All About Athena

Celebrating the Leaders in our Community

Ashley Ward Athena Awards 2020

The Grand Rapids Chamber stopped by to congratulate Ashley!

We are thrilled to celebrate our very own founder and CEO, Ashley Ward, among the other incredible finalists at this year’s ATHENA Awards! We hope you join us in virtually celebrating this year’s event, Beyond the Bios. The event will be held virtually on Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 

You can register here and join us in celebrating Ashley and all of this year’s finalists. Thank you to the Grand Rapids Chamber for bringing us all together to celebrate these outstanding leaders in our community.

ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award Finalists

ATHENA Leadership Award Finalists

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Finalists

My Life as a Promoter

The Profile That Perfectly Describes Me

Regan Lang

by Regan Lang 

Throughout high school and during my first few years in college, I did very few tasks and activities independently. I preferred to invite friends to run errands, workout and even study with me. Although enjoying group work is not a bad thing in itself, I went through a phase where I struggled to work on tasks alone. It was not until my later years in college that I realized the reasons why I prefer this social lifestyle. Naturally, I am a good communicator and relate well with a variety of people. This allows me to work well with many different types of people and enjoy doing so. With this being said, I am a person who  strongly values relational connections. As I am getting closer to my college graduation, I have now figured out how to work successfully independently while still being able to enjoy time spent with friends.

 I first was introduced to the Behavioral Assessment from Predictive Index when I was applying for the internship position at Hire for Hope. Previously, I have taken the enneagram test and StrengthsFinder Test both of which provided me with insights as to the type of person I am. However, the Predictive Index (PI) test was able to provide me with an even further evaluation of my strengths, preferences, natural tendencies and weaknesses. By taking the PI test, not only was my employer able to evaluate the right position for me, but I was able to understand the concepts behind the assessment which allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the type of worker I am and where I have the best opportunity for success.

 By taking the PI test, I was able to discover that I am the Promoter profile type. A Promoter is a casual, uninhibited, and persuasive extrovert with a tendency for informality. I am collaborative and sociable and am most comfortable working closely with others. Having these attributes allows me to work extremely well with a team and focus on the common goal above my own personal goals. However, with being a relational person, it is important I do not get derailed with the social aspect that I do not focus on completing the task at hand. 

 I was especially surprised by how accurate my PI Test results were regarding my needs, strengths and weaknesses. One aspect of my results states how I need “a clear, specific description of the given task or the responsibilities expected of me.” I am someone who needs to first form a detailed list of tasks to be completed, including each of the rubrics for the tasks, prior to completing a project. I see this trait in both my work life and school life. When completing an assignment, I prefer to always be given a rubric with specific instructions of what the professor expects to see from my work. I then am able to complete each assignment knowing I am checking all of the boxes. 

 One of the best ways I have used my results moving forward is to understand my personal strengths and challenges with the people around me. Once you have your PI Test completed, you are able to see the evaluation of your profile type and how to best relate with someone else with different personality traits. This allows you to realize and understand the wants and needs of the people around you in order to work together to achieve a common goal or to further the relationship.

If you’re curious about learning more about Predictive Index and how Hire for Hope can help you and your company uncover the keys to helping your workforce work at it’s best, visit Hire for Hope’s Talent Optimization page or reach out to speak directly with a Talent Advisor.

Ashley Ward Named 2020 ATHENA Awards Finalist

Young Professional LeadershipAshley Ward ATHENA Finalist

Congratulations to Ashley Ward, Hire for Hope’s founder and CEO, for being a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award!

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient:

• Is an emerging leader who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession
• Serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally
• Is 40 years old or younger as of September 2019, and has a minimum of five (5) years professional experience
• Provides valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community

ATHENA Awards

Both the ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Award are founded on the ATHENA Leadership Model® from ATHENA International. This model identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning, Fierce Advocacy, Celebration and Joy.

The 31st annual ATHENA Awards celebration will be held virtually on September 24 at 4:00PM. Join us in cheering on Ashley and all of the other incredible women who were nominated for awards this year. Learn more about the event and register here!

Be sure to read Ashley’s story and find out why she started Hire for Hope.

My Life as a Specialist

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Kelly Bos

by Kelly Bos

You know that question. You know, the one you’ve been asked over and over again? If you’re like me, half the time you don’t know how to answer. Other times you simply come up with something random just to have an answer.  

What do you want to be when you grow up? Yep, that’s the one.

Some of you may always have known what you wanted to be when you grew up. Or, if you didn’t, you found something intriguing and stuck with it. For me, my answer was always different…that is, if I had an answer at all. I find interest in everything (well, almost everything). And I love to learn. However, not in the traditional sense. I love to learn of my own accord and relish in the hands-on training that may be available. Up until recently, I never could understand why I was bored in school, got tired of the monotonous tasks at work, and constantly was on the look-out for the next opportunity. That is, until I took The Predictive Index’s Behavioral Assessment.

Those results, though! They are spot on. Not to mention they help shed some light as to why I always questioned policies and decisions, constantly desired something better, and craved a good challenge.   

Entering my last interview (yes, I’m still challenged), I was asked to take the BA. can completely see why it is a such a useful tool, especially when entertaining a candidate for a certain position. I’m not saying that it’s the sole decision maker when hiring, but it can certainly be insightful as to what the position may require from an individual and if that individual is right for that position.  

Welcome to, I’m a Specialist; and you can count your lucky stars I’m a skeptic…about almost everything! It’s all making sense, now. This is precisely why I could never definitively tell you what I wanted to be when I grew up. It now makes sense why I would get restless in a job that wasn’t challenging.   

As a Specialist, I am constantly challenging decisions (in my own mind) until Im able to investigate and decipher all information.  Details, details, details. It’s all in the details. And a Specialist processes those details with discipline, so that they can communicate their thoughts clearly and concisely. We’re normally pretty accommodating, however, we may take some warming up to. We can be quite analytical, which for me personally, has been an asset for those difficult HR decisions and conversations. It’s also been extremely helpful when making business decisions.   

On the contrary, though, this, on many of occasions, has been misinterpreted as having a lack of empathy. Us analytics do have a heart; we just tend to rely more heavily on hard data. So, please remember this if you encounter a Specialist; we still care.  

As a Specialist, I also tend to operate quickly. And many times, I expect others to operate the same. Well, not so much. (Hello, not everyone is the same!) I’ve been able to learn and understand the differences in other profiles, especially in respect to how they interact with each another. Understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses has really helped my interrelationship with everyone I work with (and those who I live with).  

A skeptic I was, but only at the beginningI honestly can say that the BA is an extraordinary tool that can be used professionally and personally!   

If you’re curious about learning more about Predictive Index and how Hire for Hope can help you and your company uncover the keys to helping your workforce work at it’s best, visit Hire for Hope’s Talent Optimization page or reach out to speak directly with a Talent Advisor.