Athena Announces 21st Annual Pinnacle Awards Nominees

STEM Event of the Year Celebrates Women Champions 

SAN DIEGO – April 23, 2019 – 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 Science 

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 | Managing 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.