An incubator of women leaders


  • 01/06/2016 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    The CLUB is thrilled to announce Judith Coley, Chief Marketing Officer at Ushur, Alice Katwan, Vice President of Sales, West Region at Genesys and Mindy Morton, Senior Counsel at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, will join the CLUB's Board of Directors in 2016.

    Judith-ColeysmJudith Coley
    Chief Marketing Officer, Ushur

    A US citizen by choice, and a British citizen by birth, Judith has enjoyed a career that has spanned the globe. Her various roles have seen her crafting and then delivering complex marketing strategies, as well as building awareness and respect for newcomer brands. Prior to joining Ushur where she currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer, Judith led global marketing at mobile video leader Vuclip (acquired by Hong Kong media company PCCW in 2015), and before that created the marketing strategy for PayPal’s Canada operation. Earlier in her career Judith held senior positions at the UK divisions of Apple, AOL, and Adobe, in each case leading marketing or PR and communications at a time when these brands were emergent. In 2015 Judith founded and ran the CLUB's Big Read initiative

    Alice-KatwanAlice Katwan
    Vice President of Sales - West Region, Genesys

    Working in sales at enterprise software companies for nearly 20 years, Alice Katwan leads the Genesys North American West Commercial and Operational activities, which accounts for half of the company’s North American revenue. In 2015, Alice was honored with the Silicon Valley Woman of Influence award and was appointed as an advisor at the venture-funded startup Mesosphere Inc. Alice is passionate about promoting women’s leadership and regularly speaks about how women can succeed in traditionally male-dominated areas, specifically in sales, in high tech and as executives.

    Mindy-MortonMindy Morton
    Senior Counsel, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

    Mindy, an active member of the CLUB since we launched in 2012, is an internet and intellectual property litigator with a passion for litigating cutting-edge cases at the intersection of technology and free speech issues. She also helps clients resolve disputes involving trade secret, copyright, trademark and patent issues. She is dedicated to doing the right thing the right way. She believes in giving back to the community and mentoring other women, and is active with several nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.

    Judith, Alice, and Mindy will join existing board members Kristiane Koontz, Karen Catlin and Laraine McKinnon to form the CLUB’s 2016 Board of Directors.

  • 11/30/2015 6:01 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you to those of you who joined us for our 3rd Anniversary Party last week. We had a fantastic turnout at the lovely Freemont Hills Country Club. CLUB President Annie Rogaski spoke of the growth and achievements in the CLUB over the past year, including the inaugural year of our Incubator Program, our Big Read Initiative, and the launch of our temporary CLUBhouse in Palo Alto! Incoming 2016 President Kristiane Koontz spoke of her vision for the future of The CLUB and the importance of the CLUB’s new Thriving Workplace initiative which will help shape the dialogue on workplace policies and best practices that will help enable a critical mass of women leaders to thrive.

    Club 3rd anniversary
    CLUB members Jennifer Lotz, Kathleen Bost, Jo Ann Woodsum and Judith Coley received CLUBbie awards for their contributions to the CLUB this year, and keynote speaker Sally Thornton provided thought provoking insight into the future of work and women’s leadership.

    For those of you who attended and are not yet members, we invite you to apply to join our organization – click here to complete our short online application.

    If you are already a CLUB member and would like to get more involved, we are currently conducting our leadership drive for 2016 to identify CLUB leaders and committee participants at all levels. Click here to learn more and apply. The application period closes November 30th.

    Our groundbreaking Incubator program is also accepting applications through November 30th. Click here to learn more about the program and apply for 2016. 

    Club 3rd anniversary
    Our Philanthropy committee also conducted a toy drive and donations were collected onsite. The holiday season can be difficult for foster children, especially those arriving in a new home during this time. In an effort to help local foster kids keep the joy of the holidays in their hearts, The Club Silicon Valley is supporting Sleep Train’s Annual Secret Santa Toy Drive, and you can help, too!

    You can donate online through Dec 13th and the shopping will be done on your behalf.

    Finally, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors for this event including NERA Economic Consulting, Service Rocket, Procopio, PwC, Kilpatrick Townsend, Brattle, WilmerHale, as well as our fantastic Programming Committee led by Kate Wilson and Jennifer Lotz for organizing this year’s event.

  • 11/24/2015 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    At its 3rd Anniversary party at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills, CA on November 17th 2015, The CLUB awarded four CLUBbie awards to current CLUB members making a significant impact to the organization.

    The Driver: Jennifer Lotz

    Jennifer LotzDrivers are a special sort of person. Whether they come up with an idea or are inspired by an idea of another, they are the ones who can see what needs to happen to make it come to fruition. Jennifer Lotz, a Freelance Attorney, was one of two CLUB members awarded the Driver award for 2015. Jennifer joined the CLUB in late 2013 and quickly jumped in to contribute as part of the CLUB’s 2014 Programming committee, along with co-chair Laraine McKinnon. Jenn is diligent and detail oriented but also strategic and connected to big ideas. She designed events and moderated panels.

    Pitch Perfect to Mastering the Art and Science of Effective Feedback, to this Anniversary Party – Jennifer has given us the opportunity to learn, connect and have fun.

    The Driver: Kathleen Bost

    Kathleen BostWe had another significant Driver in the CLUB this year – Kathleen Bost, Principal of Kathleen Bost Architecture + Design. Thanks to Kathleen’s leadership of the CLUBhouse committee – and her architecture and design expertise – we have an adorable and hearty CLUBhouse at 650 Gilman in downtown Palo Alto. I hope many of you have had the opportunity to visit the CLUBhouse. If you have, you’ll see the results of Kathleen’s vision.

    Kathleen was the key person driving the design of the CLUBhouse and ensuring the project stayed on track in terms of design and timing. She developed drawings, sourced furniture and flooring, and participated over Facetime when she couldn’t be there in person, updating designs in real time. Part of the reason Kathleen is recognized with the Driver award is that she stayed true to her vision – particularly when getting furnishings for the CLUBhouse.

    The Evangelist: Jo Ann Woodsum

    Jo Ann WoodsumJo Ann Woodsum, Senior Counsel at Carr McClellan, has been a tremendous advocate for The CLUB. Not only inviting those she knows to join, but she proactively suggests ways of getting word out to a broader audience, such as making membership one pagers readily available and encouraging us to bring them to conferences to expand our reach. Jo Ann is a reminder of what made us all excited enough about The CLUB to want to join and build our community.

    The New Initiative Groundbreaker: Judith Coley

    Judith ColeyThis award recognizes an individual for developing and implementing an impactful new initiative for the CLUB. Judith Coley, Chief Marketing Officer at Ushur, identified a program that would serve our community while giving The CLUB a marketing boost: The Big Read. Because of Judith, we now have a quarterly book discussion that aligns with our programming themes, and we have just started publishing book reviews on behalf of The CLUB.

    The winners were announced at the CLUB’s third anniversary event, which was dedicated to Envisioning The Future of Women’s Leadership and featured Keynote speaker Sally Thornton.

  • 11/17/2015 6:03 PM | Anonymous

    The CLUB’s Philanthropy Committee is sponsoring an opportunity to give to children in need this holiday season through Sleep Train’s Annual Secret Santa Toy Drive. The holiday season can be difficult for foster children, especially those arriving in a new home during this time. With help from carefully selected non-profit foster care agency partners, the Sleep Train Foster Kids program takes in donations and disperses them to foster children most in need.

    Help local foster kids keep the joy of the holidays in their hearts by bringing your donations of new and unwrapped toys, books, electronics, or gift cards to the CLUB’s Anniversary Party. If shopping isn’t your cup of tea, you can donate online at, and the shopping will be done on your behalf.

  • 11/16/2015 6:04 PM | Anonymous

    In 2011, five women started building the CLUB, to create an environment where women help women accelerate their collective leadership paths.  In the years that followed, the CLUB found strong support for building this community that enabled us to grow to 250 members across professions and generations, while also delivering programming and services and expanding leadership within our organization.

    This story of growth is one heard frequently throughout San Francisco and Silicon Valley, as organizations mature and move beyond their startup phase into our building phase.  As we look forward to 2016, we do so from a strong foundation -- stable, established, and ready for our next chapter. 

    To help guide us through these next critical chapters ahead, the Board of Directors has appointed Kristiane Koontz to the role of CLUB President in 2016. As one of the five co-founders, and current Vice President, Kristiane knows the CLUB’s history yet also brings a fresh perspective to charting our future path.  Annie Rogaski, our president for the past four years, will be elevated to our Advisory Board and remain heavily involved in the CLUB, providing leadership to our Thriving Workplace Initiative, continuing to walk and talk on Fridays, and participating in our CLUB events. We thank Annie for her vision and leadership in bringing the CLUB to life and leading the organization over the past four years. 

    Please join us at our upcoming anniversary party on November 17th to celebrate the successes of the past and visions for the future. We look forward to seeing you there as we welcome Kristiane, thank Annie, and work together to build an even more dynamic 2016.

  • 11/11/2015 6:05 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 2016 leadership and committee participation drive to find the next leaders and supporters for the CLUB.

    Over the past 3 years, the programming and reach of the CLUB has expanded significantly as more and more CLUB members have taken on formal and informal leadership roles. For 2016 we are further expanding our leadership structure and roles to best support our continued growth. Our leadership in 2016 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. Formerly, we’ve called these roles Committee Chairs. A newly formed Operating Committee will be comprised of these Managing Directors to facilitate coordination and synergies between committees. This leadership body will meet once per quarter as an operating committee 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.
      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.

    To apply to leadership positions or to choose a committee to join in 2016, please fill out this brief survey by Monday, November 30th.

    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. We will contact applicants for leadership positions to set up interviews later this year.  Please be sure that your members-only site profile is up to date so we can use that for reference as we evaluate candidates.

    We look forward to an exciting and inspiring 2016!

  • 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!

    New ProgramsNEW PROGRAMS

    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

    MEMBER RECOGNITIONMember Recognition

    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

  • 10/01/2015 6:09 PM | Anonymous

    The CLUB Silicon Valley announces the successful launch of the Incubator - an advocacy program designed to give senior leaders a boost to help propel their career growth and personal potential.

    Seven women were selected for the 2015 pilot program, representing some of the most innovative, successful and renowned companies in the world. Each leader lives and works in Silicon Valley, where the pace is fast, the competition is fierce and resilience and relevance are of utmost importance.

    With an average of 21 years of experience, these leaders know what it takes to make it in the real world. As firms struggle to embrace diversity and grow the number of women in the most senior ranks of their organizations, the Incubator is developing senior women to be ready to take the next promotion or attain that next big job.

    Erin Brooks Sawyer (Tesla), Jennifer Adams Draffen (Facebook), Michelle Garrison (Synopsys), Alice Katwan (Genesys), Donna Kolnes (Adobe), Katherine Mendonca (Apple) and Mindy Morton (Procopio) formed the inaugural class of the Incubator.

    A hallmark of the CLUB Silicon Valley and the women of the Incubator is their desire and drive to give back to others who are striving for leadership excellence. Their professional profile will be publicly available in member spotlights, their advice will be shared via a regular blog and they will be available for speaking engagements, career roundtables and mentoring.

    The Incubator was founded by Laraine McKinnon, a long time advocate for women’s leadership, who observed a gap in public recognition for many successful senior female leaders and created the program to address it.

    The CLUB Silicon Valley will run the Incubator program on an annual basis. The application period for the 2016 Incubator program opens in October and applications are due on November 30.

    For more information on the program and eligibility requirements, please see

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

  • 09/30/2015 6:12 PM | Anonymous

    Four years ago, as the CLUB was being created, the co-founders envisioned a CLUBhouse as the key to our vision – a dedicated space available to our members to gather to inspire, energize, and help each other accelerate their leadership paths. The Board is thrilled to announce that we are launching our CLUBhouse! Our original vision is being realized with a 6-month “pop-up” CLUBhouse in 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. Stay tuned for a Launch Party announcement.

    True to the community of the CLUB, the CLUBhouse became reality through the efforts of various CLUB members:

    • Susanna Jacob brought the opportunity to the Board.
    • Kathleen Bost, co-chair of the CLUBhouse Committee, led the design of the CLUBhouse, to ensure it had a comfortable and inviting feel for our members.
    • Joann Woodsum, co-chair of the CLUBhouse Committee, and members Lianne Kennedy-Boudali and Rhys Cheung, together with Kathleen, worked hard to evaluate feasibility of the space, negotiate for use of the space, and evaluate logistics to make the space easy to use for our members.

    Thank you, Susanna, Kathleen, Joann, Lianne, and Rhys, for helping to make the CLUBhouse a reality!

    Where is the CLUBhouse?

    The CLUBhouse is conveniently located in downtown Palo Alto just off University Avenue, at 650 Gilman Street and is set back from the street, behind 654 Gilman. With ready access from 101, 280, and Caltrain, the CLUBhouse is centrally located in Silicon Valley.


    What type of events will be held at the CLUBhouse?

    This is a cozy space that all members can use for many of our smaller gatherings, such as:

    • Committee meetings or gatherings
    • Segment meetings or gatherings
    • Coffees, lunches, small group dinners
    • Cocktail hours / wine and cheese gatherings
    • Book clubs
    • Think tanks
    • Big idea brunches
    • Mentoring circles
    • Micro-mentoring events
    • Game nights
    • We are limited only by your imagination!

    Reserve your space today!

    It’s simple – just fill out a reservation form (available on the Members’ Site - Club Resources Page) preferably 1 week or more before your event. If available, your event will be confirmed – if not available, we will look at alternative dates. We will provide you with all the information needed for hosting events at the CLUBhouse.

    Help us fully test the CLUBhouse. This is space for you to deepen your connections with other members, so please use the space and let us know how you like it!

    Welcome to the CLUBhouse!

    -The CLUB Board

  • 07/24/2015 6:14 PM | Anonymous

    Stacey P. Slaughter

    Cecile Thirion

    Have you received any awards this year? If so, please send us a note at so that we can include you in our upcoming Recognition Report!

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