Coco is founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. Prior to her current roles, Coco served as President, COO, and Board Director of Taos, a market leader in IT Services serving hundreds of F1000 companies, including Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco brings rich experience across F1000 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits in the roles of CEO, COO, advisor, and Board member to Athena. She possesses a unique understanding of the breadth of challenges and opportunities of leadership. She empowers leaders to execute successfully, working with them to develop the relationship between a company’s strategy and its organizational design and environment. Coco’s expertise in developing and strengthening these important linkages makes her a powerful C-level advisor and Board member. In addition to serving on the Board of Taos from 2004 to 2014, Coco served as a Board Director for MentorNet during its rebranding, product transformation, and subsequent acquisition by Great Minds in STEM. Coco was on the finance committee supporting the Board of Directors of Samasource and established the Operating Committee for the Silicon Valley arm of Golden Seeds, a New York-based early-stage investment firm. She also currently serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Anita Borg Technology Leadership Award, one of the most prestigious awards honoring women in technology.
Alice Beverly Cole Member of the Board of Directors
A Beverly Cole, former manufacturing and real estate attorney for manufacturing and petrochemical industries was recruited by a leading entertainment and consumer products company here on the west coast to manage the real estate, strategic planning, sourcing, and their economic development efforts. Beverly has had increasing executive positions and responsibilities within her companies and has served as corporate advisor in customer demographic, risk identification and product expansion for consumer products. Upon leaving corporate American, Beverly became a federal financial institution regulator where she led safety and soundness examinations, had oversight of top financial institutions’ Loss Share and Modifications efforts and closed financial institutions during the Thrift and recent financial industry crisis. She demonstrated expertise in turn around, restructuring of real estate and loan portfolios. Beverly has managed over a quarter billion troubled loan portfolios for the SBA. As an entrepreneur, Beverly acquired and became the CEO of sixteen Fast Food store chain in Southern Florida and owned and operated a portfolio of apartment and commercial buildings through out the US. Beverly originally from the east coast, holds a BA, JD and MBA from the Wharton School. She was invited to attend the prestigious international think tank, Renaissance Weekend. She now serves on the corporate board of a public Company, Private Equity company, and is a Commissioner in the state of California.
Angela Archon Member of the Board of Directors
Angela Archon is an Independent Board Director and highly accomplished executive, with expertise in digital transformation, technology, and operational excellence. Formerly, she was the Chief Operating Officer in the Watson Health Division of IBM Corporation, a multinational information technology company, with ~$80B in revenue. Angela is currently a member of the Board of Directors for H&R Block, a company who provides global consumer tax preparation services, with revenues over $3.1B. She is a member of the Audit and Nominating & Governance Committees. Angela also serves on the University of Texas, Dept. of Chemical Engineering Advisory Board. Angela honed her skills via numerous, global executive roles. Her IBM career has included positions in Watson (AI), Strategy, Operations, Customer Relations, IT Systems, Business Development, and Supply Chain. With >30 years in leadership and delivering results, Angela is recognized for her ability to distill complex issues to fundamentals, unite disparate elements, and create blueprints for rapid and sustainable performance improvements. Angela’s spectrum of knowledge spans from developing strategies to start-up new businesses, to scaling and growing businesses, globally. As an experienced board-level leader, Angela has a collaborative approach and outstanding interpersonal skills. She offers a strategic mindset, unique insights, and diligent corporate governance. Inquisitive and appropriately challenging of the status quo, Angela acts in the best interests of the shareholders. With these collective qualities, she provides proper board oversight and brings intrinsic value to the Boardroom. Angela holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. in Systems Engineering, from the University of Texas at Austin. She was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and post-graduation, Angela earned her license as a Professional Engineer.
Dametra Johnson-Marletti General Manager, Digital Stores Business & Category Management
Dametra Johnson-Marletti currently serves as General Manager for Digital Category Management, in the Stores organization within MCB. In this role, she has responsibility for digital content categories (Gaming, Movies & TV, Apps, Office, EDU and SMB) across all Microsoft digital storefronts. In this role, Dametra is charged with working with our external content creating partners to optimize customer experiences and financial opportunities through content prioritization, business model innovation, and partner marketing program creation. Helping to drive customer engagement of tens of millions of new and prospective digital customers, and continued year over year growth of our $5B+ digital stores business. Dametra joined Microsoft in 2001, since that time she has made multiple contributions across a number of different businesses. Early on, as a part of the Enterprise Server Marketing team, Dametra developed Go-To-Market strategies and worked closely with Sales teams to deliver solutions to some of the top Enterprise companies in the country. She also led Marketing teams within Dynamics, and the Application Platform organizations. Prior to joining the Stores organization, Dametra moved into the consumer space by leading the launch of Windows Phone 7 in her role as Mobile Communications Business Group Lead for the U.S. Subsidiary. Since then Dametra spent 7 years in the Xbox Division helping to make Xbox the must-have digital entertainment system across all homes. Prior to coming to Microsoft, Dametra spent almost 10 years with Bristol Myers-Squibb where she held several positions across Sales and Sales Management in the Southern California area. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from Colorado State University. A native of Los Angeles, Dametra currently lives on the Eastside of Seattle with her 14-year-old son, 13-year-old daughter, and one rambunctious 8-year-old mini-Labradoodle.
R. Sharon Smith Chief of Staff
Sharon Smith is a senior financial services, asset management, legal and business strategist who brings expertise in complex business transactions, legal, investment advisory, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and new business development to large public and private financial companies including Ambac and Syncora Guarantee. She is a trusted, confidential strategic advisor to the Board of Directors, CEO, CFO and executive management teams with respect to discrete and company-wide corporate initiatives. Sharon is known as a corporate team leader and collaborative team player who leverages legal expertise for innovative, results-driven solutions to complex business issues, including risk mitigation, compliance and cybersecurity. She is qualified to serve on the Strategy, Compensation and Governance committees of a public or private company board in need of restructuring and/or facing complex business challenges. As Chief of Staff and Senior Managing Director, Sharon was instrumental in leading Ambac Financial Group Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMBC) $3.6B restructuring and Segregated Account exit from a rehabilitation transaction working with key constituents, the insurance regulator, a rehabilitator and major bank counterparties. She collaborates closely with the chair of the Ambac Board Compensation Committee to oversee executive compensation, and managed the successful governance outreach process with the board and CEO to major shareholders, resulting in the successful reversal of a negative say-on-pay. Sharon attends and presents at Ambac board and committee meetings. While serving as Managing Director, Associate General Counsel and Head of Investor Relations for Syncora Guarantee Inc., Sharon acted as one of the lead attorneys responsible for Syncora’s successful $1.2B restructuring and securities exchange offer transaction. She also served as one of three key attorneys for the remediation and commutation of over $30B of par exposure in Syncora’s RMBS and CDO/CLO portfolios, resulting in a significant reduction in ongoing risks and claims payments, significantly improving the bottom line. In addition, Sharon successfully defended Syncora against an unsolicited tender offer from a shareholder group. She led all investor relations activities, including maintaining a dialogue with the public and private shareholder base, strategic planning and preparing and managing the quarterly GAAP earnings call process. She attended and presented at Syncora board and committee meetings on financial trends, enhanced disclosure rules and stakeholder feedback. Earlier, as General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of Syncora‘s subsidiary Camberlink LLC, Sharon led all interactions with the SEC and other federal and state regulatory agencies with respect to corporate, legal and regulatory compliance. And as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of the Corporate Securities Department at New York Life Investment Management LLC, she served as a member of Credit Committee charged with ensuring that all transactions conformed to corporate risk profile metrics. Sharon earned her Juris Doctor at the New York University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Barnard College in New York, NY. She is a Fellow at the American College of Investment Counsel (ACIC), and assists with fundraising and allocation as a Board Member for Self Help Africa. Sharon is admitted to practice in New York State and in the State of Pennsylvania.
Merline Saintil Chief Operating Officer
Merline Saintil is a seasoned customer-oriented leader with a proven track record of operationalizing strategy and developing global award-winning products in iconic Fortune 500 and privately held companies including Intuit, Yahoo!, PayPal, Adobe, Joyent and Sun Microsystems. She enjoys advising CEOs and has led and scaled product development teams in global digital transformations for B2B and B2C companies, and executed M&A integrations and divestitures. She was part of the leadership team taking Change Healthcare public in 2019 as COO, R&D-IT. Merline is an active member of the CXO community and is a sought-after thought leader and has been quoted in many major publications, including WSJ, Forbes, Fortune, CNET, CIO Review, and Business Insider. She is passionate about coaching emerging leaders and supporting women and girls in leadership and technology. Recognitions & certifications include: - 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors by Women’s Inc., - Women of Influence 2017 by Silicon Valley Business Journal, - Business Insider: #6 of the 22 Most Powerful Women Engineers in the World, - Lifetime Achievement Award by Girls in Tech, - Cybersecurity Oversight by NACD and the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute. She currently serves on the boards of Banner Corporation (NASDAQ: BANR), ShotSpotter, Inc (NASDAQ: SSTI), and private companies where she advises on technology trends, innovation, strategy, cyber risk, digital transformation to name a few. She is a member of Risk, Compensation and Audit Committees.
Rhonda Mims Executive Vice President
Rhonda serves as WellCare’s executive vice president and chief public affairs officer. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s corporate/crisis communications, marketing, brand management, government affairs, public policy, corporate social responsibility, social determinants of health and diversity and inclusion. She also serves as president of the WellCare Community Foundation. While at WellCare, Rhonda has led a brand re-launch, the communication efforts for five corporate acquisitions, as well as the company’s social service strategy to connect with its’ members having complex health challenges. Most recently, Rhonda served as the managing director of corporate social responsibility at Paul Hastings, LLP. She had oversight of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy; charitable giving; pro bono and volunteer efforts; and environmental sustainability. Prior to that, she served as senior vice president of corporate responsibility and chief diversity officer for ING Americas and president of the ING U.S./Voya Foundation. She led the effort to build out a corporate responsibility department and strategy for the Voya Financial Initial Public Offering. She also helped ING U.S. maintain a favorable corporate reputation through the 2008 Financial Crisis. She previously served as ING U.S. territorial sales manager for the mid-Atlantic region overseeing business development with municipalities, counties and state government retirement plans. She maintained a Series 7 and 66 License Designations to sell and advise on financial products. Rhonda also served as the ING U.S. PAC treasurer, ethics officer and conducted government affairs on behalf of the company. Rhonda has also had an extensive legal career, which includes roles with the U.S. Department of Justice, the National District Attorney Association’s American Prosecutor’s Research Institute, and the South Carolina Office of Attorney General. Rhonda serves as the chairman emeritus of The Executive Leadership Council, Chair of the Thirty Percent Coalition Board of Directors. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and previously served on the boards of the Citizens Committee for Children in New York, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, America’s Promise, YWCA USA, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, the UC Berkeley HAAS Center for Responsible Business and the Woodruff Arts Center. She has also served as chair of the audit and governance committees for various organizations. She has been acknowledged with numerous awards including CSR Executive of the Year, Top 100 Blacks in Corporate America and has been recognized as Woman of the Year by multiple organizations. Rhonda holds a juris doctor degree and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina.
Toni Townes-Whitley President, US Regulated Industries
As president of US Regulated Industries at Microsoft, Toni Townes-Whitley leads the US sales strategy for driving digital transformation across customers and partners within the public sector and regulated industries. With responsibility for the 2000+ sales organization and ~$14B P&L, she is one of the leading women at Microsoft, and in the technology industry, with a strong track record for accelerating profitable business performance and building high-performance teams. Her organization is responsible for executing on Microsoft’s industry strategy and go-to-market for both public sector and regulated industries in the United States, including Education, Financial Services, Government, and Health. In addition to leading a sales organization, Townes-Whitley helps to steer the US strategy addressing the implications and opportunities of AI on society - across issues like facial recognition and workforce dynamics. Passionate about leveraging technology to create positive societal and global impact, Townes-Whitley represents Microsoft at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In this capacity, she works with CEOs from each industry to address global issues around urbanization, climate change, and workforce readiness. Prior to joining Microsoft, Townes-Whitley was president of CGI Federal, where she was responsible for a portfolio of more than $1 billion, leading 6,600 employees in more than 70 countries to deliver greater value to US Government civilian, defense, and intelligence sectors. Prior to her role at CGI, Townes- Whitley held several management roles at Unisys Corporation leading global, public sector systems integration and the Federal Civilian group, where she achieved 500 percent revenue growth and doubled profitability. Townes-Whitley serves on the boards of the PNC Financial Services Group, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the North Virginia Technology Center, and continues to support the U.S. Peace Corps as a former volunteer who served three years as a village teacher in Central Africa. She is an advisor to the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia, and a past president of Women in Technology. She has helped to launch new initiatives at Microsoft with the Athena Alliance, an organization that prepares women for corporate board roles, and Gender Fair, which rates companies on their fairness practices for leadership, employee policies, advertising and philanthropy. Toni also is the recipient of numerous awards that include: Women in Technology Leadership, Black Enterprise Top Executive, FedScoop Top50 for Industry Leadership, and NVTC Tech 100 Executive. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Federal 100 Industry Eagle Award. Townes-Whitley continues to support the US Peace Corps for which she volunteered for three years as a village teacher in Gabon (Central Africa). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy & Economics from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and has received certifications from Wharton Executive Education, New York University (NYU), and the Performance Management Institute. She and her husband John H. Whitley reside in Mclean, VA. They have five children, six grandchildren and counting.