Women’s Resource Center Celebrates Milestone in Hosting 25th Annual Pillar Award

Grand Rapids, Mich.—The Women’s Resource Center is celebrating not one, but two milestones as 2013 marked their 40th anniversary and 2014 will host the organization’s 25th annual Huntington Pillar Awards.

“Since its inception in 1973, Women’s Resource Center has had a huge impact on our community. In the past 40 years, WRC has helped over 40,000 women gain the skills and confidence needed for workplace success”, said Sharon Caldwell-Newton, WRC’s Executive Director.

The Huntington Pillar Awards, which honors local employers who empower women in the workplace, is taking place on Wednesday, March 19 from noon – 1:30 p.m. at the Amway Grand Plaza. Since 1987, more than 70 organizations have received the award. Organizations submit an award application and are selected based on their “best practices” that facilitate the recruitment, retention and advancement of women while opening doors of opportunity.

Caldwell-Newton said that the award was created 25 years ago to showcase the return on investment that progressive employers would realize when they implemented policies/programs that promote work/life balance, professional development, and workplace diversity.

This year’s Pillar award recipient is Cherry Street Health Services.

“As the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Michigan with a workforce made up of over 80% women, it’s important for us to lead by example.  If we are going to provide the highest quality care for our patients, we must to provide quality pay, benefits and training for our staff delivering those services.  We hope to inspire other organizations to consider the differences we can make by improving the opportunities for women in West Michigan,” said Tasha Henderson Thomas, Chief Clinic Operations Officer, Cherry Street Health Services.

Over 500 business and community leaders will attend the 25th annual luncheon to celebrate the best practices of Cherry Street Health Services and to learn how these practices improve both the business’s bottom line as well as the larger community. The proceeds from the event will be used by Women’s Resource Center to provide its services that prepare unemployed and underemployed women for meaningful careers.

Luncheon registration is $60 per person and reserved tables for 10 are $650. Sponsorship packages are still available. Event registration or sponsorship packages can be purchased online at or by phone at 616-458-5443 ext. 114.

About the Event

WHAT: Women’s Resource Center’s 25th Annual Huntington Pillar Awards luncheon

WHEN: Wednesday, March 19, 2014; noon – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Ambassador Ballroom

DETAILS: WRC presents the 2014 Huntington Pillar Awards to Cherry Street Health Services. The award winners are West Michigan-based employers who have demonstrated their commitment to empowering women at work through innovative and best practice strategies. All event proceeds support will support WRC services that prepares unemployed and underemployed women for meaningful careers. The event title sponsor is Huntington Bank and the underwriting sponsor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

TICKETS: Tickets are $60 each and can be purchased online at The event is open to the public.

CONTACT: For more event information, call at 616-458-5443 or visit the WRC website at

The Huntington Pillar Award is West Michigan’s only prestigious award publicly recognizing employers’ contributions to the success of women in their workplaces. The award recipients are West Michigan based organizations that have implemented innovative and progressive policies to ensure the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women within their workplace.

Since 1973, Women’s Resource Center (WRC), a local non-profit organization, has helped economically disadvantaged West Michigan women develop strategies for work and skills for life. WRC has assisted thousands of women to become more self-sufficient and confident through its array of comprehensive employment services. Learn more at