The 2023 Brilliance Awards, an annual celebration of the dynamic talent, spirit and intellect of those who tackle issues facing professional women, took place May 17 at the Amway Grand Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids.
As the West Michigan Woman community gathered once more for an evening filled with awards, drinks, dining and music, we were reminded of the many inspiring stories of the women and men within the community who truly elevate others and blaze trails of inspiration.
The successes of local leaders were honored across 10 categories, with nominees including top executives, business owners, emerging leaders, team players, mentors, connectors and social change agents. Ultimately, three finalists for each category, and eventually a top honoree, were carefully selected from over 300 incredible nominations.
The 2023 event also saw the addition of a new award, chosen by the West Michigan Woman team: The Legacy of Brilliance Award, honoring a woman who has a reputation for showing up for her team, her network and her community throughout the entirety of her exceptional career.
“Each year, we’re absolutely blown away by the brilliance found within our community and are thankful to have the opportunity to recognize those who prioritize lifting others up and challenge the status quo to bravely press onward,” said Kasie Smith, President and Publisher of West Michigan Woman. “We are deeply honored that the West Michigan Woman community chose to spend their evening alongside us as we shined a well-deserved spotlight on these leaders and trailblazers. There was no shortage of connection, collaboration and inspiration!”
Within the ballroom, seated at tables adorned with candles and meticulously designed floral arrangements, attendees were able to converse, share laughter, exchange heartwarming stories, and say "cheers" to all who were being honored. The award presentations were given in between meal courses, offering attendees a chance to enjoy their dinners while also connecting and continuing conversations from the cocktail hour prior to the program's start.
From heartfelt acceptance speeches to cheers from steadfast supporters, everyone in attendance was touched by inspiration in some way and left motivated and ready to change the world, much like our brilliant 2023 finalists and top honorees.