Attorney Candace Dugan selected as the 2011 Lakeshore Athena Award Recipient


Candace Dugan has been selected as this year’s Lakeshore ATHENA Award recipient. The announcement was made at the Lakeshore ATHENA Award luncheon celebration at the Trillium Gilmore Collection Banquet and Conference Center, Spring Lake.  Dugan is the Senior Counse l at Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP, and Director of Gift Planning for Grand Valley State University.

Gwen Auwerda, chairperson for the Lakeshore ATHENA Award program, said 25 nominee applications were considered for the award. “We are honored to have so many women from our region that have made significant contributions in the communities where they live and work.

The Lakeshore ATHENA Awards program is a collaboration of The Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

Auwerda said that Dugan, along with many of the other nominees, exceeds the requirements to be eligible for an ATHENA Award. The award was created to raise up one outstanding role model each year who exhibits exceptional leadership skills, who has achieved excellence in her own business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, has assisted other women in reaching their full leadership potential and who has made regional contributions. The recipient is chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives from the participating Chambers and community business leaders.

Dugan has taken an active interest in promoting women professionals since she started her law practice upon graduation from the University of Michigan Law School. Dugan was awarded the Michigan Super Lawyer Award as well as being recognized as one of the 100 Best Lawyers in Michigan. She has lived, worked and volunteered up and down the lakeshore with a deep vested interest in the people and in the communities that make up our region. She has been involved with many local organizations serving on several boards of directors. One of her special gifts is to be an advocate for women in her career and in the community organizations where she serves.

Previous Lakeshore ATHENA Award recipients include: 2010, Elizabeth Rolinski Vice President of Operations Advanced Energy, Johnson Controls; 2009, Blanche Smith former Mayor of Muskegon; 2008, Judith Hayner Executive Director for the Muskegon Museum of Art; 2007, Nancy Miller, former dean of social sciences at Hope College, Holland; 2006, Nancy McCarthy, former director/president of Hackley Visiting Services and Hospice, Muskegon; and 2005, Nancy Crandall, former mayor of Norton Shores.

About the ATHENA Award:

The ATHENA Award is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 5,000 awards have been presented in more than 500 communities in the United State, Canada, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.