Career ladder: A degree in sociology and a master's in social work from Western Michigan University, combined with a passion for social justice, led to leadership posts at the American Red Cross, the state of Michigan and the United Way of Kent County. Sieger, 64, has been president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation for 29 years.
Power metrics: Under her leadership, the foundation's assets have grown from $35 million to $330 million. By end of this fiscal year in June, the foundation, which employs nearly 30 people, will have distributed about $12 million in current year grants and scholarships.
Super power: "Being able to articulate a vision and not give up."
Big win: Helping start Challenge Scholars in 2011, which provides intensive academic and support services to children in an economically-deprived section of Grand Rapids. The foundation has raised more than $33 million for the program. The first class of Challenge Scholars graduates from high school in 2020.
Board/community connections: Former board executive committee member, Council on Foundations; past board chairman and board member, community foundations committee for Council of Michigan Foundations; executive committee member, Kent County Family & Children's Coordinating Council; board member, Office of Foundation Liaison for the Governor's Office; board of directors, KConnect; board of directors, Kent School Services Network; Downtown Development Authority for the City of Grand Rapids.
Power lesson: Develop great relationships with people, even those who disagree with you.
Surprising fact: "The influence of growing up in Detroit, I was not the kid listening to the Beach Boys; I was listening to the Four Tops. I'm like the teenager at the traffic light who pulls up and and you hear the car, that would be this woman. But that's how I decompress at the end of the day."
Best mentor: Sue Blanchard, who was a strong civic leader and a very good role model in not giving up and having her voice heard.
How you assist other women in your company and in your community: She works with a group of younger women at the foundation on properly conducting themselves at business meetings and career planning, and meets one-on-one with women seeking guidance and with a high school group of both boys and girls.
Changes you have seen in how women wield power in Michigan or in your industry over the last 10 years: "I'm seeing a lot of young women who are coming up who are very talented and really somewhat fearless. So I have great hope that we'll continue to be key leaders in business, industry, public bodies and around a lot of community tables."
Advice she'd give to her younger self: "Don't be so afraid. Just keep moving forward. I was very shy as a kid."
Next goal: "I want to transform this organization into being even greater than it is today."
Jennette SmithHere's how we produced this special section.
Jennette SmithWe view all of our honorees over the years as part of a "legacy list," some of whom should be considered as prospects for corporate and nonprofit board service.
Vickie ElmerNot that they have a lot of free time, but when they do, here's how the 100 Most Influential Women fill it.
Sherri WelchThe new study by Grand Valley State University of Fortune 500 boards shows a correlation between board diversity and healthier profits, and Michigan companies have ample opportunity to improve board diversity, the study's co-author says.
Staff Blog | Jennette SmithI've been living and breathing this project for months and got by with a little help from my friends in the newsroom and at companies across the state.
Staff Blog | Mary KramerThat's why Crain's Detroit Business has joined with the Michigan Women's Commission and Deloitte, among others, to create a path to help more companies find talent for their boards.
Crain's Detroit BusinessIn an effort to boost women's representation on for-profit corporate boards, Crain's Detroit Business on Tuesday night launched the Michigan Women's Directory. The launch coincided with the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan recognition event that was attended by about 700 people.