michigan.
At Hastings City Bank, Goodin spearheaded development of financial literacy programs for Barry County youth, and was instrumental in the launch of the Kickstart To Careers program with the Barry Community Foundation.
She was the driving inspiration and key organizer of the Women’s Giving Circle of Barry County; with more than 125 members, the giving circle gives over $30,000 annually to various charitable causes throughout the area. Goodin has served on the Thornapple-Kellogg School Board, and Pennock Hospital Board. A loyal member of Hastings Rotary, she co-chairs the Barry Career Access Network’s “Affordability Team.”
“We are lucky to have her in our community in the role she plays to improve the lives of children and their families through financial independence,” said Bonnie Gettys, CEO of the Barry Community Foundation and past ATHENA honoree.
“There’s no denying that we are a much better community because of Nancy Goodin,” said, CEO of Hastings City Bank Mark Kolanowski.
Goodin’s family includes her daughter Lana, an architect; son-in-law Luke, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a new grandson named Jack. Her son Chase is an automotive engineer in Hartland, Michigan.
Cove is Thornapple-Kellogg Board of Education secretary, chair of the Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation, chair of the Thornapple Area Parks and Recreation Commission, president of TK PTO, president of Page Elementary PTO, co-founder of Parents for TK Schools, Citizen Representative on the Barry County 911 Administrative Board, member of the Middleville ‘80 Acre Project’ committee, and serves on numerous sub-committees.
Cove is described by many involved with TK schools as giving, dedicated, tireless, amazing, and inspiring. “Kristen has truly embraced community leadership as a full-time job, dedicating herself to serving each organization with all she has,” said Catherine Getty, program director for Thornapple Area Parks and Recreation.
“Kristen is one of the few people I know who will walk toward a problem, taking personal initiative and willingly owning challenges as opportunities where others can’t or won’t,” said co-nominator Jessica Phillips. “Her leadership style is “organic and humble, drawing people to her creative ideas by helping everyone involved imagine what the best-case scenario could look like. She is ‘in it’ with both feet, for the good of our schools, our kids and our community.”
Cove and her husband Andy, both lifelong Barry County residents, live in Middleville with their four boys, Damon, David, Jack, and Erik.
The ATHENA Leadership Model identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: living authentically, learning constantly, advocating fiercely, acting courageously, fostering collaboration, building relationships, giving back and celebrating.
These personal traits that are more intuitive to women combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership, taking risks, assertiveness and hard work, prepares women to be successful leaders in the 21st century.
“These awards continue to be a prestigious honor for recipients of both ATHENA awards,” Lavell said. “These are the women who continue to do the work that needs to be done in our community to make Barry County a better place. More important than the outcome of their own efforts, is the inspiration they provide for other women to be leaders.”