An incubator of women leaders


  • 03/06/2017 4:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    International Women’s Day (IWD) has been going for nearly 100 years.  Although we may feel that awareness for women’s issues is growing, there’s also strong evidence of just how far we still have to go to achieve gender parity.  If you were wondering whether it mattered whether to participate or not, then data from a study by McKinsey “Promoting Gender Equality in the Workplace” may well inspire you. Bottom line -  women lag behind men by 15% to 25% in most gender-equal societies yet account for half of the global labor supply and 70% of the global consumption demand.

    This year on Wednesday 8th March, there are several ways to get involved with International Women’s Day; locally, globally or personally and anywhere you choose along the political spectrum.  We’ve put together some resources to help you create your own formula for the day:

    1. Learn - at the International Women’s Day official website: Their hashtag is #BeBoldForChange, in support of creating a better, more inclusive, gender equal world.
    2. Strike – The ‘Day Without Women’ general strike is set for March 8th. This is a political event where the call out is for women across the United States to take the day off from their work, avoid shopping for one day (excepting women owned businesses), and to wear red as a sign of solidarity.
    3. Gather – the Women’s March of San Jose is holding a lunchtime rally at City Call. More event details:
    4. Donate – make a donation to your favorite non-profit that benefits women – perhaps your local shelter, or to an organization that benefits girls and women.
    5. Meditate – there’s a call for 15 minutes of silence at 12.00 noon. This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the women who have made your life better, and to think about your own experiences.

    We’d love to hear how you observed International Women’s Day, drop us a line at

  • 01/03/2017 6:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The CLUB is thrilled to announce Anuradha Gali, Director of Engineering at Groupon and LouAnn Conner, Founder & CEO of SagaciousThink, will join the CLUB’s Board of Directors in 2017.

    Anuradha (Anu) Gali

    Director of Engineering, Groupon

    Energetic and engaged in her work and her community, Anu is a creative, award-winning and accomplished leader, an entrepreneur, a tireless mentor, coach and volunteer, and a loving wife and mother of two.

    A tech leader, Anu has built great engineering teams from the ground up and steered large-scale projects in web, e-commerce and mobile technologies for companies such as Groupon, Shutterfly and Adobe. In her spare time she founded and ran her own company, 32Skills, and continues to volunteer as a computer science instructor for GirlsWhoCode, a mentor for multiple Technovation Challenge teams, and as a mentor for First Lego League.

    Anu believes that the best leaders help others to reach their potential.

    She received her Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Illinois. When she isn't teaching her own kids to code she enjoys cooking and sharing good movies with her husband.

    LouAnn Conner

    Founder and CEO, SagaciousThink, LLC

    LouAnn helps companies address their business operations challenges whether its small, medium companies seeking to expand internationally, or larger Fortune 100 companies requiring M&A assistance, business process reengineering, or strategy. When she is not consulting, LouAnn is also an adjunct at local universities where she teaching intentional business and strategy, contextual environment of business, managerial analysis and team dynamics, and entrepreneurship. LouAnn has lectured globally on entrepreneurship and innovation. She serves as Golden Gate University's Small Business Program Director, where she develops programs and mentors alumni seeking to start their own businesses. She sits on the Board of Advisors for PulpWorks, a clean tech startup with a mission or reducing packaging related waste. She mentors and angel invests in startups and serves on ASTIA's C-Suite Board reviewing companies on their viability. 

    LouAnn has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Iowa State University and a MBA from The Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.

    Anuradha and LouAnn will join existing board members Kristiane Koontz, Mindy Morton, Alice Katwan, Judith Coley and Laraine McKinnon to form the CLUB’s 2017 Board of Directors.

  • 12/23/2016 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the year comes to a close, I want to extend a hearty ‘Thank You’ to board member Karen Catlin for her numerous contributions to the CLUB and our community over the past few years. Karen's impact on the CLUB during her three year term on the Board, including this past year as our Vice President, is significant and she's helped to shape the careers of countless CLUB members through her leadership.  During her time on the board Karen presented at multiple CLUB events, oversaw initiatives around mentoring, programming and affiliate relationships and helped us to quantify our impact as an organization.  This is going to be Karen’s last year on the Board, and while she’ll still continue to be very involved in this community I want to thank her, on behalf of the whole CLUB, for all of her contributions over the years. 

    I sat down with Karen recently to talk about her time on the board and her insights for CLUB Members: 

    What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time on the board?

    I had a blast serving a 3-year term on the CLUB’s Board of Directors. As I look back, I’m proud of so many things that we accomplished as an organization. Some of my personal accomplishments include identifying how to measure the impact of The CLUB and coining the phrase “The CLUB Effect.” I also came up with the #womenhelpingwomen hashtag, which I use in tweets from @TheCLUBSV whenever I have spare room in the 140 character limit.

    I also want to mention The Big Read. Almost two years ago, CLUB member Judith Coley (who is now a member of our board) approached me about starting a book group. She proposed not only discussing books, but also publishing reviews of books by female authors under The CLUB’s moniker to both help the authors and build our brand awareness. And she had an awesome name for it: The Big Read. I loved Judith's idea and sponsored its launch. Little did I know that, about a year later, I would co-author "Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking” and The Big Read would write a review for its back cover.  #womenhelpingwomen in action!

    What is your best advice for new CLUB members?

    We’re all about women helping women on their leadership journey. CLUB members want to help you, and we want you to help other CLUB members. So get involved! Here are some ideas:

    ·  Search the CLUB membership directory to find people you can tap for advice or who can make introductions to people in their network. I recently heard from a CLUB member who did just this. She felt stuck in her current tech job and didn’t see much growth, and wanted an external perspective on her career to date and potential directions she could pursue. She found just the right person to talk to, a former head of HR at a large company, reached out, and had an inspiring phone call later that week. 

    ·  Fill out your CLUB membership bio so that other members can find you when they need help with their career.

    ·  Come to each CLUB event with an “ask” - one thing that you need some help on. As you meet people, introduce yourself and make your ask. I’ve done exactly this many times. A few years ago, I had a goal to do more public speaking, and my ask was, “Please let me know if you hear of any opportunities to speak on a panel on women’s leadership or to give a lightning talk.” CLUB members started making introductions, and I received many invitations to speak as a result.

    What are you planning to focus on in your newly available time?

    On our vacation this past summer, my son and I went for a walk along a beach. It was a beautiful day, and we started off talking about how excited he was for his upcoming freshman year of college and some goals he had for his studies. He then asked me about my goals for the rest of the year. I mentioned that I would be wrapping up my term on the CLUB’s board, and he asked me the same question, “What will you do with the extra time?”

    I believe that when you make room in your life for new opportunities, they will come your way. And that’s definitely been happening for me.

    On that walk, I told my son that I wanted to serve on more advisory boards, to “pay it forward” and share my expertise, especially with organizations that are focused on women in tech and women in leadership. Literally the next day I got an email from a former colleague asking if I would serve on the advisory board for WEST (Women Entering & Staying in Technology). I’ll also be joining the advisory board for The CLUB, and continuing with my work as an advisory to Brown University’s Computer Science Diversity Initiative.

    I should emphasize that I’m not going very far as I leave the board. I’m still going to be an active member of The CLUB, and I look forward to attending events and making connections with other members. In the meantime, you can find me online at

    Thank you Karen for your contributions to the CLUB! 

    Kristiane Koontz
    President & Co-Founder, The CLUB

  • 11/17/2016 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The CLUB celebrated its 4th Anniversary with a banquet, held at the Fremont Hills Country Club on November 15, 2016. At this event, the CLUB recognized three of its members for their outstanding service:

    The Driver Award

    Angelika RyanAngelika Ryan, Consultant at PwC, was awarded the Driver award for 2016. Angelika joined the CLUB late 2015 and immediately took on a leadership role as the CLUB’s 2016 Treasurer and Financial committee lead. Angelika is not only creative and detail oriented but also strategic in her approach. In addition to her significant ongoing Treasury duties, she undertook a complete revamp the CLUB's financial management practices to better position us for the next phase in our growth.


    The Evangelist Award

    Olga V. MackThe CLUB recognizes Olga V. Mack, General Counsel at ClearSide, with the Evangelist award. Olga is passionate about driving the success of women. Olga publishes spotlight articles on women leaders, and has founded and leads a national movement to increase female representation on corporate boards. This year Olga represented Silicon Valley women at The White House's "United State of Women." Olga also evangelizes for the CLUB throughout her public presence.

    The Groundbreaker Award

    Katherine MendoncaKatherine Mendonca, an Enterprise Mobile Computing Solutions Strategist at Apple, was awarded this year’s Groundbreaker award. Using the Design Thinking methodology from Stanford, Katherine led an initiative to revamp our Mentoring program to better meet our members’ needs. Because of Katherine, we now have CLUBconnect, a program focused on making connections happen between members to facilitate tapping into our wide-ranging professional expertise.


  • 11/16/2016 5:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kristiane KoontzLast night nearly 100 CLUB members and supporters gathered to celebrate the CLUB’s 4th Anniversary at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos.

    It was a wonderful evening filled with laughter, networking, great food and wine, and an inspiring keynote speech by CEO and Author Lee Caraher.

    At the event I also shared my reflections on the CLUB’s progress, the environment around us, and what that means for the coming years, and I’d like to share these thoughts with those of you who weren’t able to attend our celebration last night as well.

    I also want to echo again a giant thank you to our sponsors for the event, PwC, Procopio and Hausfeld, three wonderful organizations that really care about diversity and have sponsored multiple events for The CLUB in the past.

    Thank you also to all who brought donations of toiletries to the event, these will benefit the Women's Gathering Place in San Jose, a non- profit that assists homeless women.

    4th Anniversary Party
    As the CLUB concludes its fourth year of existence and looks ahead to what is next, we’ve continued to grow and broaden our impact in ways that amaze and inspire me. Just a few of these accomplishments from across the CLUB community over the past year:

    • We’ve accepted over 170 new members into the CLUB year-to-date .

    • Our community engagement has increased across the board, with over 87 events and small group gatherings held, including regular meetings at our CLUBhouse in Palo Alto, and regular walk and talks in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and the East Bay in addition to our regular quarterly programming.

    • Our Incubator program, designed to help mid-career executives reach the next level, is going strong in its 2nd year with 10 phenomenal women. Incubator Alumni from 2015 have moved into leadership positions including with the CLUB and onto our board of directors.

    • Our Big Read group which reads and reviews women’s leadership books, has launched a San Francisco chapter, reviewed and discussed eight books so far this year and is now publishing reviews of women's leadership books.

    • Our mentoring program, now called CLUBconnect was redesigned to make it easier for CLUB members to tap into the collective expertise and wisdom of The CLUB.

    • We launched our Thriving Workplaces initiative designed to identify and promote workplace cultures that foster inclusive environments and increased levels of women in leadership positions. 

    • We extended our lease on our CLUBhouse in Palo Alto through March of next year while also expanding the number of events held in San Francisco.

    4th Anniversary Party

    All of this work translates into impact against our ultimate goal of growing the pipeline and ranks of women leaders across the Bay Area. One way we measure this impact is through an annual survey we do called the CLUB Effect. In this year’s survey we found that, because of The CLUB, 

    • 82% of our members do more networking,
    • 82% are more likely to make an ask of someone who can help advance their career,
    • 86% are inspired to grow their career.

    And the word about this is getting out – I’ve had many encounters this year where people have already heard about us and the work we are doing before I can even give them my pitch!

    In addition, I continue to hear other stories from our members of the ways they leveraged the CLUB to grow their careers and those of other women, including speaking opportunities, leadership roles, mentoring relationships and job placements.

    new club websiteAt the event we also unveiled the CLUB’s new branding and member portal. One of our goals this year was to update our visual identity to represent the CLUB in its growth over the coming years as well as to make it as frictionless as possible for our members to leverage The CLUB. Check out our revamped website at

    In parallel, we are launching our new member portal which will make it much easier for members to manage their membership, participate in virtual discussions and learn about CLUB events, all integrated with our main CLUB website. This new member portal officially launches TODAY, so for all of you CLUB members please be on the lookout for an email invitation to the new portal. I think you are a really going to love it.

    Another important ‘Thank You’ goes to Karen Catlin, who has been a longtime member and huge supporter of The CLUB, including serving on our board for the past three years. Karan has spoken on numerous panel discussions and events and served as our Vice President this past year.  This is going to be Karen’s last year on the Board, and while she’ll still continue to be very involved in this community I want to thank her, on behalf of the whole CLUB, for all of her contributions over the years. 

    And now I’d like to look at the year (and years) ahead. In the coming year, we have a lot to do. I’m elated to see, across all levels of dialog in our media, the business community and social networks that there’s been a great improvement in awareness and sensitivity about the challenges women face with advancement in the workplace - even just in the past year.

    And yet, there are pervasive, systemic and sometimes unconscious biases against women’s advancement that still exist, across the country and right here in the Bay Area. I was hoping that today we’d be here celebrating that a woman broke the ultimate glass ceiling in the US, to become our president.  But that didn’t happen, and we’ll have to wait a little longer for that moment.

    Despite that, and despite these challenges, I feel really strongly that the awareness and the momentum is here, and that we are at a tipping point. Our time is now.  We need to continue to look for, and to help each other, find ways to translate this awareness and the zeitgeist around recent events into actionable gains for women.

    There are three things I’m asking each of you to do in the coming year to help grow the CLUB and our impact:

    1. Help us grow our membership – reach out to and invite women who are ready to go places in their career to join this community of women helping women. If you have a budget for your team, consider sponsoring a package of membership in The CLUB for promising women.

    2. Take on a leadership position within the CLUB – these come in many shapes and sizes, from organizing an event to spearheading our fundraising efforts – and it’s a great way to give back to the CLUB community while making valuable connections and gaining additional leadership expertise for yourself. Our 2017 leadership drive is currently in progress, with applications due by the end of the month.

    3. For the women – Do at least one more thing to make yourself visible outside the CLUB community this coming year – let’s demonstrate how undeniably capable women leaders are, in mass, all of us.  Whether this means speaking on a panel, publishing an article, or a stretch assignment at work. For those of you 12 or more years into your career, consider the Incubator program as a way to do this.  We are part of a movement and our time is now.

    Lastly – for the men in the room - we need your help too.

    1. Spread the word about the CLUB to grow our membership and funding.

    2. Ask yourself what more you can be doing to help a woman in her career, whether it be stepping in and speaking up when you see unconscious bias at play, providing career mentoring or sponsorship, or giving that next stretch assignment to the woman on your team.

    Together, let’s make the next year and The CLUB’s 5th anniversary a year where women’s advancement is an undeniable fact.  Our time is now.

    Thank You,
    Kristiane Koontz
    CLUB President and Founding Board Member

  • 10/26/2016 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    You joined us to accelerate your leadership journey and help other women on their paths.  Now you have the opportunity to join the ranks of The CLUB's leadership team and/or committees and further your development and the CLUB's mission!  We are launching our 2017 leadership and committee participation drive to find the next leaders and supporters for the CLUB.

    For 2017 we will continue to leverage the new leadership structure we implemented in 2016 with a few additions.  Our leadership in 2017 will be comprised of the following roles:

    • Board of Directors – We are seeking a few strategic thinkers who can further the CLUB's reach and also roll up their sleeves to provide leadership and oversight for critical CLUB initiatives.
      Time commitment: 10 to 20 hours per month. 3 year term (minimum).
    • Managing Directors / Operating Committee – A Managing Director will be responsible for the leadership and performance of each CLUB committee, and collectively they comprise our Operating Committee. This leadership body meets once per quarter as a committee to facilitate coordination and synergies between each area, and once per quarter with the Board of Directors, in addition to any committee leadership meetings.
      Time commitment: 6 to 10 hours per month.
    • Committee Directors – Committee Directors will lead key initiatives and programs within each Committee and will report into the committee's Managing Director.  New this year we are looking for a San Francisco Events Director and a Palo Alto CLUBhouse Director.
      Time commitment: 4 to 8 hours per month.
    • Community Leaders – help organize quarterly informal events for a subset of the CLUB community (e.g. industry, geography, and experience level groups).
      Time commitment: 2 to 3 hours per month.

    We are currently seeking applicants at each of these leadership levels. If a leadership position within the CLUB is not right for you at this time, we strongly encourage you to join one of our committees.

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and all applications are due by end of day November 28, 2016. 

    To apply to leadership positions or to choose a committee to join in 2017, please fill out this brief survey by Monday, November 28th.

    As a CLUB leader, you will be given the opportunity to lead or co-lead teams, with guidance and feedback from other CLUB leaders and/or the Board. You'll also get to know more CLUB members and deepen the connections you have already made. Please note that some committee leadership positions have already been filled based on last year's leadership. We will contact applicants for leadership positions to set up interviews later this year.

    We look forward to an exciting and inspiring 2017!

  • 10/10/2016 5:00 PM | Anonymous member

    Do you love your company? Tell us why or why not.

    Your input might just turn your company into one you can love.

    This 2 to 3 minute survey is the first step in the CLUB's launch of its Thriving Workplaces Initiative. Note, your input will be anonymous.

    Thriving Workplaces are those that provide more than just interesting work and competitive pay, they appeal to the whole employee by providing inclusive company policies, state-of-the-art benefits, flexible work options, wellness programs, community volunteerism programs, unconscious bias training and more.

    Thriving Workplaces are workplace cultures that are more inclusive environments which naturally result in increased women's leadership. 

    Your input will help the CLUB establish a website that you, your colleagues, and Silicon Valley companies can refer to for benchmarking and best practices in establishing and maintaining a Thriving Workplace. 

    Take The Survey Now

  • 09/03/2016 5:43 PM | Anonymous

    Take the CLUBconnect Challenge

    Are you ready to share your expertise and wisdom with other CLUB members?
    Want to learn from other CLUB members?

    Reach out to CLUB Members today, make connections, and log your connections! You are now in the CLUBconnect Challenge. It’s that easy.
    The more connections you log the better your chance to win!

    We are looking for our CLUB super connectors


    The CLUB member who has entered the most connections with other CLUB members will be recognized at our Anniversary Event, November 15, 2016.

    Need some connection ideas? You may be thinking about ….

    • Identifying sponsors
    • Negotiating career strategies
    • Pitching to a VC
    • Pursuing your next promotion
    • Making partner at a law firm
    • Work - life balance
    • Developing client relationships
    • Moving into leadership positions
    • Working successfully with all generations
    • Becoming savvy with social media
    • Promoting diversity
    • And many other topics …..

    Start NOW:
    Log into the Members Only site to find out how to log your connections. Log all of your connections between now and November 13, 2016.
    (each connection is logged separately. Log in as many times as you like to submit entries)
    The CLUB is a tight-knit community of women helping women, and everyone will do their best to help you.

    More information about CLUBConnect and how to reach out to CLUB members is available at CLUBconnect.

    We are looking forwarding to creating more connections among CLUB members through CLUBconnect!

    CLUBconnect is the new iteration of our mentoring program. The mentoring program webpage has transitioned to CLUBconnect.  

    All CLUB members are eligible to participate.

  • 07/14/2016 5:44 PM | Anonymous

    Do you love your company? Tell us why or why not.

    Your input might just turn your company into one you can love.

    This 2 to 3 minute survey is the first step in the CLUB's launch of its Thriving Workplaces Initiative. Note, your input will be anonymous.

    Thriving Workplaces are those that provide more than just interesting work and competitive pay, they appeal to the whole employee by providing inclusive company policies, state-of-the-art benefits, flexible work options, wellness programs, community volunteerism programs, unconscious bias training and more.

    Thriving Workplaces are workplace cultures that are more inclusive environments which naturally result in increased women's leadership.

    Your input will help the CLUB establish a website that you, your colleagues, and Silicon Valley companies can refer to for benchmarking and best practices in establishing and maintaining a Thriving Workplace.
    Take The Survey Now
  • 07/05/2016 5:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Club mentoring committee would like to welcome Heather Jerrehian as the newest member of the mentoring committee. Heather brings a wealth of experience to the committee and we look forward to leveraging her talent.

    Heather will join the following Club members on the mentoring committee:

    The mentoring program draws on the wealth of wisdom and experience of Club members to inspire and promote the advancement of Club members.  

    The CLUB provides various engagement opportunities for mentoring.
    The most popular are:

    Mentors provide short-term coaching on a targeted topic.

    Mentoring Circles:  

    A formal group of mid to senior level members meet monthly to identify, develop, and integrate personal brands and achieve professional and personal goals. (The Circle requires a formal submission and participants are chosen annually).

    Let Everyone Know You Are Ready to Participate!
    What to be a Mentor?   Looking for  Mentor?

    We are glad to have you on board!  Visit the Club Profile page and make your mentor category selections.

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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  +1-877-539-3336

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