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Athena Alliance
Activating the connections, knowledge, & opportunities women executives need to lead at their highest level of impact. Learn more: athenaalliance.com

Diana Colella is SVP of Entertainment and Media Solutions at Autodesk, bringing rich industry experience, product management expertise, and strategy savvy to her leadership role. She is a courageous leader who understands the importance of risk-taking and focusing on growth. With over two decades at Autodesk, she has served in multiple roles across the business, such as VP of Business Strategy, Director of Product Management, and Senior Finance Manager, before taking on her current C-Suite position.

Below, hear more about Diana’s unique path to the C-suite, her approach to career development, as well as her tips to remain authentic and…


by Coco Brown, Athena Alliance Founder & CEO

When the pandemic roared into our lives last year, for perhaps the first time in history, the struggles of the modern parent came into magnetic focus. Around the world, we saw children crawl into Zoom meetings, parents feed their families during board meetings, babies yawn during team check-ins, and the storm of toys left behind in its wake in the fuzzy background of a Google Hangout. It was the Real World, happening right before our eyes. No longer tucked into the cozy confines of school or daycare.

As the CEO of an…


From river guide to practicing attorney to CEO, Juliet Starret ‘s career has never followed the “traditional” path. She started her career as a Senior Attorney for Reed Smith while she built a fitness company on the side with her husband. Today, she is the Founder & CEO of The Ready State, where the duo is revolutionizing the field of performance therapy and self-care .

Below, read more about the motivation behind Juliet’s career transitions, her tips on rebranding your company as you evolve, and advice for women looking to start their own venture.

What are some key points of your executive journey?

Right after college, I worked as…


Harini Gokul is a skilled operator, board advisor, and investor with experience scaling teams across three continents. She’s led customer success, marketing, and strategy at companies such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services with expertise in cloud leadership, digital transformation, international business development, and go-to-market strategy planning. Her superpower is knowing how to take a vision from the whiteboard to reality.

Below, read more about Harini’s experience leading large-scale transformations at AWS, her insights on the importance of belonging for teams, and tips for women and people of color to exercise their financial power through investing.

How can companies ensure their customer success teams, processes, and strategies are all in line for growth?

Historically, customer success was…


Adrienne McCallister has built teams from the ground up and envisioned wildly successful go-to-market strategies for companies like Google, AOL, and Associated Content. She is an expert in building global partnerships, negotiation, new business model deployment, and digital media.

Below, read Adrienne’s executive story from investment banking to leading partnership development for Google Workspace. Adrienne shares her insights on networking, partnerships, and technology-and how being intentional in her career allowed her to follow an untraditional path to success.

Tell me about your early career.

My early work with investment banking gave me an amazing work ethic. It taught me how to understand an industry deeply enough…


Loni Mahanta is an experienced executive, legal and policy expert, and strategic advisor formerly serving as VP of Policy Development & Research at Lyft. Loni came to Athena in June 2020 in the midst of a career transition, embarking on a new journey as an advisor and board director.

“I had questions about how the board process worked, how the board operates, and how to even begin my boardroom journey,” Loni said. “I got a lot of that information from Athena’s Learning Library and virtual events.”

Loni started her due diligence for her board search, taking lessons on board service…


Part of advancing in your leadership journey is understanding the unique stories that shaped your leadership and being able to articulate them in a compelling way. Adapted from her Journey to a Board Seat guide , Athena member Meg Crofton (former President of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Operations and board director at Tupperware Brands, Cracker Barrel, and HCA Healthcare) shares tips to develop your unique value proposition and deliver it with confidence for your next opportunity—as you rise into executive ranks, seek funding for your venture, or take a seat in the boardroom.

As you position yourself for your…


Renee Lewis grew up knowing she needed to work hard to achieve success. She founded her own marketing firm, L&P Marketing, to help real estate developers and luxury brands express their vision and improve their proformas by studying the wants and needs of their target markets. A dynamic CEO, trend forecaster, and change agent, Renee Lewis is a knowledgeable inspiration to the niche advertising world of placemaking.

Below, learn how Renee forged her path, how companies preparing to go to market can hone their founding story, and her advice for women leaders looking to start their own venture.

Tell me about your executive journey up to this point.

My grandfather…


If there ever was a year to test the resilience of women, it was 2020. So many women juggled it all: managing the household, raising children, supporting their extended families, giving back to their communities — while still holding onto their place at the top ranks of leadership. It’s no wonder more than 53% of women reported experiencing burnout in the past year, according to a recent CNBC study on women at work.

Lack of sleep. Mental fog. No motivation. Pure exhaustion. Burnout presents itself in a variety of ways but it’s more present than ever across women since the…


Purvee Kondal is a global procurement officer, board advisor, and an expert leader in diversity/inclusion and strategic procurement who understands the importance of mindfulness when making changes for a team.

Below, hear more about Purvee’s experiences with AI technologies, how to intentionally steward transformation within your company, and her tips on growing a support system throughout your executive journey.

Tell me about your executive journey up to this point.

I started my career in the technology procurement and partner management function under the Chief Information Officer. From there, I learned all parts of the procurement life cycle, leading me to become a Chief Procurement Officer. …

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