Athena Announces New Appointments to Board of Directors

Athena Showcases Strong Bench of Science and Tech Leaders -

SAN DIEGO – January 11, 2018  Athena, a professional development association dedicated to advancing women in science and technology, announces the appointments of six new members to its Board of Directors, as well as the full slate of officers and board members for 2018-2019. 

New board members include Rashmi Char, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm; Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff, Dean, College of Science & Mathematics at CSU San Marcos; Dr. Aboli Rane, Senior Product Manager at Illumina; Dr. Catherine Schnabel, Chief Scientific Officer at bioTheranostics; Charity Williams, Associate at Cooley; and Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition & Employee Engagement at Sony Electronics. 

“Year after year, I’m amazed at the quality of experience we’re able to access with our board,” said Constance Maples, Chair of Athena’s Board of Directors. “We have a deep bench in place and we couldn’t be more excited with these appointments. Each brings a distinct background and a deep passion around advancing executive women and will further enhance the success of our mission.” 

All of our board members embody the true spirit of community and bring great talent, expertise and energy to the boardroom,” said Holly Smithson, CEO, Athena. “We are particularly fortunate to have them in place as we celebrate Athena’s 20th Anniversary at our Pinnacle Awards on May 3, 2018.”    

For more information on nominations for 2018 Pinnacle Awards visit:

The full slate of Athena Board of Directors for 2018-2019 is:

Board Officers

Chair: Constance Maples, COO, Lanyon Advisory Services

Vice Chair: Sabrina Johnson, CEO, Founder, DARÉ Bioscience

Treasurer: Cathy Gonzales, Partner, KPMG LLP 

Athena’s At-Large Board of Directors include:

Claudia Baranowski, Senior Manager, Illumina

Jennifer Brown, Executive Director, EY

Rashmi Char, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm

Grace Chui-Miller, CFO, Correlation Ventures

Michele Comtois, Principal, Marsh & McLennan Agency

Shaye Exner, Senior Director, Biocom

Carolyn Fritz, Serial Entrepreneur, Fritz Consulting, LLC

Liz Gasser, Managing Partner, High Camp Ventures

Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff, Dean, College of Science & Mathematics, CSU San Marcos

Judy Müller-Cohn, CEO, MXCglobal; COO, BioFluidica

Dr. Aboli Rane, Senior Product Manager, Illumina

Dr. Catherine Schnabel, Chief Scientific Officer, Biotheranostics

Charity Williams, Associate, Cooley

Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition & Employee Engagement, Sony Electronics



Athena is empowering progress together by advancing women in the STEM fields. Athena’s member community accesses executive leadership forums, educational and mentoring programs and cross-sector networking that propels job performance and careers. Our 20-year focus on advancing women in one of the nation's leading STEM hubs, establishes Athena as a premier women's empowerment advocate. @athenasandiego #EmpoweredByAthena


Media Contact:
Karin Fair, Communications Czar 
[email protected]