SPRING LAKE TWP. — A Muskegon attorney and a Grand Haven accountant were honored by their peers at the Athena on the Lakeshore award luncheon, held Tuesday at the Spring Lake Country Club.
Brianna Scott of Norton Shores, owner of Brianna T. Scott & Associates PLLC, won this year’s Athena Award.
Abby Selby, the owner of Selby Tax and Accounting in Grand Haven, received the Young Professional award. She also lives in Norton Shores.
The event, put on by the Muskegon and Grand Haven area chambers of commerce, recognizes individuals who empower and mentor women, said Kristin Knop, events director for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The Athena awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding lakeshore women who have demonstrated excellence in their business or profession, have provided valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in their community, assist women in reaching their full potential, and exhibit the spirit of regional collaboration.
Nominations were taken in May and a selection committee narrowed down the finalists to nine women in the Athena category and 10 in the Young Professional category. The winners were announced at the luncheon attended by more than 300 people.
Scott hugged award presenter Nancy Crandall and thanked her mentor. She also thanked her mother, noting that Asaline Scott was her “biggest cheerleader.”
A Michigan State University graduate and a member of the MSU Board of Trustees, Scott said she wants to encourage all girls and women that they shouldn’t be afraid to believe in themselves.
“With perseverance, all things are possible,” she said.
The former Muskegon County prosecuting attorney said people stepped in to help her when she was the only black girl in an all-white high school. When she became pregnant at age 20, she didn’t drop out of college because others stepped in to help.
Scott currently serves on the board for Access Health, the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore, and the Muskegon Heights Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She is past president of the Muskegon Rotary Club and currently serves as the co-chairperson of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee on the United Way’s Community Impact Committee.
Jocelyn Hines nominated Scott for the award.
Other Athena finalists were Michelle Anthes, Dr. Tabatha Barber-Duell, Kathryn Drake, Karen Fredricks, Cara Galbavi, Poppy Sias Hernandez, Judith Kell and Barbara Lee VanHorssen.
Selby, a former Grand Haven resident, helped raise $20,000 to the Save the Catwalk effort as part of her work with the Grand Haven Rotary. She is a Total Trek Quest coach and participates in family volunteer work with her husband, Nathan, and their three sons.
“This was completely unexpected,” Selby said. “It’s quite the honor.”
Her business was awarded the Grand Haven Tribune People’s Choice for best tax preparer in 2018 and 2019. She is also involved in the Tri-Cities Women Who Care.
Selby was nominated by last year’s Young Professional winner, Meghan Heritage.
Other Young Professional finalists were Sara Barco, Samantha M. Ferguson, Lauren Grevel, Courtney Jackson, Catherine Mott, Tina Orchard, Morgan Rescorla, Holly Schroeder and Kara Zielinski.