An incubator of women leaders

Q2 Update

07/21/2015 6:14 PM | Anonymous

The CLUB had an exciting second quarter as we realized a 51% year-over-year growth in members, launched our Big Read book review program, continued to see more members organizing informal gatherings, and hosted two all-members events focused on giving/receiving feedback and board readiness.

In this update: 

  • New Programs - learn about our Big Read, Thriving Workplace and Pitch Perfect initiatives
  • Round up - news from across the CLUB community including our pop-up CLUBhouse plan and upcoming programming
  • Member Recognition - key awards received by CLUB members this quarter
  • Get Involved - help further the CLUB's mission and your leadership skills by volunteering for one of our open positions

Read on to learn more!


The Big Read

Are you a book nerd or just looking for some tips on how to navigate the workplace, gain leadership skills or improve your networking? Then the CLUB’s Big Read program is for you.  The Big Read selects a book each quarter and organizes reading groups and other programming events associated with the book selection.

This past quarter we read Patty Azzarello’s Rise: How to be Really Successful at Work AND Like Your Life. In Rise, Azzarello shares her guide to succeeding in the workplace based on three precepts: Do Better, Look Better and Connect Better.

  • The Do Better portion of the book emphasizes the importance of adopting ruthless priorities, i.e., the idea that in order to succeed it is crucial to select one or two priorities with the understanding that many other priorities may need to be shelved until your main goal is achieved.
  • Look Better provides a brief but powerful discussion on developing your personal brand.
  • Connect Better focuses on networking tips including the importance of networking both within your company and outside of your company to the broader community.

A small group of CLUB members gathered to discuss the book on June 17.  The discussion was wide-ranging - beginning with the basics of the book and then moving on to invaluable sharing of career advancement ideas amongst the group. Group participants strongly recommend reading Rise.

In connection with the Q3 theme of “Breaking Through The Silicon Valley Boys’ Club," the next Big Read selection is Pamela Ryckman’s Stiletto Network: Inside the Women's Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business in which the author interviews women who have formed their own power networks to advocate for each other in the workplace.

If you are interested in participating in the next Big Read, join the Big Read group. If you have any questions, please email Judith Coley.

Thriving Workplace Program

Current workplace practices no longer serve the interests of companies or their employees. Despite massive changes in the workforce in recent decades, the continued emphasis on long hours, “face time,” and 24-7 accessibility often leads to employee burnout and dissatisfaction while negatively impacting profits.

We have an opportunity to reinvigorate our outdated workplace structures by transforming them into thriving environments that leverage diversity and maximize each person’s contribution to success. That’s where the CLUB’s Thriving Workplace Program comes in. The CLUB Thriving Workplace Program provides a platform to bring together business leaders, change agents, and thought leaders to pursue realistic solutions to reinvigorate our workplace cultures.

This new CLUB initiative needs your support in the coming months! Please contact Lianne Kennedy-Boudali or Kshama Swamy for more information on how you can get involved, and join our Thriving Workplace group on the members-only website.

The CLUB's Pitch Perfect - Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Do you have a company, product, service or idea you would like to pitch? Or, are you in a business where you need to pitch yourself or your services on a regular basis?  The CLUB has a new initiative to give members the opportunity to perfect their elevator pitches.  Starting at 6:45 p.m. at the monthly all members CLUB events, up to three members will have the opportunity to give a two-minute elevator pitch to the group and then, in the spirit of learning to grow from feedback, answer up to two minutes of questions or comments about their pitch.  If you are interested in pitching at a future CLUB event, please email Jennifer Lotz.  We look forward to hearing your pitches!

New ProgramsROUNDUP


Save-the-Date - Join us on August 25 for a Micro-Mentoring Event on Unconscious Bias.

Real EstateReal Estate

Pop-Up CLUBhouses:The CLUB is excited to announce we are in negotiations to launch a pop-up CLUB house in 2015. Stay tuned for further details to be announced in the coming weeks!


Our community segments have been busy this quarter--if you haven't had a chance to participate in one of these great small-group events, make some time soon!  Our quarter three events will be tied to the theme of Breaking Through the Silicon Valley Boys' Club, which is sure to lead to some interesting and inspiring discussions. Our segments have held over 20 events last quarter, including walk and talks, lunches, big idea brunches, happy hours, and discussions about how perfect your elevator pitch.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity to learn more about yourself and your fellow CLUB members.  Here are some upcoming events (the details and sign ups are on the events page on the CLUB member website):

  • July 30th - Member Wine & Cheese with CLUB President and Vice President in SF
  • August 13th - Tentative Legal Leading Ladies segment lunch in SF and Cupertino
  • August 25th - A Micro Mentoring Event
  • August 28th - SF Group Embarcadero Walk
  • September 25th - SF Group Embarcadero Walk

Keep checking the member web site for new events!


Our Second Quarter was all about “Authentic Leadership” with two events – “Mastering the Art and Science of Effective Feedback” and “Social Impact Through Nonprofit Governance: How to Live Your Passion While Sharing and Building Your Skills as a Nonprofit Board Member.”

In May, CLUB member Kristi Royse led a workshop examining why we avoid giving and receiving feedback (often because we want to be liked and we are our own worst critics), and how to learn to embrace feedback.  In today’s digital age, making the effort to give feedback in person is even more critical. Did you know that only 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc)? Yet, how many of us have important conversations over email, text message or IM?

In June, we learned about the personal and professional benefits of non-profit board service from CLUB member Jean Ries, including how to identify suitable board opportunities and the expectations and commitments that come with being a board member in terms of time, talent, and fundraising. Serving on a non-profit board is a fantastic way to use your skills to help advance the mission of an organization you believe in, and can even help develop new talents that you never even knew you had!  Interested in finding non-profit Board opportunities? Check out these resources.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for our Third Quarter events on “Breaking Through The Silicon Valley Boys’ Club.”  We’ll kick off the quarter in July with events in San Francisco and San Jose on “Advanced Storytelling and Presentation Skills: How to Create a Compelling Message and Persuade Anyone.”

In August, we'll explore how unconscious bias can hold women back in their careers through a series of interactive micro mentoring sessions. Finally, in September, we'll wrap up the quarter with a session on developing effective networking skills. Find out more about the events and RSVP on our members-only site.

If you have any feedback on programming, or have a speaker or event idea, please reach out to Jennifer Lotz or Kate Wilson. We look forward to seeing you at future events!


The membership committee has been hard at work recruiting new members and reviewing applications. The CLUB has experienced a year-over-year growth in fully enrolled members of 51% and the membership committee produced 5 member spotlights in Q2 2015.

CLUB members featured so far this year in the Member Spotlight include:

If you would like to recommend a member to be featured in an upcoming spotlight, please email


Key awards received by CLUB members this quarter

  • Karen Catlin (CLUB Board member) - 2015 Wonder Women Tech Innovator Award
  • Erin Rand (CLUB Advisory Board member) – Silicon Valley Business Journal's 100 Women of Influence 2015
  • Annie Rogaski (CLUB President) – Silicon Valley Business Journal's 100 Women of Influence 2015
  • Alice Katwan (CLUB Member) – Silicon Valley Business Journal's 100 Women of Influence 2015
  • Jen Helms (CLUB member) - 50 Women in Tech Dominating Silicon Valley in 2015
  • Judith Szepesi (CLUB member) – IAM Magazine Top Patent Prosecutor 2015
  • Julie Stephenson (CLUB member) – IAM Magazine Top Patent Prosecutor 2015

If you’ve received an award or know of a CLUB member who has, please email us at for inclusion in our next newsletter.


Get connected; share your time and talent with the CLUB

The member's only website has many informal industry / location / experience level based groups that meet up regularly for networking and to discuss issues of interest. Be sure to join any groups that interest you to receive updates on these events. Click here to browse a list of groups (members only). 

Open Roles at The CLUB: 

The Programming Committee is seeking:

  • Director of Venues: to help find spaces to hold our events.
  • Quarterly Event Chair for the Second Quarter: with its theme of "Authentic Leadership"
  • Quarterly Event Chair for the Third Quarter: with its theme of "Breaking Through The Silicon Valley Boys' Club"
  • Anniversary Party Swag Bag Coordinator:   We need someone to head up an effort to put together Swag Bags for The CLUB's Anniversary Party in early October.  We would love to have women-owned businesses contribute items to the bags.  For example, a coupon for a free exercise class, a coupon for a free bakery item, a discount off a purchase at a boutique, restaurant, or salon, a free or discounted coaching session, a free or discounted resume tune-up, etc.  It would also be great if one or more of the businesses could provide an actual item to include, such as a cupcake, cookie, chocolate, key ring, notebook, etc.  We need someone to lead this effort by coordinating a team to identify the businesses, obtain the items, and put together the Swag Bags for the event.  This will be a great way to promote The CLUB to women-owned businesses and for businesses to promote themselves to CLUB members!
  • Technology Guru: We need a Technology Guru to help us launch some interactive online events.  If you have a passion for technology, and would like to help us explore possible platforms to host online chats or web-based presentations that are interactive and informative for our members, we need your help!

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about any of these important roles for the Club, please contact Jennifer Lotz or Kate Wilson.

The Sponsorship Committee is seeking:

  • Co-chair / Tech Lead: lead our sponsorship efforts for companies in the Tech sector. Please contact Megan Jones if interested.

The Membership Committee is seeking:

  • Welcome Committee Lead: responsible for developing new member onboarding approach and execute on approach. Personally reach out, via email, to new members
  • Head of Data & Analytics: responsible for analyzing membership data and provide analysis on key trends. Goal is to provide insights from our membership data to better serve, retain, and attract members

If you are interested in any of these positions with the membership committee please email


The CLUB Board of Directors

Annie Rogaski | Diana Olin | Karen Catlin | Kristiane Koontz | Laraine McKinnon

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The CLUB is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code.

The Women's CLUB of Silicon Valley   P.O. Box 126  Palo Alto, CA 94302  USA

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