An incubator of women leaders

Q3 Update

10/21/2015 6:06 PM | Anonymous

The third quarter was all about building connections for the CLUB. Our strong momentum continued as we :

  • Opened our CLUBhouse – a pop up physical meeting space where we can gather and grow
  • Expanded our influence and impact – through the International Visitor Leadership Program
  • Explored strategies - for “Breaking Through the Silicon Valley Boys’ Club.”

In the fourth quarter, we’ll gather to “Celebrate Success” and set the foundation for another amazing year. Mark your calendars for:

  • November 3rd – Open House at our new CLUBhouse
  • November 17th – The CLUB Anniversary Party
  • November 30th – Applications due for the 2016 Incubator program

Read on to learn more!


The CLUBhouse

The CLUB is thrilled to welcome our members and guests to use our CLUBhouse at 650 Gilman Street in Palo Alto – come see what it is all about at our

November 3rd Open House!

We’ll have several sessions throughout the afternoon / evening to visit the CLUBhouse and network with other members and guests.  Watch our members only site for more details.

As some of you may recall, four years ago, as the CLUB was being created, the co-founders envisioned a CLUBhouse as the key to our vision – a dedicated space where our members could gather to inspire, energize, and help each other accelerate their leadership paths. Our original vision is being realized with a 6-month “pop-up” CLUBhouse in downtown Palo Alto.  This will enable us to test out our vision, see how our members use the space, and decide whether this will be a long-term pursuit of the CLUB. The CLUB also plans a similar venture in San Francisco in 2016.

Members can start using the CLUBhouse right away – just fill out an event form to reserve the space. Thank you and congratulations to the Real Estate Committee for this milestone achievement!


CLUB Incubator

We are officially launching our CLUB Incubator, an advocacy program designed to give experienced leaders a boost to help propel their career growth and personal potential.

If it already sounds familiar to you, you either saw the announcement of our 2015 pilot program, or know Erin Brooks Sawyer (Tesla), Jennifer Adams Draffen (Facebook), Michelle Garrison (Synopsys), Alice Katwan (Genesys), Donna Kolnes (Adobe), Katherine Mendonca (Apple) and Mindy Morton (Procopio) who together formed our first cohort in the soft-launch of the Incubator.

The application period for the 2016 Incubator program is now open - applications are due on November 30, 2015. For more information on the program and eligibility requirements, please see our website, talk to co-Directors Mindy Morton, Kristi Royse or Laraine McKinnon, or one of the 2015 Incubees. If you are an expert in your field, have ambition and drive, and want a little more recognition for it, we encourage you to apply by submitting the 2016 Incubator Application.

The Incubator would like to recognize Joanna Bloor, representatives from Adobe, Glassbreakers, KLR Consulting, Laurie Kretchmar Associates, LinkedIn, and Olive Grove Consulting for their contributions and support, as well as Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP for their generous sponsorship.

The CLUB Hosts an International Delegation of Women Entrepreneurs

Board members Annie Rogaski and Karen Catlin had the honor of presenting the goals and founding story of the CLUB to an International delegation of women entrepreneurs from Latin America who were learning about women's leadership efforts in the U.S., through the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program.

The idea of the CLUB was enthusiastically received by the delegation who expressed similar needs to ours – helping each other on their entrepreneurial paths, building strong women networks, and coming together to inspire and help each other.  They had a laser focus on and asked fantastic questions about how to start a similar organization in their native countries, and how they could work with the CLUB.

We closed the meeting with the promise to keep talking, to figure out how we could make our network and events more accessible globally, to enable women across the globe to take advantage of resources and ideas already developed that could be adapted to different cultures and countries. It was inspiring to see the global interest in the CLUB model!

International Delegation of Women Entrepreneurs


Big ReadThe Big Read

The CLUB’s fledgling book group called The Big Read, is beginning to take flight.  In Q3 we read “Stiletto Network” by Pamela Ryckman – a book that discusses the women’s networks that are bubbling up all over the United States. This was very complementary to the quarter's theme of breaking into the Old Boys’ Club - the book suggests an alternative strategy - of building our own networks. We were excited to be one of the first groups to meet at the CLUB House, and we found it to be an ideal setting for our informal discussion.  At our meeting we rounded off the session with a round–the–room ‘make the ask’ session which provided us with some great new ideas and introductions.

As the evenings draw in, we have named two books for Q4, the first is by the ever ebullient Mindy Kaling “Why Not Me” which chimes well with the theme of Celebrating Our Successes. The second book is “From Surviving to Thriving” by Australian author Sarah Cordner, which is a book with a lot of optional workshop activities, to help you get set up for a flourishing 2016.

Whether or not you have read the books you are always welcome to join the meeting, we have found it to be a lovely forum for more in–depth conversations. To receive Big Read updates please join our group: Big Read. Big Read's next meeting will be in early December at the CLUB House.

Please feel free to email Judith Coley if you would like to learn more about The Big Read or the quarterly books.


We spent the Third Quarter exploring strategies for “Breaking Through The Silicon Valley Boys’ Club.”

In July, communications expert and leadership coach, Felicia Spahr, taught us how to improve our presentation skills and craft a compelling message that inspires action by understanding our audience, communicating our ideas succinctly and persuasively, and presenting our message with confidence through body language and speech.  One tip – record yourself speaking and play it back.  Keep practicing until you can present your message with power and authority!

In August, we partnered with the Mentoring Committee for a micro-mentoring event on strategies for combatting unconscious bias.   We watched a short video presentation from UC Hastings College of the Law professor Joan C. Williams and her daughter Rachel Dempsey, explaining their groundbreaking research on “What Works for Women at Work.” We then broke into small groups for micro-mentoring sessions on each of the four biases to discuss our own struggles with unconscious bias at work, and share strategies for overcoming those biases.

We ended the quarter in September with a networking workshop led by CLUB member Kristy Rogers who gave us techniques for taking the fear out of meeting new people.  We practiced our new skills in small groups of five, answering both personal and business questions to get to know one another better.  One easy ice-breaker question when meeting someone new – “If I knew you, what would I ask you about?”  Find more networking questions.

The Fourth Quarter is about “Celebrating Successes.”  Please save the date to join us as we celebrate another year of inspiring women’s leadership with

The CLUB's Anniversary Party on November 17, 2015 at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

A sit-down dinner will be served and our keynote speaker will be Sally Thorton. Tickets for members will be $50.00 per person and guest tickets will be $80.00 per person.  Each member can bring one guest at the $50.00 member price and significant others and male guests are encouraged to attend!  More details and Eventbrite registration coming soon!

And, watch for announcements on holiday celebrations and get-togethers from the various segment groups.

We are starting to plan for 2016!  If you have any ideas for themes, events, speakers, or venues, or would like to get more involved with Programming as an event chair or quarterly chair, please contact Jennifer Lotz.


The Philanthropy committee is hosting Club members for an event helping community members at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose.  Our event is October 28th from 6-8pm and those Club members who want can join us for drinks and/or food immediately afterwards.  Please rsvp to if you want to join us.  The committee is also looking for new members to join our committee.  Please join our committee on the Club’s group page if you have an interest in helping develop ways in which Club members can meet each other, while giving back to our local communities!


The CLUB has experienced a year-over-year growth in fully enrolled members of 51% and has produced 8member spotlights by Q3 2015, twice as many as Q3 2014.

The membership committee continues to welcome new members to the CLUB. Refer friends and colleagues to the application form to connect them to the CLUB network.

CLUB members featured in the Member Spotlight this quarter:

If you would like to nominate a member (including yourself!) to be featured in an upcoming spotlight, please email


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


There are so many ways to get involved, get connected, and get inspired – if you’re not taking full advantage of your CLUB membership, reach out to any of us to learn how. And to those of you who contribute your talents and energy to lead the CLUB initiatives and programs, THANK YOU. You make an important difference in women’s leadership.


The CLUB Board of Directors

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

Copyright 2012 - 2022   The CLUB - A Women's Leadership Organization Serving Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area
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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