Michelle Rabideau, CFRE, president, Saint Mary’s Foundation, is one of four finalists for 2019 ATHENA Award. She is being recognized by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce for her leadership in the professional field, her mentorship and support of opportunities for women, and her contributions of time and talent to the community. With more than 20 years’ experience in fundraising, Rabideau has raised more than $75 million during her tenure at Saint Mary’s Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.
According to the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s website, the ATHENA Leadership Award is annually presented to an outstanding leader who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. In addition to the recipient, several finalists, including Rabideau, will also be recognized at the awards celebration on September 19, 2019:
- Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, City of Grand Rapids
- Sandi Frost Steensma, President & CEO, Kennari Consulting
- Sandra Gaddy, CEO, Grand Rapids Women’s Resource Center
The recipient of the Grand Rapids Chamber 2019 ATHENA Award is Peggy Murphy, shareholder, Hungerford Nichols CPAs +.
“Throughout her entire career, Michelle has mentored other women by learning who people truly are so she can connect them with opportunity, encouraging them every step of the way,” Kim McLaughlin, vice president of Marketing and Community Engagement, Wolverine Building Group, who helped nominate Rabideau.
In her statement to the committee, Rabideau speaks of her own continual personal growth plan as means to inspire others to grow:
“Personifying the highest level of excellence in my profession looks like living into my values every day and striving to fulfill my mission for the greater good. This means having a true sense of your being and your purpose. Not an easy thing to do. This takes stumbling, learning, listening, taking risks, being vulnerable and open to what is being presented to you in life. It’s all about how you respond and how you then give it back.”
Rabideau has been recognized as one of “50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan” and has earned the Benjamin Franklin Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional.