Athena Announces 21st Annual Pinnacle Awards Nominees

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STEM Event of the Year Celebrates Women Champions

The work that Athena does is important - providing community and resources to women on their technical journeys. The Athena team is helping to create the success stories we’ll be celebrating on May 7th and we are delighted to be a part of it. - Vicki Mealer-Burke, Qualcomm

Athena, California’s premier advocate for women in the STEM workforce, announces the nominees for its 21st Annual Pinnacle Awards Celebration held on May 7, 2019 at Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs Campus.

A staple of Southern California's technology and life sciences sectors, the 2019 Pinnacle Awards showcases the best in class of those advancing the promotion of women working in the STEM workforce.

Athena’s 20+ year journey of empowering women leading in STEM is fueled by the sustained support and deep commitment of its corporate sponsors. This year’s Pinnacle Awards corporate sponsors include: Qualcomm as Title Sponsor, Sony as Presenting Sponsor and supporting sponsors ARE, Accenture, EY, Intuit, Marsh & McLennan, Mintz Levin, SDG&E, Biotheranostics, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Business Journal and Winkler Designs.

“It’s our honor to host the Athena Pinnacle Awards at Qualcomm this year. Every day I have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with our extraordinarily talented technical women,” said Vicki-Mealer Burke, Qualcomm’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “The work that Athena does is important - providing community and resources to women on their technical journeys. The Athena team is helping to create the success stories we’ll be celebrating on May 7th and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

2019 Pinnacle Awards Nominees by Category:

Individual in Life Sciences

Katherine Atkinson | Epic Sciences | Chief Commercial Officer    
Denise Bevers | KindredBio | Co-Founder, President & COO    
Kara Bortone | Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS | Senior Director, Sourcing & Portfolio Management
Julie Collens | Vivid Genomics | CEO & Founder
Athena Countouriotis | Turning Point Therapeutics | CEO
Andria Del Tredici | Millennium Health | Senior Director of Translational Genetics    
Dana DiFerdinando | ResMed | Vice President, Advanced Analytics    
Lawrence Fourgeaud | Janssen R&D | Senior Scientist, Neuroscience    
Diane Goostree | Alastin Skincare | President & CEO    
Sheila Gujrathi | Gossamer Bio | President & CEO    
Lauren Howard | San Diego Zoo Safari Park | Associate Director of Veterinary Services    
Nadine Lamberski | San Diego Zoo Global | Chief Animal Health Officer    
Kim Lim | Ultimate Labs | CEO    
Lindsay Mateo | Tempus | Head of Commercial Operations    
Gail Naughton | Histogen | CSO, CBDO & Founder
Deborah Nguyen | Cellular Approaches | Vice President, Research    
Mary Nguyen | Neox Clinical Research | Business Development Manager    
Amara Siva | Millennium Health | Vice President, Laboratory Operations
Jennie Starr | BioForm Solutions | Director of Marketing
Lindsay Stocks | Millennium Health | Software Development Manager
Steffanie Strathdee | UCSD School of Medicine | Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences, Harold Simon Professor, Co-Director, Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH)
Claire Weston | Reveal Biosciences | Founder & CEO
Nicole Wissemann | Bionano Genomics | Contingent Talent Acquisition & HR Business Partner

Individual in Technology

Theresa Alesso | Sony Electronics | President of Imaging Products & Solutions Professional Division    
Alex Balazs | Intuit | Senior Vice President, Chief Architect    
Jennifer Benedict | Managed Solution | Enterprise Account Executive    
Kimbra Brookstein | Intuit | Senior Program Manager, Tech Women @ Intuit    
Jaclyn Carter | Oracle | Senior Manager, North America Applications Consulting Services    
Rashmi Char | Qualcomm | Vice President, Engineering    
Jaye Connolly-LaBelle | RippleNami | Chairman & Chief Executive Officer    
Nagin Cox | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Deputy Team Chief for Mars 2020 Rover Engineering Operations Team    
Naomi Fortner | Intuit | Product Development Manager    
Mary Gendron | Qualcomm | Senior Vice President & CIO    
Michele Gorostiza | Intuit | Director, Productivity & Quality    
Angela Guzman | General Atomics Aeronautical Systems | Program Manager, Quick Reaction Capabilities    
Andrea Hogan | Qualcomm | Senior Director, Marketing, North America and Australia    
Anita Jones-Mueller | Healthy Dining | President & Founder    
Alicia Kanbar | Oracle | Internal Talent Advisor    
Bridget Kimball | Intuit Consumer Group | Vice President, Fellow & Chief Architect    
Rocio Montes | Intuit | Staff Software Engineer    
Jennifer Nemeth | General Atomics Aeronautical Systems | Mechanical Engineering Manager, Depot Repair & Overhaul Processing Center
Michelle Nikulshin | Intuit | Director, Information Security    
Mia Nunes-Baker | Oracle | Principal Sales Consultant    /Enterprise Cloud Architect
Johanna Robinson | Fōkcus | COO    
Parul Seth | Intuit | Senior Software Engineer
Lorelyn Shannon | Fōkcus | CTO    
Jessica Shinn | Qualcomm | Information Security & Risk Management    
Elizabeth Simmons | Sony PlayStation |    Senior Manager, Business Operations    
Beth Smits | Intuit | Vice President, Customer Success -- Consumer Group    
Joseph Stockunas | Nordson Corporation | Executive Vice President
Maya Wasserman | Sony Electronics | Senior Marketing Manager, Home Entertainment & Sound    
Caroline Winn | SDG&E | Chief Operating Officer    

Individual in Service

Alysse Cooper | ICE | President    
Becky Deller | IT Girls | Co-Founder     
Vidya Dinamani | Ad Astra Ventures | Co-Founder
DeLinda Forsythe | ICE | CEO & Founder
Pamela Gardner | Biotech Vendor Services | Founder & CEO
Kristen Janis | Ernst & Young LLP | Executive Director    
Linda Kurokawa | Technology Career Institute, MiraCosta College | Executive Director    
Allison Long Pettine | Ad Astra Ventures | Co-Founder
Stephanie MaCleod | JLL | Life Science Operations Director    
Debra Rosen | North San Diego Business Chamber | President & CEO    
Angela Ryan | Ware Malcomb | Studio Manager, Interior Architecture & Design    
Stephanie Seidman | Dentons US LLP | Partner
Carla Vallone | Girls, Inc. of San Diego County | President, Board of Directors    
Charity Williams | Cooley LLP | Associate

Rising Star

Lola Adeyemo | Thermo Fisher Scientific | Senior Diversity & Inclusion Specialist    
Tamara Cherwin | Illumina | Software Engineer II
Shelby Cohen | Intuit | Software Engineer II    
Ivel Gontan | Fleet Science Center | Community Programs Senior Manager    
Katie Levy | Intuit | Software Engineer II    
Parker Pennington | San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research | Postdoctoral Associate    
Jenna Ryan | Uqora | CEO    
Kylie Taitano | Intuit | Software Engineer    
Supriya Thote | Callaway Golf Company | Golf Ball R&D Engineer    
Maria Uyeda | Intuit | Full Stack Developer

Join your peers, leaders and supporters on May 7, 2018 as Athena recognizes the extraordinary women and men who personify our mission of empowering 1 million women leading in STEM by 2030. Reserve your tickets today before they sell out.


Athena is a women’s empowerment organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development. In transforming female scientists and technologists into corporate leaders, the goal is to widen the bridge and empower 1 million women leading in STEM, by 2030. Its 20+ year history of advancing women in one of the nation's leading STEM hubs marks Athena as a premier women's empowerment advocate. For more information visit: and follow @athenasandiego.

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Karin Fair
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