An incubator of women leaders


  • 04/02/2018 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Club Members,

    It has been my distinct pleasure to serve as Managing Director of Membership over the last three years.

    During this time, the Club has grown to 480 current members and alumnae.

    Together we have built a solid pipeline for membership, developed a sustainable and replicable process for membership recruitment, evaluation and onboarding, created a membership Spotlight program; and launched initiatives to continuously enhance membership outreach and experience. Our efforts have resulted in increased visibility in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and greater Bay Area, and continued growth in membership.

    I would like to thank Asta Sendonaris, Heather Fugitt, Holly Hogan, Katie Prescott,  Laura Fechete, Laurie Charrington, Libby Moulton, Lisa Wong, Mary Fuller, Megan Iudice, Megan Olesek, Michelle Garrison, Pam Fulmer, and Shannon Dahl for their contributions and impact.  Their commitment has shaped the Club’s membership and positioned us for growth in the future.

    I am delighted to introduce Lamya Alaoui who will be the new Managing Director of Membership. Lamya is poised to build on our momentum. Lamya is a certified Behavioral Consultant with a 14+ years experience in Talent acquisition and Management. She designs and leads workshops to support individuals and teams achieve their goals through understanding behavioral dimensions and motivational drivers.

    You can learn more about Lamya in her Spotlight.

    To all of your continued success!

    My very best regards,

    Joselle Deocampo-Gautam

  • 12/08/2017 8:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CLUB Community-

    The last 2 years have been an exciting time for women leaders and to be a part of The CLUB! Our 5th Anniversary last month proved there continues to be a vast need for our community.  As we prepare for the road ahead, our leadership team and member volunteer corps continues to grow stronger than ever

    I’m thrilled to announce that the CLUB’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Board Member Laraine McKinnon as the CLUB’s 2018/2019 president, and to welcome three new additions to our Board of Directors: Maya Tussing, Principal and West Co-Head at Alesco Advisors, Sherry Hashimoto Main, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at University of California, Santa Cruz, and Lauren Rothenberg, Litigation Consultant at R&D Strategic Solutions. I’ll continue to serve on our Board of Directors through the transition, eventually moving to our Advisory board, and look forward to contributing to our community in different ways.

    Laraine McKinnon

    2018/2019 CLUB President & Founder of strategic consulting firm LMC17

    A tireless advocate for high potential underrepresented talent, Laraine joined the CLUB just after it was launched and launched the CLUB Incubator, a women's leadership advocacy program, and builds diagnostics and programs to support the onboarding, retention and promotion of diverse talent.  She’s served on the CLUB’s Board of Directors since 2015 and continues to serve as the Incubator program’s co-Director.

    Laraine is the founder of LMC17, a strategic consulting firm that blends behavioral science, big data and practical implementation ideas to address challenges and opportunities in the retirement industry, diversity & inclusion and talent development. As an acknowledged retirement readiness expert, Laraine helped improve retirement outcomes for millions of Americans through key roles at BlackRock, Barclays Global Investors, and Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors. Laraine currently serves on the Advisory Board of Betterment for Business and on the Advisory Board of Emtrain. 

    Maya Tussing

    Principal and West Co-Head at Alesco Advisors

    Maya is a relatively new member of the CLUB but jumped right in, volunteering for the membership committee. Earlier this year she developed and launched the Make The Ask program for the CLUB, a 3-month interactive program to help women craft their “ask” and negotiate for more, for which she received this year’s Groundbreaker CLUBbie award.

    Maya is a wealth advisor and co-leads the San Francisco presence of Alesco Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm servicing the investment needs of foundations, endowments and high net worth individuals. Previously, she led BlackRock’s U.S. Institutional Index Asset Allocation business, responsible for over $200B across all asset classes, investment styles and vehicles. She held senior risk management roles at firms such as BlackRock, Barclays Global Investors, Visa, and GE Capital and has coached hundreds of men and women at all levels of corporate and non-profit organizations to achieve personal and professional success and satisfaction. Maya serves as a board member and Finance Chair for, a nonprofit providing entrepreneurship education to elementary and middle school children.

    Sherry Hashimoto Main

    Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at University of California, Santa Cruz

    Sherry joined the CLUB in 2015 and is a graduate of the 2017 Incubator program.

    At UC Santa Cruz, Sherry works to enhance and protect the university's public face and lead the teams responsible for marketing, news and media relations, and social media. She is a leader in the higher education communications industry with 15 years of experience in creative and digital strategy. More recently, she has become the chief crisis and issues communications advisor to executive leadership at the university. Sherry was recently appointed to serve a two-year term as an advisor to the University of California Board of Regents.

    Lauren Rothenberg

    Litigation Consultant at R&D Strategic Solutions

    Lauren joined The CLUB in 2015 and has served as the Managing Director for the CLUB in San Francisco since early 2017. She has led the efforts to increase the number of programming and networking events in San Francisco and develop our membership there, for which she received this year's Evangelist CLUBbie Award.

    Lauren is an experienced litigation consultant and attorney with expertise developing litigation strategy in a wide variety of matters including intellectual property, contract, product liability, antitrust, securities, insurance, employment, and professional malpractice cases. She routinely consults with clients in the technology, banking, pharmaceutical, medical device, energy, insurance, automotive and consumer product industries.

    Maya, Sherry and Lauren will join existing board members Mindy Morton, Anuradha (Anu) Gali, LouAnn Conner, Laraine McKinnon and me to form the CLUB’s 2018 Board of Directors.

    Please join me in welcoming Laraine, Maya, Sherry and Lauren to their new roles!

    Kristiane Koontz

    CLUB Founding Board Member & 2016/2017 President

  • 11/19/2017 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are delighted to give a gift of a little inspiration: a new eBook from the CLUB. 

    "Lessons from Resilience" is a compilation of seven career stories from CLUBmembers who participated in the CLUB Incubator program in 2016. From personal and professional challenges, to wonderful achievements, these Lessons from Resilience are sure to inspire.

    Download Lessons from Resilience

  • 11/18/2017 10:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you developed your expertise, but find you aren't getting any recognition for it? If you're a woman in the Bay Area, consider the CLUB Incubator, an annual women's leadership program that meets monthly in the heart of Silicon Valley. The Incubator's structured, actionable process has been used by diverse women in a variety of industries to accelerate their careers.

    For more information, go to Applications are due November 30.

  • 11/13/2017 4:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The CLUB celebrated its 5th Anniversary with a banquet, held at the Fremont Hills Country Club on November 9, 2017. At this event, the CLUB recognized four of its members for their outstanding service:

    The Driver Award

    Natalya Thakur, Relationship Manager at FutureAdvisor (a subsidiary of BlackRock)

    Natalya was awarded the Driver award for 2017. Natalya joined the CLUB late 2016 and almost immediately took on a leadership role as the CLUB’s 2017 Operating Committee Chair and Managing Director of Communities. Natalya was instrumental in bringing together the leaders of the CLUB’s various committees to ensure cross-committee communication and coordination, as well as working with our Community (Segments) leads to drive smaller group gatherings.

    The Evangelist Award

    Lauren Rothenberg, Litigation Consultant at R&D Strategic Solutions

    Lauren has been instrumental in leading the growth of our San Francisco-based community, helping us to refine how we target and communicate with our different geographic communities. If you’ve been to a SF-based event, lunch, walk, or drinks, you’ve probably seen Lauren there - she regularly leads events in our San Francisco market.

    The Groundbreaker Award

    Maya Tussing, Alesco West Co-Head and Principal at Alesco Advisors

    Maya is a relatively new member of the CLUB but jumped right in, volunteering for the membership committee. Then she developed and launched the Make The Ask program for the CLUB, a 3-month interactive program to help women craft their “ask” and negotiate for more. The program piloted this year and we are looking forward to a broader rollout in 2018. For this, we award her this year’s Groundbreaker award.

    Special recognition, Evangelist

    We don’t usually award CLUBbies to board members, but we made an exception for Laraine McKinnon, founder of strategic consulting firm LMC17. Laraine joined the CLUB just after it was launched, and in 2014, she asked if we’d let her create a women’s leadership Incubator for the CLUB. You’ve seen some of the results of the program. Laraine also has referred the most new members to the CLUB this year, so we think she is highly deserving of our Evangelist award.

    Please join us in congratulating these phenomenal women on their accomplishment!

    The CLUB Board of Directors

  • 11/10/2017 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CLUB Members & Supporters –

    Many of you joined us last night as we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of the CLUB’s launch and the impact our members have made on one another and the broader community of women leaders in the Bay Area. The change is real and it’s truly inspiring to see such power and passion converge in support of our mission. I left the evening energized for the future and grateful for the support this community brings to one another.

    Five years ago, five women and 150 friends, colleagues and supporters launched The CLUB at an event not unlike last night’s. These women, our founding board including Annie Rogaski and I, were fed up. Through personal experience and published studies, it was clear that women’s advancement in the workplace had stalled and, by some metrics, regressed from the advancements made in the '70s and '80s.

    Marissa Mayer had just taken the CEO role at Yahoo with headlines that focused more on her gender, her pregnancy and her clothing choices than her capabilities and accomplishments. Sheryl Sandberg had yet to publish Lean In. Women comprised just 14% of executive officer positions and 16% of board directors in the Fortune 500. The proportion of females graduating with degrees in computer science had actually decreased over the prior three decades as women were discouraged from pursuing interests in STEM. And yet we found that not enough people were talking about the issue.

    Annie, the other founders and I, spent nights and weekends combing through statistics to evidence the stall in women’s advancement and to help prove that having women in leadership is a good thing for companies--how improved diversity is shown to increase corporate returns and lower risk, and how many traits considered ‘feminine’ were starting to be held up as management best practices.

    I think back to that time and it seems almost comical to me now how much time we spent just framing the issue, before we could even get to work on fixing it. It felt like we were starting at square one.

    While we still have a lot of work to do, I am thrilled at the increase in awareness and dialogue we have today.  I’m not spending my nights and weekends framing what the issue is and why it’s important. Individuals and companies are standing up like never before to say this isn’t OK and pledging to do better.  HeForShe. The Decency Pledge. Mandatory Targets in the EU for Women Leaders. Paradigm for ParityWomen Serve on Boards.  The broader movements to speak out against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. These movements and many others are a testament to the progress we’ve made.

    Collectively, we’ve achieved step 1 – which is broad acceptance that there’s a problem. We are now getting to step 2 where we are seeing companies establish policies and training to improve the situation, combined with the public pressure to actually make it happen.  And through that awareness we are seeing more allies, male and female, stepping in to help pull qualified women up through the ranks.

    The CLUB helps to fill the crucial gap between the problem statement and policy. Our community of talented women leaders and mentors is now more critical than ever to help position women with the skills, confidence and network to actually get there.  

    One way we measure the impact of THE CLUB is through an annual survey called the CLUB Effect. In this year’s survey we found that, because of The CLUB:

    • 73% of members do more networking as a result of their membership, whether that is at a CLUB sponsored event or outside the CLUB. As members, they gain lessons and experience on building their network at CLUB events and then take them beyond into their individual professional spheres.
    • 69% of members are inspired to grow their career.
    • 70% are more likely to make an “ask” of someone to advance their career.

    2017 in particular has been a phenomenal year for CLUB members receiving recognition. Highlights include:

    • Anuradha Gali and Leedjia Svec were recognized in the Silicon Valley Business Journal 2017 Women of Influence Awards
    • Leedjia Svec was also named STEM Influencer of the Year at the 4th Annual Global Women in STEM Conference (WiSTEM)
    • Joselle Deocampo-Gautam was included on the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Class of 2017
    • Olga Mack and Heather Jerrehain were honored with Watermark's “Make Your Mark” Awards
    • Erin Sawyer was featured in Haute Living San Francisco as one of the Top 10 Bay Area Boss Ladies.
    • Megan Jones was featured in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal as a Top Women Lawyer.
    Additionally, we heard from members about dozens of speaking opportunities, appointments to advisory councils and boards, promotions, job placements, raises, business and consulting referrals, press citations and more! The power of this community truly amazes me and it goes to show when we come together, nothing can stop us. It’s only a matter of time!

    Get More Out of the CLUB

    One of the ways our members get the most out of the CLUB is by volunteering in a leadership position with one of our committees or on our Board of Directors. We find that members who volunteer are generally those who form the deepest connections with other members and have the best success stories from their CLUB interactions. We are currently running our 2018 leadership drive for volunteers at all levels through November 15th. Click here to learn more and apply online.

    Our Incubator program is also accepting applications for the 2018 program through November 30th.  The Incubator helps a select group of talented women propel their career growth and personal potential. Our annual program begins in January and brings participants through a structured path of action steps that include: furthering your career development, refining your personal brand, expanding your public profile, building out your network, giving back to the community of professional women, and preparing to sit on boards. Unlike a mentoring or coaching program, the Incubator designs actions on behalf of participants to enable recognition for their expertise and leadership. Click here to learn more and apply.

    Lastly, I’d like to thank our event sponsors PwC and Procopio for their continued support of the CLUB’s mission. Both of these organizations have sponsored our Anniversary party for the last four years in a row!  Another huge thank you goes to Jennifer Dulski, our keynote speaker, for sharing with us a fresh perspective on ‘movement starters’ and how they find success, both in the form of social movements as well as corporate leadership. Jennifer’s book along the same theme will come out in mid 2018.

    Stay Fabulous,

    Kristiane Koontz

    CLUB President & Founding Board Member


  • 11/08/2017 7:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 2018 leadership and committee participation drive to find the next leaders and supporters for the CLUB.

    Our leadership in 2018 will be comprised of the following roles: 

    Participating in The Club in any of these positions offers great opportunities to network and build lasting relationships with dynamic, inspiring women achieving tangible results. Its an opportunity to strengthen your resume and stretch yourself while working towards a united goal of creating power opportunities for women in the Bay Area.

    • Board of Directors – We want strategic thinkers who can further the CLUB’s reach and also roll up their sleeves to provide leadership and oversight for critical CLUB initiatives. Many of our board aspire to positions on public and private companies and see this effort as a stepping stone. Its an opportunity to shine and be recognized for the important work being done
    • Time commitment: 10 to 20 hours per month. 3 year term (minimum).

    • Managing Directors / Operating Committee – A Managing Director provides the leadership for 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, in addition to any committee leadership meetings. A Managing Director is a great way to influence the direction of The Club meet with influential women and be recognized for the work that you do. Many members consider this role a stepping stone to the Board of Directors position.
      Time commitment: 6 to 10 hours per month.

    • Committee Directors – If you are passionate about the work the committees do and want the ability to influence and drive them forward consider becoming a committee director. We’re looking for someone that can take ideas and turn them into action while working with some fellow all star influencers.  Committee Directors will lead key initiatives and programs within each Committee and will report into the committee’s Managing Director. 
      Time commitment: 4 to 8 hours per month.

    • Event Chair - Manage the planning and execution of one of our larger in-person events in San Francisco or the Peninsula. Are you looking for ways to engage with local influencers and connect with dynamic leaders in the Bay Area, then working on Events is the perfect opportunity for you. 
    • Time commitment: 10 to 15 hour one time commitment 
    • Community Leaders – help organize quarterly informal events for a subset of the CLUB community (e.g. industry, geography, and experience level groups). If you are new to The Club and want an easy way to connect with other members, these positions are for you.
      Time commitment: 2 to 3 hours per month.
    We are 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. We’ve found that the most satisfied members are those who actively participate in these roles because they are able to connect with other leaders and strengthen critical leadership skills. More than a few of them have also found new jobs or contracts by volunteering, so what are you waiting for?
    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and all applications are due by end of day November 16, 2017.

    To apply to leadership positions or to choose a committee to join in 2018, please fill out this brief survey by Thursday, November 16th.

    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 2018!

  • 06/29/2017 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Please complete the two minute survey and let us know what effect the CLUB has on your professional development. On completion your name will be added to a prize draw for the chance to win a $100 gift voucher.

  • 05/19/2017 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Two members of The CLUB were honored last night at the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence Awards 2017. Anuradha Gali is Director of Engineering at Groupon Inc. in Palo Alto; and Leedjia Svec is a US Navy Lieutenant based at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.  Both women are advocates for bringing women and girls into STEM. These Women of Influence awards are given to women who are making a positive impact in their profession and community. 

    Leedjia Svec (left) and Anuradha Gali celebrating their Women of Influence awards.

    Anuradha Gali is a Director of Engineering and lives in Palo Alto. Gali has an MS in Computer science and has built engineering teams and steered large-scale projects in Web, e-commerce and mobile technologies for companies such as Groupon, Shutterfly and Adobe. She also joined the CLUB’s Board of Directors in January 2017.

    Leedjia Svec is a Director of Military Programs and lives in Mountain View. Svec holds an MA and PhD in Experimental Psychology from University of Nevada Reno, an MA in International Relations from St Mary’s University and a BA in Psychology/Technology Engineering from University of the Pacific. She is responsible for collaborations between NASA, the US Navy, US Department of Defense and other institutions centered around NASA Ames Research Center.

    CLUB President Kristiane Koontz commented: “We are thrilled that Anu and Leedjia join the growing ranks of Women of Influence honorees who are also CLUB members. At the CLUB our goal is to build the pipeline of women leaders by creating a community of women helping women, just as Anu and Leedjia are.”

    Both women participated in the CLUB Incubator, a women’s leadership and advocacy program. “It’s wonderful to see these very talented women receive recognition for their expertise and leadership in Silicon Valley,” noted Laraine McKinnon, founder of the CLUB Incubator.

    Gali and Svec join the list of eminent CLUB members who have been recognized by their peers at the SVBJ Awards, since The CLUB’s inception in 2012, past and present CLUB Honorees include:


    Anuradha Gali - Groupon
    Leedjia Svec – NASA Ames


    Mindy Morton – Procopio LLP


    Alice Katwan – Genesys Inc
    Annie Rogaski – Avegant Inc

    Erin Rand – Service Rocket

    Jacqueline Lee –Jones Day


    Mona Sabet – Tribal Ventures

    About The CLUB

    The CLUB is a leadership incubator for San Francisco Bay Area women who want to accelerate their careers. We are a tight knit community. We know, and help each other in our individual leadership development. Collectively we grow talent through high-impact programs, networking and support. For membership inquiries please go to

    Media Contact for The CLUB:
    Judith Coley


  • 05/19/2017 10:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May is here and that means longer days, increased energy and more time for networking! Here are six ways to get more out of your CLUB membership (and help other women) above and beyond our many programming events.

    1. Invite a friend or colleague to join the CLUB. The more women we have in our community, the more power and connections we have to tap into.  Our goal this year is to grow to 500 full members, and we need your help to do so! Many CLUB members are able to get their employers to cover the cost of their membership.

    2. Join a CLUB Committee. Build deeper connections with other members while giving back to the CLUB by serving on one of our committees. Our programming and outreach is 100% member driven on a volunteer basis!  Committees include:
    a. Marketing – even if you only have a couple of hours to spare, we need help marketing our awesome CLUB to potential members and to drive our leadership for women agenda. Please drop a line to
    b. Membership – Looking to grow your network? Help to drive our membership including recruiting new members, welcoming & onboarding new members, and finding opportunities to increase membership. Please contact
    c. Partnerships - Help us build and maintain relationships with other Bay Area non-profits and organizations whose vision of empowering women aligns with our own. Email
    d. Programming – Got a great idea for a program, or a knack for organizing events? Lead or support organizing  one of our programming events! Email
    e. Technology – Help to improve the CLUB’s use of technology including digital events, please contact
    1. Join a CLUB interest group. Did you know the CLUB has dozens of smaller groups around industry focus, interests and geographic locations?  These groups meet from time to time and also discuss topics of interest and also share asks for each other through our online forums.
      To join a group, log into the secure members-only area of our website at, edit your profile and under Group participation, check the box of the group you’d like to join. Each group has its own discussion board. You can post new topics, reply to existing discussions as well as subscribe to receive updates when new discussions are posted. 
      To participate in group discussions, login to the secure member site, then navigate to Members – Groups for the group you have joined. To receive updates click the “Subscribe to forum” link on the Group Forum page. (Note: members who received notifications prior to the migration to the new members site will need to re-subscribe to notifications on the new site). Here’s a short video tutorial on how to manage group settings:

    2. Participate on our online discussions or job referrals board on the CLUB’s members only website. There are a number of online discussions including member Good News, and a Job Referral Board. You can post new topics, reply to existing discussions as well as subscribe to receive updates when new discussions are posted by clicking the “Subscribe to forum” link.

    3. Have Event Planning Experience? Help us plan our anniversary party which happens every fall. We are looking for 1 to 2 individuals to work with our special events lead to plan and coordinate the event. Please email Kristiane at if interested.

    4. Become our Volunteer Coordinator. If you love to connect people, this is the job for you.  We are looking for a volunteer 5 to 8 hours per month to help connect our volunteers with open needs.  Please email Kristiane at if interested.

    Kristiane Koontz
    President & Co-Founder, The CLUB

Copyright 2012 - 2019   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  +1-877-539-3336

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