2024 WomanUp & Celebrate — West Michigan

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

JW Marriott, 235 Louis St. NW, Grand Rapids 49503

Join us for our WomanUp & Celebrate West Michigan event where we honor female leaders with our prestigious Women of Achievement and Courage Award.

Part of Michigan Women Forward’s mission is to recognize exceptional women for their achievements to inspire the next generation of women leaders and difference-makers. This much-anticipated event is an opportunity for the West Michigan community to celebrate female leaders who make a difference in the greater Grand Rapids region. 

This year we are pleased to honor Shelley Irwin, legendary broadcast journalist, and LaSandra Gaddy, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.


Our 2024 WomanUp & Celebrate West Michigan Honorees

LaSandra Gaddy

President & CEO | Grand Rapids Community Foundation

As president and CEO of Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Michigan’s oldest community foundation, LaSandra Gaddy guides the foundation’s staff and Board of Trustees in their fundraising, grant-making and community leadership efforts.

A passionate servant leader with over 20 years of executive leadership experience, Gaddy has extensive expertise in team development, strategic planning, collaborative partnerships and fund mobilization. Gaddy previously served as CEO of Women’s Resource Center, a gender-responsive organization focused on improving women’s economic opportunities. She also has held various executive leadership roles in the nonprofit sector focused on building long-term, sustainable change.

She resides in Grand Rapids with her husband, Arlen Dean Gaddy. They are proud parents of three adult children.


Shelley Irwin

Broadcast Host & Producer | The Shelley Irwin Show

Shelley Irwin is the Host and Producer for The Shelley Irwin Show, a newsmagazine talk show on the local NPR affiliate, which airs Monday through Friday. She also hosts several public affairs TV programs, including Family Health Matters and Kalamazoo Lively Arts.

Irwin was named as one of the 200 Most Powerful Business Leaders in West Michigan by the Grand Rapids Business Journal and has been named one of the most 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan by Gemini Publications. Her community involvement extends from the Kent County Park Foundation to the Girl Scouts, Hope Network, Circle Theatre and Paws with a Cause, among others.

She has represented the U.S. in a Long Distance Triathlon and Duathlon World Championships and chases after her two Jack Russell Terriers in her spare time.


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Become a WomanUp & Celebrate Sponsor

We invite you to partner with us as we honor trailblazing women who inspire and elevate their community. By sponsoring our event, you’re not just aligning your brand with a noble cause, you’re investing in a future of diversity, equality and inclusion.

To become a sponsor of WomanUp & Celebrate West Michigan, contact Judy Welch, Development Director, at jwelch@miwf.org.